This position is part of CDW's pre-sales practice, a single-source provider to our clients for all things Network and Security. As a Principal Solutions Architect, you will partner with the sales teams to drive solutions for CDW’s customers. As for the Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) subject matter, you will be the expert who successfully recommends Wide Area Network (WAN) and Security solutions to mitigate risks for our customers as their workloads move to the Cloud and their users become more mobile.
As a Principal Solutions Architect, you will be responsible for working with internal and external sales teams to plan and organize Software Defined WAN (SD-WAN) and Security sales strategies to support the dynamic secure access needs of digital enterprises. 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 Principal Field Solutions Architect, takes a lead role in defining, developing, and supporting Network and Security solutions as well as new technologies; prepares the team to be successful through proactive training, sharing knowledge, and communicating best practices.
Key Areas of Responsibility
- Provide technical pre-sales support of SASE related opportunities across defined geography and verticals.
- Work with CDW partners to design and present Network and Security Solutions, including BOM and SOW generation that satisfy customer requirements.
- Position value proposition and basic ROI fundamentals for solutions being proposed.
- Explain SD-WAN and Security differentiation to potential customers when competing against competitors
- Explain CDW value add and experience to customers when competing against other competing partners.
- Work with other CDW departments on the execution of specialist related orders and sales incentives
- Provide feedback to Product & Partner Management groups concerning trends and opportunities
- Work with Public Relations and Marketing as a subject matter expert
- 75% Sales activities via conference calls, email, and customer visits
- 20% Training – technology and personal development
- 5% Team development and miscellaneous tasks
- Travel up to 50% of the time
- Acquires deep technical depth in their role; Is the "Go To" person for the solutions, both technically and strategically; is at the forefront of their solutions(s) and the implications for CDW offerings.
- Performs a lead role in executing the "Go-to-Market" for new offerings.
- Designs technical solutions not only considering the customer’s infrastructure but also the business limitations and opportunities; operates comfortably beyond standard approaches to satisfy the needs of all the stakeholders.
- Reviews peer’s designs for quality and accuracy.
- Determines and defines services that complement and/or round out proposed hardware and software engagements, estimates required engineer effort.
- Operates beyond a ‘self’ focus for the benefit of the team and the practice to better CDW’s technology leadership, execution, and overall relevance to our customers; develops standardized templates of deliverables, including the SoW framework, tools, demo lab and scripts, and services calculation (Calc); provides leadership to equip CDW to deliver the solutions at a high level of quality.
- Communicates and trains the team on changes in technologies, procedures, solutions implementations and approaches.
- 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 Field Solutions Architects 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 Field Solutions Architects, 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 Field Solutions Architects; secures funding to support CDW customer events.
- Develops assessments improvements and demos for Field Solutions Architects to use as sales tools, identifies new ideas for cross-sell opportunities, teaches Field Solutions Architects in Sales on how to use these tools.
- Collaborates with Partners, Inside Solutions Architects, and Account Executives 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, SM, 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.
- Acts as security subject matter expert for marketing activities (e.g., marketing blog, content, references, videos, etc.); produces marketing-type documents and materials (e.g., data sheet, presentation, demo video) to use throughout the Practice
- 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.
- Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent experience
- Seven-year minimum technical security 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 success and experience selling security 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.
- At least 5 years of solid networking experience focused in Security, R/S, DC Switching
- CCIE in Network, Security or Equivalent
- Other Industry Technical Security Certifications or Equivalent Technical Expertise and Years of Experience