Head of Solutions Engineering - Cloud Native

Solutions Engineering

San Francisco, California

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Confluent is pioneering a fundamentally new category of data infrastructure focused on data in motion. Have you ever found a new favorite series on Netflix, picked up groceries curbside at Walmart, or paid for something using Square? That’s the power of data in motion in action—giving organizations instant access to the massive amounts of data that is constantly flowing throughout their business. At Confluent, we’re building the foundational platform for this new paradigm of data infrastructure. Our cloud-native offering is designed to be the intelligent connective tissue enabling real-time data, from multiple sources, to constantly stream across the organization. With Confluent, organizations can create a central nervous system to innovate and win in a digital-first world.

We’re looking for self-motivated team members who crave a challenge and feel energized to roll up their sleeves and help realize Confluent’s enormous potential. Chart your own path and take healthy risks as we solve big problems together. We value having diverse teams and want you to grow as we grow—whether you’re just starting out in your career or managing a large team, you’ll be amazed at the magnitude of your impact.

About the Role:

The Head of Digital Native Solution Engineering is a strategic role as Confluent works to “Earn Our Customers’ Love.” This person will shape the go to market strategy and execution for Confluents rapidly expanding Digital Native Business team. Leading the team of Pre-Sales Solutions Engineers (SE) and working closely with Sales and Customer Success this leader will chart the direction of our customers journey from early engagement through mission critical Central Nervous System deployments at the heart of the most influential modern digital businesses.

Internally, this person will serve as a bridge between Product/Eng and customers triangulating feedback from a target market segment (in this case, Digital Native) and influencing our roadmap, messaging, and GTM motions.  Externally, this person will serve as a trusted advisor and technical executive sponsor for our customers and prospects, offering a unique perspective on Why and How to leverage Confluent technology, and being a trusted resource to capture our customers’ aspirations and concerns as they adopt a data streaming architecture.  To succeed in this role, you will bring your credibility as a trusted advisor who expresses an opinionated success plan for valuable outcomes for our customer execs.  Your creative and entrepreneurial approach, matched with a deep experience base as a technology and business leader in growth companies and public enterprise leaders, will help our customers understand the Why, What, and How of our data streaming platform. 

The Head of Solutions Engineering (SE) will be responsible for building and maintaining an effective team of Pre-sales Systems Engineers and Regional SE Managers dedicated to working hand in hand with Account Executives and Sales Management to achieve shared revenue goals. An effective SE Director will build trusted advisor relationships with employees, customers, and partners. The SE Leader will focus on achieving the “technical win” on opportunities by providing accurate and compelling proposed solutions with a clear value proposition and plan of success. SE Leaders are second-line managers so they are also expected to be a coach and mentor to first-line managers as well as a strategic partner to Area Sales Managers.


What You Will Do:

  • Previously a Pre-Sales Engineering Manager for 5+ years, preferably managing large teams in a high growth phase of the company
  • SE Directors are expected to be player-coaches. They must have extremely deep technical and sales skills and be seen as a presales leader as much as a leader of people.
  • Lead a team of systems engineers to deliver pre-sales technical support in sales presentations, solution development, and product demonstrations of Streaming Platform capabilities
  • Strategize with Sales Management on how to best support our customers, define sales processes and grow Confluent value
  • Lead, grow, and mentor your team to develop and maintain the hard skills necessary to deliver proposed solutions and the surrounding ecosystem - Microservices, Data Mesh, Cloud Networking & Security, Data Sources and Sinks
  • Lead, grow, and mentor your team to develop and maintain the soft skills necessary to deliver, generate credibility and work effectively on a sales team - Preparation and documentation, technical discovery, objections handling and champions building.
  • Develop and improve processes and procedures to minimize errors, maximize efficiencies and ensure the team can scale exponentially 
  • Conduct management functions such as interview/hire qualified candidates, conduct performance reviews, and actively participate in employee career planning to help them achieve their long-term goals, reduce churn, increase employee satisfaction, manage underperformance
  • Work with SalesOps to design and administer compensation plans, administer bonuses, raises, president club rankings
  • Handle conflict or other HR issues that might arise within the team or between individuals across the organization
  • Selectively conduct customer presentations on the value proposition and technical solution set for strategic accounts and focus areas throughout the region
  • Responsible for review and approve Proof of Concept strategy and documentation
  • Collect, prioritize, and escalate Field Feedback requests to help guide the Confluent roadmap and maximize revenue and customer success
  • Consistently recognize areas where we can become more proactive and create a differentiated offering or employee experience

What You Will Bring:

  • Five or more years of experience in a pre-sales engineering environment or similar customer-facing role 
  • Experience with technical sales of distributed systems, middleware, and enterprise infrastructure software like databases, message queues, SaaS, or Big Data products
  • Exceptional presentation and communications capabilities. Confidence presenting to a highly skilled and experienced audience, including enterprise architects and C-level executives
  • Clear, consistent demonstration of self-starter behavior and a desire to tackle hard problems 
  • Bachelor’s level degree in Computer Science or relevant experience
  • Track record of success in interviewing, hiring and developing a well performing team 

What Gives You An Edge:

  • Experience selling an Open Source or Open Core product or service
  • Experience selling, building, or operating large-scale distributed systems for enterprise
  • Experience with Traditional Middleware, Databases, Microservice development, and legacy system modernization
  • Experience selling a SaaS product, preferably with Product-Led Growth and a consumption oriented revenue model.
  • Experience transitioning from on-prem software to fully managed cloud model
  • Experience with technical and commercial aspects of Public and Private Clouds
  • Experience managing remote teams.
Come As You Are

At Confluent, equality is a core tenet of our culture. We are committed to building an inclusive global team that represents a variety of backgrounds, perspectives, beliefs, and experiences. The more diverse we are, the richer our community and the broader our impact. Employment decisions are made on the basis of job-related criteria without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, veteran status, or any other classification protected by applicable law.

Confluent requires all employees (in office and remote) in the U.S. to be vaccinated for COVID-19. Consistent with federal, state, and local requirements, Confluent will consider requests for reasonable accommodation based on medical conditions/contraindications or sincerely-held religious beliefs where it is able to do so without undue hardship to the company.

Click here to review our California Candidate Privacy Notice, which describes how and when Confluent, Inc., and its group companies, collects, uses, and shares certain personal information of California job applicants and prospective employees.

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Benefits

Best Teammates on Planet Earth
Adjustable Working Arrangements
Robust Benefits
Rest and Recharge Days
Weekly Lunch Spend
Flexible Paid Time Off (PTO)

Confluent is Remote-First

At Confluent, we care about how you work - not where. We encourage you to apply for positions outside of the listed location or your immediate region.

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