You might hear Sales Engineering referred to as application engineering or solutions engineering. Our job is to be the pivotal bridge between the engineering and sales teams. We act as technical experts who work closely with sales representatives to understand the client’s unique requirements, challenges, and objectives. By leveraging our deep knowledge of the product and domain, we help design solutions that align with clients’ needs.
Our expertise isn’t limited to just one area. Whether it’s fintech, consumer goods, or online gaming, we’ve got the know-how. And when it comes to showing off our products, it’s all about demonstrating how they solve your specific challenges, not just a generic showcase. We make sure the technical complexities are translated into clear, tangible business benefits.
Sales Engineering at FusionAuth
At FusionAuth, sales engineers are engaged with prospective customers on all calls — from the first intro call to the final technical walkthrough before contracts are signed.
The title belies how technical the role can be, and the expertise required is often specific to the Customer Identity and Access Management (CIAM) domain.
Our demonstrations are more than just show-and-tell. They’re a deep dive into technical discovery, helping us understand and align with your technology. We talk about complex things like microservice architectures and JSON Web Tokens (JWTs) in a way that makes sense, helping you see how our solutions fit into your world.
In the unique role of a sales engineer at FusionAuth, we face a huge set of challenges. It’s essential to have more than just a surface-level understanding of the FusionAuth product, which is constantly evolving with new features and enhancements. Equally important is a deep grasp of software engineering principles. This knowledge is crucial to address the varied and complex scenarios our customers present, ensuring the seamless integration of our product into their systems. The effectiveness in this role is significantly enhanced by the sales engineers’ previous technical experience and the extensive support we receive from our engineering, support engineering, and solution architect teams. The collaborative environment at FusionAuth is key to meeting and exceeding the diverse needs of our customers.
For a little more context, check out my FusionAuth Town Hall interview:
Overcoming Auth Challenges
The unique challenges each customer faces are arguably one of the most fulfilling and fun parts of being in the position. Some remarkable instances come to mind.
Our first customer delivers an online fantasy gaming application, and the “name of the game” (see what I did there) was creating as frictionless a user experience as possible for users to get in and begin using the application. This meant passwordless options of authentication were ideal. Recognizing familiar devices users were on when playing allowed us to relax other security constraints and provide near immediate access to the options available for play.
However, this client also had a second application, used for real-money gambling, which required a different security approach but still needed to support single sign-on with the first app. Our team dove into the unique requirements of this second app. We designed a solution that introduced additional authentication steps, ensuring secure yet seamless access for users across both applications.
At that time, FusionAuth didn’t natively support these specific functionalities. Our sales engineers took the lead in defining the requirements and scope for this bespoke solution. We worked closely with our engineering team, who developed new features to meet these needs. This collaborative effort not only strengthened our relationship with the customer but also significantly influenced FusionAuth’s product development, enhancing our robust platform.
Adopting FusionAuth, like any other vendor’s product, can present its own challenges, primarily in how success is perceived and achieved. Every addition or change to a system, especially in the nuanced field of authentication, requires a careful approach. The uniqueness of each authentication vendor means customers often need to invest extra effort to adapt.
Our sales engineers play a crucial role in understanding each customer’s current processes and aligning them with FusionAuth. We strive to build confidence in these changes, ensuring customers feel like they are moving forward as part of our team. This involves a variety of adjustments, from implementing encrypted tokens and adding gateways to altering authentication flows to enhance user experience while maintaining optimal security.
Lastly, one of the most common challenges we encounter involves navigating the regulations of different countries and regions, like the GDPR, and managing the demands of large user populations. The complexity increases with the varying login behaviors of users. For example, managing a hundred thousand total users is vastly different from the same number trying to log in simultaneously. Understanding these legal and logistical nuances allows us to make precise recommendations for deploying FusionAuth Cloud. We ensure that our customers have dedicated infrastructure tailored to their needs, whether it’s through our cloud service or a self-hosted option. A recent case involved a European client who needed to support high-traffic live streaming of sports events. We identified their need for scalable infrastructure in advance and coordinated with our engineering team to ensure a flawless user experience, resulting in a significant victory for the customer using FusionAuth
Making an Impact
The technical demands of a sales engineer at FusionAuth epitomize the engineering half of the title. The role as a whole is the perfect balance of customer service, engineering proficiency, and arguably the most important, providing technical solutions to solve critical business issues. We directly impact customer success and are the front line for customer feedback influencing future product development. We are intimately familiar with the FusionAuth product roadmap and our ability to capture common threads of customer requirements helps the engineering team prioritize future work to enhance and expand the FusionAuth offering to better meet the needs of our customers. It is a role that provides a great deal of challenge, empowerment, and ownership.
Interested in seeing how FusionAuth can transform your business? Reach out to us. With a dedicated sales engineer by your side, you’re not just getting a product. You’re also gaining a partner who’s committed to your success. Let’s explore the possibilities together.