Career Development

What Does a Sales Engineer Do?

Find out what a sales engineer does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a sales engineer.

Sales engineers are specialized sales professionals who work with complex or technical products. They commonly sell industrial equipment, software, technology services, and other high-value goods and services to businesses.

Sales engineers may be tasked with researching and identifying potential clients, developing proposals for how their company can help these clients, and then meeting with them to present their proposal in person.

Sales Engineer Job Duties

A sales engineer typically has a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Recommending that clients purchase additional products or services that will improve their current solutions
  • Compiling reports on business performance metrics such as revenue, conversion rates, and average order size
  • Writing proposals outlining the benefits of specific solutions to potential clients
  • Participating in meetings with clients to discuss technical details of products or services
  • Supporting sales staff by providing technical expertise about products and solutions to clients
  • Working with engineering teams to develop new technologies or update existing products
  • Providing technical support to clients who are integrating new systems into their operations
  • Establishing relationships with clients to determine their needs and goals
  • Presenting proposals to clients that describe solutions to business challenges

Sales Engineer Salary & Outlook

Sales engineer salaries vary depending on their level of education, years of experience, and the size and industry of the company. They may also earn additional compensation in the form of commissions and bonuses.

  • Median Annual Salary: $95,000 ($45.67/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $165,000 ($79.33/hour)

The employment of sales engineers is expected to grow at an average rate over the next decade.

Demand for engineering services will be driven by demand for new products and processes, such as nanotechnology and alternative energy sources. As companies continue to innovate and introduce new products and processes, they will need to hire more sales engineers to help sell their products and services.

Sales Engineer Job Requirements

A sales engineer typically needs to have the following qualifications:

Education: A sales engineer should have a bachelor’s degree in a field such as engineering, computer science or business. Some companies may hire candidates with a two-year associate’s degree, but a four-year degree will provide a better foundation for this role.

Training & Experience: Sales engineers typically receive on-the-job training after they are hired. This training may include learning the company’s products and services, the company’s sales process and the company’s computer systems. Sales engineers may also receive training in the use of specialized software.

Certifications & Licenses: Although there are currently no available certifications specifically for sales engineers, many sales engineers may benefit from general sales certifications since sales, as a practice, is standard across many industries.

Sales Engineer Skills

Sales engineers need the following skills in order to be successful:

Technical skills: Technical skills are the abilities you have that allow you to understand and use technology. This can include knowing how to use software, how to navigate a website or how to use a computer to create a presentation. Your technical skills can help you sell products that require technology, like computers, software or other devices.

Communication: Communication is the act of conveying information to others. As a sales engineer, you may be communicating with customers over the phone, in person or through email. Effective communication is an important skill for sales engineers because it allows them to convey information to customers in a way that is easy to understand.

Problem-solving: Problem-solving skills allow you to identify and resolve issues that may arise during the sales process. You can use problem-solving skills to help you identify the needs of your customers and find solutions that meet their needs. This can help you close more sales and improve your overall sales performance.

Marketing: Marketing skills can help you understand the products you’re selling and how to promote them. You can use marketing skills to create sales pitches, design advertisements and create marketing campaigns.

Relationship building: Relationship building is the ability to form connections with others. As a sales representative, you may need to build relationships with potential clients to encourage them to buy your company’s products. Relationship building can help you develop trust with customers and encourage them to make a purchase.

Sales Engineer Work Environment

Sales engineers work in a variety of settings, including office environments, manufacturing plants, and customer sites. They may travel extensively to meet with potential and current customers. They typically work a standard 40-hour week, but overtime may be required to meet deadlines or travel to customer sites. Sales engineers may be under a great deal of pressure to meet sales quotas. They must be able to handle rejection and continue to make sales calls even in the face of repeated rejections. They must also be able to work independently and be self-motivated to meet their goals.

Sales Engineer Trends

Here are three trends influencing how sales engineers work. Sales engineers will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Need for More Technical Salespeople

As technology becomes more complex, businesses are looking for sales professionals who have a strong technical background. This is because they need people who can understand the products and services that they are selling and help customers to implement them successfully.

Sales engineers are in high demand because they have the skills needed to sell complex products and services. They also have a deep understanding of how technology works, which makes them ideal candidates for helping customers to adopt new technologies.

The Importance of Data-Driven Decision Making

Data-driven decision making has become an essential part of business operations in recent years. This is due to the fact that data provides a clearer picture of what is happening within a company, which allows managers to make better decisions about where to focus their resources.

Sales engineers can utilize this trend by becoming experts in data analysis. By doing so, they will be able to provide valuable insights into the performance of products and services, which can help to drive business decisions.

More Focus on Customer Experience

Customer experience is becoming increasingly important for businesses as they strive to differentiate themselves from competitors. This means that sales engineers need to be able to create customer-centric solutions that meet their needs.

In order to do this, sales engineers need to be able to understand what customers want and how to communicate with them effectively. They also need to be able to track customer feedback and use it to improve future products.

How to Become a Sales Engineer

A career as an sales engineer can be a great way to start your engineering career. It’s a field that offers many opportunities for growth and advancement, and it can provide you with the chance to work on a variety of projects in different industries.

As a sales engineer, you’ll need to have a strong understanding of both engineering and business. You’ll also need to be able to communicate effectively with customers and colleagues. And finally, you’ll need to be able to think creatively about how to solve problems and come up with new solutions.

Related: How to Write a Sales Engineer Resume

Advancement Prospects

Sales engineers may advance to sales management positions, such as sales manager, marketing manager, product manager, or national accounts manager. Some sales engineers become technical specialists or consultants. Those with experience and good communication skills may advance to executive-level positions, such as vice president of sales or chief executive officer (CEO). Some sales engineers start their own companies.

Sales Engineer Job Description Example

As a sales engineer at [CompanyX], you will be responsible for providing technical support to the sales team and customers. You will work closely with the sales team to understand customer requirements and provide solutions that meet their needs. In addition, you will be responsible for creating and delivering presentations, demonstrations, and product training. The ideal candidate will have a strong technical background and experience in the sales process. He or she will be able to quickly understand complex technical problems and develop creative solutions.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Engage with customers and prospects to understand their technical requirements and business objectives
  • Develop a deep understanding of the company’s products and solutions, and how they can be applied to customer needs
  • Serve as the primary technical point of contact for assigned accounts, providing expert guidance on product capabilities, integration, and configuration
  • Create and deliver compelling presentations and demonstrations that articulate the value proposition of the company’s products and services
  • Write and maintain detailed customer-facing technical documentation, including How-To guides, installation and configuration instructions, best practices, and troubleshooting guides
  • Work closely with the sales team to develop and execute account strategies, establish relationships with key decision-makers, and close new business deals
  • collaborate with product management and engineering teams to provide feedback on customer needs and technical roadblocks
  • Stay up-to-date on industry trends and competitive landscape to position the company’s products against competitors
  • Attend trade shows, conferences, and other events on behalf of the company
  • Provide input on Sales Engineering processes and tools, and contribute to continual improvement initiatives
  • Train and mentor junior Sales Engineers
  • Perform other duties as assigned

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in engineering, computer science, or related field
  • 5+ years experience in sales engineering, technical sales, or similar role
  • Proven success in achieving quotas
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Strong presentation skills
  • Ability to understand complex technical problems and explain them clearly to non-technical staff and customers
  • Working knowledge of CRM software, Salesforce preferred

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in engineering, computer science, or related field
  • 7+ years experience in sales engineering, technical sales, or similar role
  • Experience working in the software-as-a-service (SaaS) industry
  • Familiarity with Agile methodology
  • Proficiency in a foreign language

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