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Constructing a Career in Sales: A Look into Solution Engineering

Kaycee Oyama

March 15, 2023

Kristina Kakevska, is a Solution Engineer (SE) based in Oslo, Norway. After finishing her Masters in Business Strategy in 2018, she found her home at Salesforce, flexing her creativity by creating customized solutions for customers of every shape and size.


Kristina Kakevska started her journey by pursuing a bachelor's degree in finance and was sure she’d become an auditor — she had a passion for math from an early age. However, during her master’s program, she discovered solution engineering, and it led her to build a career she loves at Salesforce.


“Everyone I talked with was excited about solution engineering, the possibility to make a difference in transforming clients’ customer experience, and the tremendous growth opportunities. They were so friendly I immediately felt at home — even during interviews when you're supposed to be nervous.” Today, she says choosing to work at Salesforce was an easy decision.


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All about solution engineering

Kristina describes solution engineering as partnering with companies to help them reshape their customer experiences and, as a result, grow and scale with Salesforce. Solution engineers (SEs) are responsible for creating unique and custom solutions for customers by streamlining business processes, developing cost-saving opportunities, and driving customer engagement and satisfaction.


“The most exciting part of being an SE is the possibility to engage with different stakeholders in the organization to understand companies’ strategic objectives and challenges. And then being able to wow the customers by developing an innovative vision and showing how they can achieve their goals using the Salesforce platform.” She loves solution engineering because it makes people’s lives easier, not just for the business, but for their customers too. “It’s invigorating to see how your work makes people’s everyday life easier and puts a smile on their faces.” You can learn more about Salesforce with Trailhead, our free learning platform.


Achieving customer success

When asked about her values, Kristina says that customer success is a core value at Salesforce, as well as one she lives by every day. “I am a trusted advisor to my customers, helping them identify the right path with our platform for the most successful result. It’s extremely important for me to know that I am not selling a random solution, but one that will make a positive impact and help customers achieve their goals.”


Though solution engineering is a great role for her because it expands her creativity, it does come with a few challenges, her biggest being time management. With all the opportunities for volunteering, learning, and leading she has to be sure she’s not taking on too much and is prioritizing what’s needed most.


One of those opportunities at Salesforce is being a part of Equality Groups. Kristina is a part of the Salesforce Women’s Network, which aims to amplify the progress of women at every step of their journey. She says that Salesforce provides great access to resources and takes time to nurture Equality Groups. She’s also part of the mentoring community. “I found a mentor who helps me look at career goals from a different perspective, giving me objective advice based on their experience.”


Working her values

Outside of work, Kristina says one thing she values most is time spent with her family. “One of my top values is family, which always comes ahead of everything else. Salesforce allows me to have a great work-life balance. I can focus on my family when it’s needed and don’t miss the important moments in life.” She’s able to work hard while also being present for her family.


She’s also been able to give back by utilizing her benefits. “Originally I am from Ukraine and when the war started last year, using the Salesforce donation matching program for employees, I was able to double all the donations I made to Ukrainian NGOs that are helping millions of Ukrainians deal with the horrible consequences of the Russian invasion.” She describes it as an incredible opportunity to scale the impact of her donations, especially in such a situation when every cent counts.


Looking back Kristina has no regrets about the years she’s spent here at Salesforce and is looking forward to the future. “One of the reasons I chose Salesforce is because the leadership strives to create a diverse and inclusive environment where everybody feels empowered to grow.”


She encourages anyone who’s looking into solution engineering to do their research on where they want to work, and most of all, follow their passion. “My advice is to follow your passion no matter what and connect with women networks in tech. The stories of other women about their career experiences can provide invaluable insights into which companies truly promote diversity in the workspace.”


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