Decomposing the role of a Sales Engineer



My name is Fernando. I’m now an industry analyst covering cybersecurity and plan to use Wardley maps there, but before that I was a Sales Engineer. When creating a presentation about career choices (available here - I created the following map to help me describe my role.

It was used as an example of a map, and it aims to show how different skills and knowledge contribute to a sales engineer. Not meant to be comprehensive, was my first attempt.

It shows that:

  • product knowledge is rarer than competitor or industry knowledge
  • organization skills are needed but more commoditized than others
  • sales support is primarily value, but there’s others as well.

It was nice to realize how organization skills can contribute to other areas.

I would love to get feedback on the map and, if you want, on the presentation as well (I structured a lot of it around Simon’s ideas).

Best regards,
PS: I still need to finish the course! Was one of the first to purchase it but stopped halfway through. Must pick it up again!



thank you very much for this.

I’d have a rather personal question - from your map, it appears that social skills are in the product space. Mine are terrible and I would like to close that gap - what resources would you recommend?

I also like very much the realization that technical knowledge is the barrier to entry, at least I’d read your map in that way. There is a good reason for that - if you specialize in that, you close your future employment possibilities, and therefore you should not do that unless you are 100% it is your right growth track.

Best regards,


I’d suggest a more inclusive approach would be to consider competencies across all soft skills rather than focus only on aspects of social skills.


Apologies as I noticed the reply just now.
I agree with your comment, my challenge is always determining the scope of the map. In this case, I was looking at high-level components of an SE role, so I would “almost” use social / soft interchangeably.
That said, I am on record saying that I don’t like calling them “soft” skills as I think the term belittles the immense body of knowledge and research behind the disciplines that make up what we term “soft skills”.

Thanks and again apologies for the delay!