No one at the age of 21 and having 4-6 years of schooling realizes that in order to advance into the upper echelons of their profession, it often-times means sacrificing the things that they love to do: being an engineer or an architect.
I have seen firms who have moved away from a seller/doer model and have migrated to a sales and execution model. CH2M did it shortly before they were acquired by Jacobs. Some firms have Business Development people who help with marketing, but the vast majority of engineers and architects I encounter are trapped in the seller/doer sales model. Kimley-Horn has built their entire business model around engineers who must eat what they kill. Some people love marketing for new work, but they are in the minority of their peers.
I ask the question, “What if…”. What if an engineer or an architect could do what they love to do? What if a firm allowed their technical people to assist those individuals with skills, abilities, and training in sales and marketing? Would your employees be happier, more fulfilled, and just plain more efficient? Could the death of the seller/doer model bring about better efficiencies, more revenue, and less turnover?
If you are expecting your project managers and department leaders to bring in $500K-$1M in new work annually, what sales training have you given them in these critical areas to learn the art of chasing work, developing relationships with key target clients, and closing sales?
In my humble opinion, the firms who realize which engineers and architects want to remain technical and accommodate them by hiring true sales and marketing professionals, could have an entirely different value proposition to offer potential employees. This could be the edge in attracting highly skilled technical talent in continuing war for talent.
I would love to hear from you!