Bob Roudebush

My view on customer engineering

Customers don’t buy a solution unless there is enough perceived pain to take action and they feel as though the solution addresses that pain. All sales engineers must be able to help a customer understand that they have a problem (pain) and prove to a customer that our solution solves that problem. Customer engineering is different in that a customer engineer must be able to do those things but also is there to ensure that the customer actually realizes the value we promise. I see how a company engages (via CEs) with a customer to understand their situation, maps a solution to their problem and walks alongside them to ensure we deliver on a promise as a way not only to drive revenue but differentiate oneself in the market.

Preferred learning styles

I am a fairly hands-on person. I want to get my hands dirty. I like to try and fail or try and succeed because it’s through both of those that I really learn something. As a technical seller, that means using the product for myself and figuring out whether or not I believe that it can do what we say it does. As a leader, it means trying things and learning from what works and what doesn’t and then pivoting appropriately.

Communication style

I tend to be more passive in my communication style. I’m not one for open conflict and aggressiveness in communication. Which means I might be quiet in a meeting but it’s because I’m trying to make sense of information or formulate an opinion and might later circle back with my thoughts, ideas or objections. I strive for more balance, though, and would like to be more assertive in my communication style.

Preferred way to collaborate

I prefer written collaboration when being clear and sharing details matter. I feel like when I’m reading written information, I have time to go through it at my speed, take notes, re-read sections, etc. When I’m writing something, getting my words on the “page” helps me process my own ideas and refine them. When I’m trying to get people emotionally invested in an idea or get their buy-in on something, though, face-to-face (physically or virtual) real-time communication is how I prefer to do that.

Time of day where I’m most productive

Morning. I tend to find that work that requires focus and concentration is easier for me when I’m fresh in the AM and not distracted. Later in the afternoon I usually get a “second wind” that can carry me through and sometimes find myself working past the end of the day because I’ve built some momentum and don’t want to lose it.

How I approach problems

I want to break things down into the details, understand each detail and then put it back together and this is how I understand the bigger picture.

Preferred way to be recognized/appreciated

I don’t mind public “kudos” but a sincere 1:1 “thank you” for specific work with details about the impact I made, etc. means more to me.

How to convince me to do something

Let me try to break it. I love to debate ideas, and “riff” off one another until I am comfortable with and have convinced myself of the idea. I want to see data.

Thoughts/feelings/preferences when it comes to asking for help

I don’t mind asking for help. I also appreciate being asked for help by others because it makes me feel good to help others and it’s a bit of an ego boost to be trusted by others for guidance, coaching, etc.

How I like to give and receive feedback

I prefer to get feedback and give feedback privately. I want people to be honest about blindspots I have and areas where I can improve.

What I find enjoyable at work

Digging into details and making sense of information (like solving problems, formulating an approach, etc.) both individually but also with small groups where we can “riff” off one another. There’s nothing more energizing than a small group of creative people digging into “ideate” on something.

What kind of work do I find easiest to do when

Detail oriented, focus work - when I’m fresh and there are no distractions (usually mornings but also after hours when there aren’t new demands on my attention and I can ignore everything but what I’m working on).

Things that don’t require a bunch of attention or engagement - afternoon. My energy level is sometimes a little lower and it’s harder to focus on things.

How do I feel about getting messages after/outside of hours that are meant for me to see and respond to during active hours

If it’s urgent or an emergency, I don’t mind it at all. If it’s something that isn’t truly urgent and could have waited until the next day it frustrates me because I feel compelled to respond even though I try to set boundaries about when I’m available for work and when I’m not.

How folks can best show up for me when I seem off

Approach me individually. Usually a phone call message to ask if there’s anything going on and how they can help. Even if I don’t want help or it’s not something they can help with, it makes me feel good that someone is looking out for me.

Things I am aware of that trigger anxious feelings/feelings of less than at work

Feeling left out of discussions, not being given enough information. It makes me feel like I’m not included and doesn’t give me time to process things and it makes me feel like I don’t have any control.

Three things that bring me back to center when I’m stressed

Physical activity (whatever - even a walk helps me calm down); Confiding in others, even if it’s just to vent or share what I’m stressed about; Having something to focus on (a deadline, a goal, a problem to solve, etc.)

A pet peeve of mine

Exaggeration, hyperbole, baseless assertions. I’m a realist and don’t trust anyone that ignores the data or dismisses the facts.

My areas of knowledge

Technical selling approach and strategy; coaching and mentorship; public cloud computing (Azure/GCP); presentation skills.

Areas of interest to learn

Continuing to build out my development skills and experience.

Current personal project

On the non-technical side, I see my ultra-running as a personal project. I think about what races I’d like to run, what goals I’d like to set for myself and then I put together a plan to work towards those. On the technical side, I started to try to really mature my development skills over the winter/spring. I have a web application that I work on in my spare time to keep my skills fresh.

Something I fear

Not pleasing others - i.e., not being needed, not being someone others can rely on, not living up to expectations, etc. I’m a recovering people pleaser.

A quote I find powerful

I have so many quotes that sum up a perspective I have, an ideal I aspire to or a concept that eludes me. Recently, I heard someone talk about the value of time and money: “Money comes and goes. Time only goes.”

My Strengthsfinder results

  1. Learner
  2. Competition
  3. Focus
  4. Responsibility
  5. Achiever