How MongoDB’s Engagement Managers Help Our Customers Succeed

Ashley Perez


If there’s one thing our employees can agree on, it’s that MongoDB is committed to our customers’ success. From using customer feedback to build new products and features to spinning up new teams to improve customer experience, we’re always on the lookout to improve quality and functionality.

In fact, this dedication is found at the very start of our sales process, which is why MongoDB established a team within our Professional Services organization to better support our customers.

I sat down with Ben Sandmann, Vice President of Worldwide Engagement Management, to learn more about it. Here, he talks about our Engagement Management teams in North America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific, and why it’s an exciting opportunity for those considering a role.

What are Engagement Managers, and where do they fit into the sales process?

Partnering with the sales team and as part of MongoDB Professional Services, Engagement Managers are services salespeople. They are individual contributors who carry a quota and specifically focus on service offerings. This is a great opportunity for someone to help MongoDB increase our revenue generated from services.

Engagement Management is a presales role, adding value to our sales teams as well as to our customers. As an Engagement Manager, you’ll come in early in the sales process when a customer is planning to move forward with our products and scope out what additional services are needed.

You’ll work with the customers to understand their unique needs and challenges, performing a deep assessment to identify relevant add-on services. You’ll then suggest bespoke professional services such as training, advisory, or consultation to help those customers accelerate time-to-value on their investment. This is crafted into a services proposal and presented during the sales process. Once the proposal is agreed upon, you’ll build a statement of work to be delivered during negotiations, which includes effort estimates and resource needs.

How does this role differ from roles in other companies?

The title may make Engagement Manager sound like a delivery role, but in reality, it’s business development and presales on the services side. It’s also much more entrepreneurial.

Ben breaks down the key differences.

“At large companies, there’s typically some form of professional services managed in presales,” he says. “However, Engagement Managers (or roles similar to it) are usually tasked with a request. For example, Sales Representatives might have a handful of accounts they work with, and they’ll loop you in later in the process and task you with what they feel the customer needs.”

At MongoDB, the Engagement Manager role is very different. MongoDB Engagement Managers carry individual professional services sales quotas, are involved in weekly forecasting, and have to conduct pipeline generating activities. The internal sales team is always an Engagement Manager’s first customer.

There is also a lot of room for Engagement Managers to make the role their own. “Although you’ll still work with Sales Representatives and their accounts,” Ben explains, “you have a lot more autonomy and freedom to be creative. For instance, you can come up with new initiatives to drive business.” There is certainly an entrepreneurial aspect of the role, as MongoDB does not have one-size-fits-all offerings. Engagement Managers are creating and scoping custom solutions for the customer based on what they feel is the best way to add value.

How does MongoDB set up Engagement Managers for success?

As with all our sales-focused employee roles, MongoDB offers extensive training. This includes technical training that covers the first stages of what our consultants do, to help Engagement Managers get a deep understanding of MongoDB’s products. After you’ve completed the technical training, you’ll go through our robust sales training program, getting a full view of our sales process and learning how to optimize your skills to best support the sales team.

Additionally, we’ve introduced Services Enablement Managers who help with the ramp and onboarding of MongoDB products and services, as well as ongoing enablement for Engagement Managers. Plus, the team has its own back-end data team for reporting and partnering with sales.

Ben adds that your managers are there to support you, but not act like Big Brother.

“You won’t be micromanaged,” he says, “and you won’t have your managers checking in on you all the time. But even with the autonomy, know your leaders will still be there to teach, coach, enable, and show you how to get where you need to be so you can succeed. You’re still very much supported, but you have the freedom to lean into your natural entrepreneurial nature.”

What’s changed since the first edition of this blog in 2020?

Four years ago, the Engagement Management organization was composed of less than 20 individuals. The team has since scaled to almost 40 people and continues to grow in size each year. Not only is the team size increasing, but so is the deal size. We’ve seen larger-scale application development engagements and a roughly 133% increase in average deal size from 2020.

Not to mention, the team has evolved from selling primarily advisory services to now include hands-on offerings such as Jumpstarts, and Engagement Managers are beginning to specialize in specific service areas such as training services.

There continues to be ample opportunity to evolve the scope of the team’s work, expertise, and impact.

Why Is this an exciting opportunity?

The intriguing part of this role is that it allows you to have direct interaction with customers who are doing innovative things with MongoDB. If you love being hands-on and close to technology, this can be a great opportunity for you. You’ll get a good grasp of our technology and see what resonates without the need to be a developer.

And because the Engagement Management function is still relatively new, this is a chance for you to come in and build something, shaping tools, processes, and much more.

“This team is still evolving,” Ben says. “Now it’s shifted more toward creativity and looking at the business to see what initiatives we can launch, what internal or external enablement we can do with customers, and which new marketing channels we should use.”

But, he adds, “When you join a company that’s been around for as long as we have, you don’t always get a lot of opportunities to grow. That’s not the case at MongoDB. There’s a lot of visibility and opportunities. You can really make an impact and shape the way we run our business. You’re building something here. Even more exciting is the fact that Professional Services is one of the biggest levers in reducing churn and growing our business. Our product and reputation as a leader allows us to continue to make our mark on the massive database industry, giving you a lot of potential to grow.”

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