Never Confuse Selling with Implementing
I just heard these words said for the second time in as many weeks.I've recently been involved in my first sales / POC engagement, and it was an eye opener. I think we all have some responsibility to "sell" our product, skills, ideas, etc... No matter if we're the technical help, or the sales professionals. The issue as I've seen it comes in when a techical person is asked to perform in a sales capacity.
Sales by nature, doesn't seem to focus on the technical aspect of anything outside the "FAB" talk. "FAB" "Features, Advantage, and Benefit" are usually decided upon by marketing and the talking points are well established. This is why it is probably a little easier to "Sell" an idea or product this way. As a technical resource, the only selling and marketing information we are privy too or care to study are the standard set of specs. Then we're off to try and figure the "thing" out, by applying our knowledge to the product, kicking the tires so to speak.
As a technical focused professional, we are responsible for ensuring good practices are followed and that the product we put out can be maintained. It's sort of like a craftsmanship issue. You wouldn't want to be known for shoddy work as a carpenter, you'd never get to build and admire sturdy houses. Likewise being known for shoddy software work, will not afford you the opportunity for long-haul development.
The trick is to balance the Sale with the Implementation. Sales gets you in the door, good implementation keeps you there, and eventually provides you an opportunity to do it again and again...