Day in the Life: Twilio Sales Engineer

Twilio is hiring a Senior Sales Engineer!  We’re looking for DOers who are are interested in breaking open the big black box of telecom to put telephony back in the hands of the Evan Cummack, Sales Engineerpeople. If you are interested in joining our growing team of all-stars we want to hear from you. You can find the job description here.

The sales engineer position is a hybrid role, requiring a combination of a technical background and customer-facing sales skills.  What exactly does that mean, you may wonder? We chatted with Twilio sales engineer Evan Cummack about his day-to-day life in the office.

How did you learn about Twilio?  What drew you here?

Having learned about Twilio in the press, I followed the company for a year or so before arriving in San Francisco.  It was a simple decision from there: a high growth, tech-centric startup that abstracts a messy problem like telecom in a way that encourages broad innovation. It was something I wanted to be a part of.

What do you love about being a sales engineer?

On a daily basis, I talk to interesting people at interesting companies; it’s a great way to gain an understanding of how different industries operate. We have fantastic customers – from start-ups to household-name web properties to enterprise customers that are figuring out their relationship with cloud computing. As an observer of the tech industry, it’s a dream come true.

What does a typical customer interaction look like?

I mostly help these customers with solutions advice and overcoming technical hurdles. If required, I also help developers with the Twilio API. This has meant becoming familiar with quite a few web development stacks. On our team we see a lot of .Net, Java, PHP and other popular web languages. The list has recently expanded to include Objective-C and Javascript on the client side. Occasionally customers might need help with something more exotic, like an IBM AS/400 that is limited to FTP. Good times.

At the early stages of the sales cycle, performing this role will often involve developing prototypes and demonstrations. From there, you’ll be able to provide guidance on a solution architecture, act as the primary contact for technical consultation and even help the customer to think about future projects.

Sounds like you deal with a lot of aspects of both the sales and engineering process.  Do you feel as though you delve deep into both of these areas?

On the technical side there are a lot of opportunities to dive deep; this is only limited by hours in the day. On the sales side, I like to follow the lead of the sales manager who is working with a specific customer. Our sales team is very experienced in this space, and I learn a lot by spending time with them.

Who do you communicate most with at Twilio?

I communicate all day with Twilio’s Enterprise, SMB and Strategic Sales managers.  Other than that, I interface the most with our Product team to make sure that our customers’ feedback is reaching the right ears.

Why be a sales engineer at Twilio?

I think Technical Sales is a field most often associated with big iron tech companies and classic enterprise vendors. It’s awesome to find a role like this at an exciting company like Twilio.

What are some ideal traits for a sales engineer at Twilio?

The ideal candidate for this role will have a working knowledge of many aspects of the software development lifecycle.  They will communicate confidently when discussing any phase of a software project with a relevant stakeholder.

We’d love to see someone that has experience as a sales engineer working on large enterprise opportunities with Fortune 500 style customers.  Most importantly, we want someone who shares our excitement about Twilio, cloud computing and the future of communications.

Lastly, to tie this role into the company as a whole: how does the sales engineer help Twilio achieve its goals?

Business customers can have intricate buying processes. Being a sales engineer at Twilio helps to encourage and support the adoption of cloud communications in new environments.