This morning we had a Cisco Technology Solution Specialist (TSS) WebEx meeting going over things related to the TSS program. It seems that Cisco want to put all the TSS folks through two sets of training. Apparently we need to work on "Soft Skills" - which seems to imply that they want engineers out selling and closing deals at a higher volume in the current marketplace.
The economy is dictating this I think and it seems that presentation, quoting and closing are the most important skills for an engineer right now (outside of the engineering part.) Being able to engage and move through those three items without the need for account managers to be involved is becoming more important. This also allows for more feet on the street selling. AM's being pure hunters and SE's presenting solutions, quoting and often closing the deals.
Given how technical a sale for networking, storage, unified communications and security are this makes a lot of sense so I am looking forward to the training.
I wonder if Microsoft is making similar investments in their elite partner engineering sales force?