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Old 18th October 2017
Gear Nut
ccmdav's Avatar

I'll speak up as a former employee of Sweetwater.

I'll be up front in admitting that I was only there for five months as a sales engineer. This was due to a variety of factors, but in short, I rolled out at the beginning of the 2008 financial crisis, and given my then-financial situation, it became very obvious that I wouldn't be able to afford working there. More than that, I just don't have the sales gene in my constitution. At all.

However, the decision to leave was excruciating to make because there were so many reasons TO stay. I can say without hesitation that Sweetwater is the real deal, and makes customer service - as well as employee satisfaction - their top priority.

Now, some here have had bad experiences with some sales engineers, and I know exactly why this is. It boils down to four things:

1. Some customers are complete *********s.
2. Some customers have off days and take it out on their sales engineers.
3. Some sales engineers have off days and take it out on their customers.
4. A small number of sales engineers are/were complete *********s.

Here's something that happens to sales engineers at Sweetwater somewhat frequently - customer calls in for buying advice, spends several hours of the SE's time working on configs, and then the customer buys the gear somewhere else. For an SE who works on commission (i.e. all of them), this can invite a pissing match. In fact, when I was in training, they replayed some recorded calls where a sales engineer lost their cool in this exact kind of situation (and others), which in the classroom served as mental preparation for how to appropriately react. Some calls were pretty ugly, I have to admit... the kind that make you duck your head down while your skin crawls all over itself.

The point being - these people are human beings, and though they are expected to let stuff like this roll off their shoulders, some understandably have a hard time doing that.

That being said, there were a couple of SEs (out of the 350+ at the time) who were terminated while I was there, who were deemed "toxic" to the company culture, and were evidently having a rough go with too many of their customers. They were given plenty of chances to straighten up, but in the end just couldn't stop with the constant b*tching. Apparently they were the first terminations the company had had in several years. (Most employee turnover is due to resignations, i.e. cowards like me.)

Not to focus unduly on the bad apples, who are the small minority - I've never worked with a higher concentration of smart, likable, and good people, and probably won't again, unless I go back (doing something other than sales, obviously). They are, in truth, one of the best companies I have ever encountered. I count myself lucky that I got to be an insider for a time.

Last edited by ccmdav; 19th October 2017 at 04:37 PM..