Are you a deep thinker with an eye for technology and a love of problem-solving? If so, a career in Solutions Consulting could be a highly rewarding move. To gain a better understanding of such a role, we had the pleasure of speaking with two dynamic Solutions Consultants.
Camila Ferrari, at ELMO, shares her experience of transitioning from a background in process improvements and software training to a thriving career in buyer enablement. Hazelle Sevilla, a seasoned Solutions Consultant at New Relic Inc., demonstrates how a chance referral led her to discover her passion for the exciting world of pre-sales and how she never looked back. Read on to see if a Solutions Consulting role could be the perfect fit for you.
“I have a strong background in process improvements and software training. In a past career, I was experienced in running webinars to increase software adoption (customer enablement) and creating effective training tools. When a recruiter approached me for a role in buyer enablement (pre-sales), I saw the opportunity to apply my skills in helping improve business efficiency via software adoption. I really enjoyed the transition and wanted to dig deeper into the buyer enablement world.”
“As a Solutions Consultant, we solve our customers’ problems. By applying technical skills and software knowledge to each prospective customer’s unique workflows, ecosystem, business goals, and desired outcomes, we make their lives easier. In my role, I am seen as the technical advisor in the sales cycle. It all starts with the discovery: you get a front seat to deep dive into prospective clients’ workflows. You’ll spend a lot of time getting curious about the latest trends in software solutions and preparing creative, bespoke solution presentations that are tailored to each customer’s goals and pain points.”
“Being part of a fast-paced industry means you need to keep up with the latest trends in the market, which can change quickly. To keep up to date on all things you need to know as solutions consultant follow thought leaders, listen to podcasts (my favourite one is “Two Presales In A Pod”), and am lucky to work alongside inspiring, innovative leaders. With an outstanding team with deep domain knowledge, like I have surrounding me at ELMO, I definitely feel challenged and inspired.”
For women who are interested in pursuing a career as a Solutions Consultant, Camila has some advice. “If you embrace curiosity and demonstrate the creative but solid application of technology to solve all kinds of problems, you will love being a Solutions Consultant. My other advice would be to find an inspiring mentor who will guide you in your career and challenge you to grow.”
“When I started my career in tech, I had no idea of the pre-sales/solutions consulting world. I started as a software developer and accidentally delved into the world of pre-sales, thanks to a referral from the founder of the company I was working for at the time. Since then, I have been immersed in the wonderful world of a solutions consultant. I love experiencing the variety of problems, challenges and people I get the pleasure of dealing with day in and day out.”
“Working as a Solutions Consultant can be very fulfilling. It is not just about presenting and knowing the technical ins and outs of a solution or set of solutions. It is about aligning solutions to business pain points. And then, ultimately, the goal is to allow customers to realise value from the solution.”
For Hazelle, flexibility and adaptability have been key in overcoming the barriers she has faced in her career progression. “I had to, due to personal reasons, take a break from consulting. I moved countries twice and I started a family. Life happened – which it has a habit of doing! I think the most important thing that has helped me overcome any challenges is being adaptable and flexible.”
“In the world of consulting, no two problems are ever the same and they are never solved by the exact same solution set. The path to success is like that too. In no way do I consider myself to have reached the end of my career progression as a solutions consultant. But I think accepting that everyone’s path is unique and that you have your own way to get to where you want to go is key. Respect and taking inspiration from the people around you – both colleagues and customers – has helped me tremendously.”
“I would say that if you are interested in Solutions Consulting, then go for it! If you have no idea, try it! I have a small family and I had a small baby when I restarted my career. You’d be surprised how much support women get in this industry.”