The Distinguished Field Solution Architect (FSA) role focuses on pre-sales solution design/technologies. This role is responsible for working with internal and external sales teams to plan and organize sales strategies. The incumbent analyzes the sales environment including customer expectations, competitive environment as well as the customer's technical environment and define actions to be performed in the sales cycle timeframe.
The Distinguished FSA develops and maintains strategic relationships with Sales Management of the teams they support and is seen as the go-to person for multiple solutions/technologies; is on the forefront of new and emerging solutions and implications for CDW offerings and services.
The Distinguished FSA is responsible for driving a variety of initiatives and projects, coaches and/or mentors others FSAs; and strategically works with sales, partners and customers to uncover and increase emerging business opportunities.
The Distinguished FSA is an industry recognized thought leader that has mastered multiple solutions/technologies. Provides insight and expertise on new and emerging solutions to best position CDW's approach, preparation, and delivery of new and emerging solutions.
Key Areas of Responsibility
- Performs a technical leadership role in Alphas, Betas, and Pilots; participates in industry and technical advisory boards; provides insight on industry direction and roadmaps; serves as subject matter expert for team leads, services readiness, and management for building new best practices or offerings. Serves as the “go to” resource for both peers and management for uniquely challenging customer scenarios
- Determines and defines services that complement and/or round out proposed hardware and software engagements; estimates required engineering effort
- Serves as subject matter expert for the creation of new tools and processes of emerging and evolving technologies (e.g. services calculators, SOW templates, demonstration environments, customer presentations, etc.)
- Develops training materials for team members to use with CDW audiences.
- Promotes a culture of knowledge sharing and collaboration by organizing knowledge bases, contributing regularly, and encouraging team members to contribute
- Coaches and mentors team members to improve their technical, consulting, and sales skills.
- Acts as a resource to FSAs for advice and recommendations on technical design issues and product choices.
- Conducts technical assessment and expertise evaluations during the candidate selection process
- Assist managers with new hire FSAs’, leads shadow assignments; proactively provides assistance and guidance to new hires to accelerate productivity
- Follows up on implemented solutions and identifies new opportunities that complement the work that was completed
- Advises team members and sales prior to customer calls and/or sales strategy sessions
- Assists customer in understanding their equipment maintenance contracts, upgrade needs, and renewals; analyses the most cost-effective approach for the customer (e.g., renew the contract or purchase new equipment and contract.)
- Incorporates financing (through manufacturer or third party) as part of the sales proposal and discussion; looks beyond the current infrastructure/problem toward a three to five year roadmap
- Articulates to customers the S3 Practice (Strategic Solutions and Services Practice) value proposition to customers, account managers, and partners and uses it to generate additional revenue opportunities to CDW
- Guides (compares and contrast) customers in their decision making within all tiers of CDW technologies (e.g., Cisco vs. McAfee/Juniper) as well as with external competing technologies/solutions (e.g. Dell vs. NetApp/EMC)
- Initiates new event ideas; collaborates with Partners and Sales to design events that can be replicated by other FSAs; secures funding to support CDW customer events
- Presents technical topics at technology showcase events, such as key-notes at national industry or technology conferences and/or participates on Partner Technical Advisory Boards
- Develops assessments improvements and demos for FSAs to use as sales tools, identifies new ideas for cross-sell opportunities, teaches FSAs in Sales on how to use these tools
- Collaborates with Partners, Inside Solution Architects (ISA), and Account Executives (AE) to drive mapped opportunities; fine tunes strategies and approaches to achieve greater sales results
- Operates in a regular cadence with multiple partners to educate, plan, and execute on joint strategies in collaboration with multiple stakeholders (ISA, AE, Sales Managers, Field Sales); understands partner alignment in geography and leads customer opportunity mapping exercises; coordinates on-site partner visits
- Shares best practices and effective territory planning approaches with peers to leverage successful approaches across the team
- Shares best practices and tactics for enhancing profitability and closing deals
- Regularly creates forward-thinking thought leadership deliverables (e.g., external monthly blog posts, internal technical strategy documents); provides insight into emerging technical trends affecting CDW’s portfolio; regularly contributes to major industry publications and/or speaks at national conferences
- Responds to questions about partner registrations, associated registration issues, and customer engagement history
- Manages competing priorities and sets expectations with sales and other stakeholders through proactive communication, planning, and potential for return on investment
- Leads the development of Bills of Materials, Statements of Work, RPFs, RFIs, and proposal content for cross-technology solutions with high levels of accuracy and quality
- Maintains pre-sales pipeline data, develops plans, and takes actions to move opportunities to closure
Education and/or Experience Qualifications
Other Required Qualifications
- Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent experience
- Ten-year minimum technical pre-sales or technical architecting experience
- Demonstrated subject matter expertise in specific technology
- Stay up to date on products, applications, technical service, market conditions, competitive activities, advertising, and promotional trends through the reading of pertinent literature, seminars, and online training
- Proven project management skills
- Proficient in Microsoft office applications
- Proven success and experience selling technologies solutions and services
- Knowledge and proven success of engaging and working with sales teams
- Ability to execute on territory goals and metrics
- Ability to adapt and change to the business needs of the practice and team coverage model
- Strong interpersonal and presentation skills, including consulting skills
- Strong oral and written communication skills
- Strong passion for learning and teaching others
- Motivated and self-starting
- Ability to think creatively and come up with proactive ideas that will increase sales
- Strong problem solving skills
- Must be able to communicate effectively and in a constructive manner with management, peers and coworkers
- Obtain and maintain relevant industry standard certifications
- Experience in the Federal sales motion
- Experience/knowledge with DoD STIG policy/process
- Experience/knowledge with DoD DIACAP policy/process
- Experience/knowledge with certification & accreditation process as described in FISMA
- Experience with DoD requirements and standards, inclusive of FIPS 140-2, NIST, etc.
- CISSP accreditation
- Experience working in a fast-paced work environment