Talent Talks: eCommerce Sales Engineering with Bill Peden

Talent Talks: eCommerce Sales Engineering with Bill Peden

Discover the insights of Bill Peden, a top Sales Engineer in eCommerce. From building relationships to facing industry challenges, learn how Bill stays ahead of the game.

Welcome to ScaleJet's Talent Talks: eCommerce edition! In this interview series, we talk to experts in the industry to learn about their experiences, insights, and tips for success.

Today, we are thrilled to have Bill Peden, a SkuVault’s Sales Engineer with a wealth of knowledge and experience in eCommerce.

In this interview, Bill shares his perspectives on the role of Sales Engineers in eCommerce, how to balance the needs of different types of businesses, success stories of working with clients, advice for improving inventory and warehouse management processes, and much more.

Whether you're an eCommerce professional looking to enhance your skills or a business owner seeking to optimize your processes, you won't want to miss this conversation.
So, let's dive in!

Bill: As a Sales Engineer in eCommerce, my role is simple - help. At times that means helping individuals understand complex technical aspects of a product, and at others it means helping better define a problem so that a solution can be found. The eCommerce industry is complex, and most retailers rely on multiple Process Solutions to run their business. By process solutions I mean the different softwares used to deliver products to customers - shipping, inventory, listing, etc. My job is to understand the issues our clients face, and determine if our software can alleviate the pain those issues are causing. I’m tasked with developing an intimate technical knowledge of the software my company provides, and using that knowledge to explain how we can help customers increase revenue, increase efficiencies, or both. Another aspect of this role is acting as a bridge between many departments. I’m regularly meeting with our Product, Marketing, Onboarding, and Partners teams to provide insight concerning our prospective clients as well as my knowledge of the software capabilities and challenges.

Bill: One of the most fulfilling aspects of being a Sales Engineer is approaching different types of clients with both creativity and curiosity. My company’s software provides an Inventory and Warehouse Management solution to businesses needing to know what products they have, where they’re located in their warehouse, and how many are there. If a business can’t trust its inventory, how can they deliver products confidently? While my company works with various different types of businesses, their problems are often the same. One of the joys of working in this role is partnering with prospective clients and determining whether or not our software is a tool that can get the job done.

Bill: I worked with one large apparel company doing print-on-demand orders for various colleges and universities. This company needed their salespeople to have visibility into inventory levels of “blanks” (apparel that has yet to be decorated) so as to avoid overselling products to customers. The catch? The blank clothing items wouldn’t arrive at their warehouse for 6 more months! Because of my technical knowledge of our software, I was able to leverage different features and functions and get them the visibility they needed to run their business efficiently and with integrity.

Bill: Invest in good data! Data should be driving virtually all areas of an eComm business. Whether that’s having reliable inventory numbers to avoid oversells or ready access to sales information to forecast effectively, data should impact a business on both a micro and macro level. Making these investments can be challenging for businesses just starting out, as well as those operating with thin margins. However, it’s important to remember that bad practices scale as you grow as well, and thus data driven decisions are now more important than ever.

Bill: Many of the prospects I've encountered lately represent their own brands and are highly focused on the D2C portion of their business. We still have plenty of those with a thriving B2B model, but a large focus seems to be on D2C. The shift from B2B to D2C can be tricky, and it’s important that businesses wanting to diversify how they sell products are equipped with the right Process Solutions to do so. Investing in good technology is one of the smartest business decisions a company can make, particularly when entering into an unfamiliar market.

Another observation is timidity surrounding the looming recession. All prospects I’ve encountered recently seem to have revenue growth as their number one priority. With the market being somewhat gun-shy right now, many are looking to find more affordable - or more stable – Process Solutions to run their business. Labor is hard to come by, so having easy to use (and easy to train) tools in place becomes paramount. Mispicks and misships are too costly, and margins are too thin to have unreliable solutions in your tech stack.

Bill: Curiosity, creativity, and teamwork are what I would consider to be the most valuable traits and skills a person can have in the SE role. 

Bill: My advice to those wanting to start or grow their career as a SE is to find a product/company you believe in. If you believe what your selling can help, benefit, or delight a prospective client then you will think more critically and creatively on how to best serve your prospects.

Thank you for taking the time to read this insightful interview with Bill Peden, an eCommerce Sales Engineering expert. We hope his expertise and advice have provided valuable insights to help you improve your inventory and warehouse management processes, as well as understanding the role of a Sales Engineer in eCommerce.

Stay tuned for more Talent Talks: eCommerce edition interviews on ScaleJet's website!