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SME Essentials

(Subject Matter Expert Essentials)

The Fundamentals of Sales Enablement for Technical Professionals

Accelerate sales by enhancing your expertise
Technical experts should not enter customer conversations without taking this class.
Six hour course designed for gearheads:
And other technical professionals who can aid in the selling process

Realize Benefits Immediately

more deals
more profit
more customers
Alan Berrey: Author, Trainer, Entrepreneur


Alan Berrey

Experienced business professional, entrepreneur, & SME
Researcher of expertise since 1995
Author: "Beyond Expertise" 2021
More about Alan


section 1

Getting Started

Aiding and Accelerating the Sales Process

Your company's marketing and sales teams may be exceptional, but they will be better with the help of great subject matter experts. Experts can grow sales in ways that others cannot. We start with the things that make SMEs powerful sales assets and trusted revenue creators.
Ford mustang front view


There are a few things to spell out. What is an expert? What are expertise, expert performance, and subject matter expert? We need to know.
Man snowshoeing on mountain


Becoming an expert is hard, but the world rarely changes by the ordinary, the good enough, or the commonplace. Experts must overcome huge obstacles. What's your motive? It matters more than most experts think.
Old door under arch

Historic Gems

Humans have exerted persistent efforts toward excellence throughout recorded history. There are some essential ideas from the past that experts should understand today.
section 2

The Top Objectives

Contrary to popular belief, the objective of an expert is not to answer questions. The primary objectives of any SME in the selling process are to establish trust, determine mutual vision, and ensure delivery. This is where everything starts, and typically, where everything ends.
Father catching daughter in air


The first objective of a subject matter expert in a sales scenario is to establish trust. If there is no trust, there will be no sales.

Woman wearing glasses looking at screen


Scientists have proven that experts can see things other people cannot see. Therefore, experts must align what the customer wants with what you and your company can deliver. Expert vision is key to sales success.

Mailbox on brick wall


The third objective of a SME is to ensure delivery. At the end of the day, when the dust settles, delivery is what the client will remember. Did your company deliver a solution to their unique problem?

section 3

Scholarship for Experts

Researchers and corporate leadership have been studying expertise for decades. How do people judge experts? What determines if a person is an expert, or not? Who decides? How do you ensure people accept your expertise? How is expertise developed?

Dreyfus and Dreyfus

People progress from novice to expert in five steps and across five dimensions. These are the key metrics for measuring and managing experts.


All expertise can be subdivided into four distinct types: practical, analytical, creative, and wisdom-based. This pyramid model is ideal for SMEs.

Anders Ericsson, scholar on expertise


Anders Ericsson was one of the preeminent researchers of expertise and expert performance. He is the author of deliberate practice, the proven technique for expert development.

Money stacks in briefcase

Dunning and Kruger

Unskilled people are proven to be poor judges of ability. SMEs must cope with people who have superficial knowledge.

section 4

Essential Dynamics

People seek experts for reassurance and for help avoiding risk. If there is no risk then there is no need for an expert. What risks make your expertise valuable?

Woman boxer training at sunset


Confidence is more important than any other personality attribute. It will make or break an expert's ability to influence an audience.
Image of sun


Psychologists have shown that there are seven types of social power in the world. Expert power is one of them. Experts can wield exceptional power and influence.
Army Ranger parachuting


The interplay between a layperson and an expert revolves around risk. Experts, more than anyone else, have a special relationship with risk.
section 5

Sales Funnel

SMEs must know how to function within the perspective of the sales funnel. The funnel represents the customer’s journey through the buying process and the SME must know how to adjust their actions with each step. The funnel captures the progress of a customer from being a complete stranger, to loyal customer and advocate. This section of the course enumerates the SMEs different and progressing influence with each critical stage.


If SMEs do not participate in the sales funnel then they cannot influence customers. It is easy for experts to be excluded from customer conversations, here’s why.
Sales Funnel graphic


SMEs are unique and compelling. They should enhance awareness.


When a customer shows interest, there are 10 things an SME should do.


Six ways SMEs can help customers make the right decision and buy.


Delivery is the top priority and SMEs are often central to delivery.


Experts, more than others, keep the customer happy and coming back.


When an SME is the customer's advocate, the customer often becomes the expert's advocate in return.

Net Promotor Score

And finally, experts can and should increase your company's net promoter score, in big ways.
section 6

Wrap Up

We need more experts, and we need better experts. Our products and services are increasing in sophistication and complexity. Our problems are getting bigger and more challenging. Our world is filled with pain and problems. The world is rarely changed by the ordinary, the good enough, or the commonplace. No, changing the world requires experts—people with tremendous capacity, tenacity, strength, and courage. Experts can make a profound difference in the world and they should.

Become a Better Expert

  • Delight your customers as well as your sales colleagues
  • Help your organization close deals and increase revenue
  • Differentiate yourself from the other technical geniuses in your company
Course details:
  • Last updated May 2021
  • English Language
  • 6 hours of on-demand video
  • One year of access
  • Access via mobile phone or computer
  • Certificate of completion
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expert \'ek-spərt\
adjective: having or displaying special skill or knowledge derived from training or experience
dig \'dig\
verb: to unearth
verb: to like or enjoy
noun: a sarcastic remark
noun: archaeological site undergoing excavation