Tomislav Crgar leads a team of more than 160 technical sales engineers, or Presales Engineers, supporting Infobip Sales in evaluating, researching, and assessing client and business needs. Pursuing a Presales Engineer career path requires knowledge, resources and tech savvy to acquire new clients. Leading the team requires this, and more.
Tomislav, who has held leadership roles within companies such as Ericsson, also carries an entrepreneurial mindset from his days as a business owner running his own startup. Leading Infobip's Presales division merges Tomislav's background in entrepreneurship, as well as technology. We caught up with Tomislav to find out how he uses his background to guide Presales Engineers along their career paths.
Where engineering meets business
An essential mix of business and technology skills makes Tomislav successful at helping his team develop far outside the parameters of the traditional software developer or architect. His daily work at Infobip includes furthering the engineers’ problem-solving skills while never losing touch with business goals, all while adhering to the company’s client-centric approach.
Here are some of his insights on what it takes to build a Presales team where engineering meets business.
Learning by doing
Building his team, he says, is all about learning by doing. When last-minute changes come up before a project is finalized, he always encourages his team to step back, assess the challenge and jointly solve it using previous client experiences whenever possible. Every professional's perspective is heard as it could be one individual’s contribution that leads to the team's ultimate decision as to how to move forward.
A team effort
Tomislav stresses that learning is a team effort. “Creative ideas are what maintain our competitive edge and, only when these come from team efforts can they become commercial realities,’’ he said.
Whenever challenged with a new task, knowledge sharing within the company is essential to widening a team member’s perspective and skills. Gaining first-hand feedback from colleagues is core to Infobip’s culture, free of hierarchical barriers. This not only elevates both personal and team growth, but also streamlines internal decision-making.
Building an “Engineering Powerhouse”
Tomislav leads one of the fastest growing divisions within Infobip and is recruiting 250 Presales engineers in 2019 as part of Infobip’s “Engineering Powerhouse” initiative. His primary task is to bring each team member's strength forward in order to develop and execute this ambitious expansion strategy. “Seeing every engineer's potential is crucial,” he said. ''We could very well have the next Elon Musk among our team at Infobip."
Every company employs engineers in sales processes differently and they often operate under different names (presales engineer, solutions designer, tech consultant, etc.) but they all have the same goal, according to Tomislav: build profitable technical solutions that will make customers successful.
Tomislav believes that Infobip's core strength is an environment of innovation where creative ideas can develop and prosper. ''Feeling very comfortable in any position is never good," he said. "It's when you leave your comfort zone, that you'll challenge yourself and excel."