5 Ways AI is Revolutionizing the Sales Engineering Workflow

By Matt Falconer

The world of Sales Engineering is evolving at a breakneck pace. As companies look to gain a competitive edge, they're turning to artificial intelligence (AI) to streamline workflows, enhance customer interactions, and drive revenue growth. From chatbots to intelligent search to automated content generation, AI is transforming the way Sales Engineers work.

In this in-depth blog post, we'll explore five of the most impactful ways AI is revolutionizing the Sales Engineering workflow. We'll look at emerging tools like Elo, Glean, and Microsoft 365 Copilot, as well as established players like ChatGPT. Whether you're a seasoned Sales Engineer or just starting out, this post will give you a comprehensive overview of how AI is reshaping the field.

1. Instant Access to Company Knowledge with AI-Powered Search

One of the biggest pain points for Sales Engineers is accessing the right information at the right time. Whether you're trying to answer a prospect's question on a call or put together a compelling demo, you need to be able to quickly find relevant content across a wide range of sources.

This is where AI-powered search tools come in. Platforms like Glean and Elo use natural language processing and machine learning to make all of your company's knowledge instantly searchable. Simply ask a question in plain English, and these tools will surface an answer alongside the most relevant documents, slides, videos, etc.

But AI-powered search goes beyond just keywords. These tools can actually understand the context and intent behind your query, ensuring that you get the most accurate and helpful results. For example, if you search for "security compliance", an AI-powered search tool would understand that you're likely looking for information on your product's security certifications and features, not just any document that mentions those words.

Another key advantage of AI-powered search is that it gets smarter over time. As more people use the platform and interact with the results, the AI learns what content is most relevant and useful for different types of queries. This means that the more you use a tool like Glean or Elo, the better it gets at anticipating your needs and serving up the right information.

So what does this mean for Sales Engineers? With AI-powered search, you can spend less time hunting for information and more time actually using it to move deals forward. Whether you're on a call with a prospect or putting together a proposal, you can feel confident that you have the most up-to-date and relevant content at your fingertips.

2. Accelerate RFP Responses with AI-Generated Content

Responding to RFPs (Request for Proposals) is a critical part of the Sales Engineer's job, but it's also one of the most time-consuming. Depending on the complexity of the RFP, it can take days or even weeks to put together a comprehensive response, taking valuable time away from other revenue-generating activities.

This is another area where AI is starting to make a big impact. With tools like Elo and Microsoft 365 Copilot, Sales Engineers can now automate much of the RFP response process. These platforms use LLMs to create human-like responses to common RFP questions, based on your company's existing content and branding guidelines.

For example, let's say an RFP asks about your product's integration capabilities. With an AI-powered RFP tool, you could simply input the question and let the platform generate a draft response, pulling from relevant case studies, technical documentation, and other approved content. You can then review and edit the response as needed, but the bulk of the heavy lifting is done for you.

Of course, AI-generated content isn't perfect, and it will still require human oversight to ensure accuracy and brand consistency. But even if it just gets you 80% of the way there, it can still save Sales Engineers a tremendous amount of time and effort.

Another benefit of AI-powered RFP tools is that they can help ensure consistency across responses. When multiple Sales Engineers are working on an RFP, it's easy for small discrepancies or conflicting information to slip in. With an AI-powered platform, everyone is working from the same centralized content library, reducing the risk of errors or inconsistencies.

As RFPs continue to get longer and more complex, AI-powered automation will become an increasingly essential tool for Sales Engineers looking to stay competitive. By leveraging platforms like Elo and Microsoft 365 Copilot, teams can respond faster, more accurately, and with greater consistency.

3. Proactively Offer Customer Insights with AI Analytics

In today's data-driven world, Sales Engineers need to be able to not just react to customer needs, but anticipate them. This requires a deep understanding of customer behavior, preferences, and pain points, which can be difficult to glean from traditional data sources.

Enter AI-powered analytics. With tools like Gong, Clari, and People.ai, Sales Engineers can now gain unprecedented insights into customer interactions and deal progression. These platforms use natural language processing to analyze sales calls, emails, and other communications, surfacing key trends and patterns.

For example, Gong's AI can identify which topics are coming up most often in customer conversations, highlighting areas where Sales Engineers may need to deepen their knowledge or create new content. It can also track how different messaging resonates with buyers, allowing teams to hone their pitch over time.

Clari takes a more holistic view, using AI to analyze data across the entire revenue lifecycle. By ingesting data from CRM, marketing automation, and other systems, Clari can provide Sales Engineers with a 360-degree view of each account, including engagement levels, risk factors, and upsell opportunities. Armed with these insights, Sales Engineers can take a more proactive and strategic approach to each deal.

AI-powered analytics can also help Sales Engineers be more efficient with their time. By highlighting which accounts are most engaged and likely to convert, these tools can help teams prioritize their efforts and focus on the highest-value opportunities. And by automating routine tasks like call logging and deal updates, AI can free up Sales Engineers to spend more time actually selling.

As AI continues to evolve, we can expect even more powerful analytics capabilities to emerge. For example, some companies are already experimenting with sentiment analysis to gauge customer emotions and tailor their approach accordingly. Others are using machine learning to predict which deals are most likely to close, and what actions Sales Engineers can take to increase win rates.

The bottom line is that AI-powered analytics is becoming an essential tool for Sales Engineers looking to stay ahead of the curve. By leveraging these insights, teams can be more proactive, strategic, and efficient in their customer interactions.

4. Streamline Product Demos with AI-Guided Experiences

Product demos are a core part of the Sales Engineer's role, but they can also be one of the most challenging. Every customer has unique needs and questions, and tailoring each demo accordingly can be time-consuming and resource-intensive.

This is where AI-powered demo platforms come in. Tools like Walnut, Navattic, and Demostack use machine learning to create personalized, interactive demo experiences at scale. Sales Engineers can create a library of reusable demo components, which can then be dynamically assembled based on each customer's specific interests and use case.

For example, let's say a prospect is interested in seeing how your product handles data security. With an AI-powered demo platform, the Sales Engineer could simply tag the relevant security features and let the platform create a tailored demo experience that highlights those capabilities. This not only saves time, but also ensures that each prospect gets a demo that speaks directly to their needs.

Some AI-powered demo platforms go even further, using natural language processing to guide prospects through the demo in real-time. Elo, for instance, can engage in human-like conversation, answering questions and adapting the demo flow based on the prospect's input. This creates a truly interactive and personalized experience, without requiring the Sales Engineer to be present at every step.

Another benefit of AI-powered demos is that they can provide valuable data and insights back to the Sales Engineer. By tracking how prospects engage with different features and content, these platforms can highlight areas of particular interest or confusion. Sales Engineers can then use this feedback to optimize their demos over time, and even feed insights back to product teams for future development.

As remote selling becomes the norm, AI-powered demo platforms will become increasingly essential for Sales Engineers. By enabling personalized, interactive experiences at scale, these tools can help teams close more deals faster, while providing a better experience for prospects.

5. Stay Current with AI-Driven Knowledge Management

Finally, AI is transforming the way Sales Engineers manage and share knowledge within their organizations. With the constant flow of new product releases, competitor intel, and industry trends, it can be challenging for even the most diligent Sales Engineer to stay on top of it all.

This is where AI-driven knowledge management platforms come in. Tools like Guru, Bloomfire, and Elo use machine learning to automatically capture, organize, and surface the most relevant knowledge for each individual user.

For example, let's say a Sales Engineer is preparing for a call with a prospect in the healthcare industry. An AI-powered knowledge management platform could automatically surface relevant case studies, competitive battle cards, and product demos, all tailored to that specific industry and use case. This saves the Sales Engineer valuable time that would otherwise be spent searching for and curating content.

But AI-driven knowledge management goes beyond just serving up relevant content. These platforms can also proactively push new knowledge to Sales Engineers as it becomes available. For example, if a new competitor enters the market or a key product feature is released, the AI can automatically alert relevant team members and provide them with the information they need to respond effectively.

Some AI-powered knowledge management platforms, like Elo, even use natural language processing to allow Sales Engineers to ask questions and get instant answers. Rather than digging through endless folders and documents, Sales Engineers can simply ask the platform something like "What's our pricing model for enterprise clients?" and get a direct, accurate response.

Another key benefit of AI-driven knowledge management is that it helps break down silos between teams. By making knowledge more accessible and discoverable across the organization, these platforms facilitate collaboration and knowledge-sharing between Sales Engineers, product teams, marketing, and more. This leads to more aligned and effective customer interactions.

As the pace of business continues to accelerate, AI-driven knowledge management will become a must-have for Sales Engineering teams. By ensuring that everyone has access to the most up-to-date and relevant information, these platforms can help teams be more agile, responsive, and effective in their customer engagements.

The Future of Sales Engineering is AI-Powered

As we've seen, AI is already transforming the Sales Engineering workflow in profound ways. From intelligent search and automated RFP responses to personalized demos and proactive knowledge management, AI-powered tools are helping Sales Engineers work smarter, faster, and more strategically.

And we're just scratching the surface of what's possible. As AI continues to evolve, we can expect even more powerful and intuitive tools to emerge. Some experts predict that AI will eventually be able to handle the majority of routine Sales Engineering tasks, freeing up human experts to focus on high-level strategy and relationship-building.

But even in this AI-driven future, the human element will remain critical. AI may be able to generate compelling content and surface valuable insights, but it will never replace the creativity, empathy, and problem-solving skills of a skilled Sales Engineer. The most successful teams will be those that can effectively leverage AI to enhance and support their human expertise, not replace it.

So what does this mean for Sales Engineers today? First and foremost, it means staying curious and proactive about emerging AI technologies. This doesn't mean you need to become a data scientist overnight, but it does mean being open to new tools and approaches that can help you work more efficiently and effectively.

It also means focusing on the skills and qualities that are uniquely human. As AI takes over more routine tasks, Sales Engineers will need to double down on their ability to build relationships, think creatively, and solve complex problems. This may require investing in soft skills training and professional development, in addition to staying up-to-date on the latest technical knowledge.

Finally, it means being strategic about which AI tools you adopt and how you integrate them into your workflow. Not every shiny new AI platform will be a good fit for your team, and implementing new technology always comes with a learning curve. Look for tools that address your specific pain points and integrate seamlessly with your existing systems and processes.

One platform that's particularly well-suited for Sales Engineers is Elo AI. It’s designed to be the ultimate AI-powered assistant for technical sales teams. Whether you're looking to streamline your RFP responses, deliver personalized demos at scale, or stay on top of the latest industry knowledge, Elo has you covered.

But don't just take our word for it. Schedule a demo of Elo today and see for yourself how AI can take your Sales Engineering game to the next level. With Elo on your side, you'll be able to work smarter, close more deals, and stay ahead of the competition in an increasingly AI-driven world.

The future of Sales Engineering is AI-powered - is your team ready?