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Career as Sales Engineer

Career as a Sales Engineer

About Sales Engineer

A career as a sales engineer entails selling complex technological and scientific products and services to businesses. Sales engineers have an expertise in scientifically advanced products and make use of their technical skills to reach out to the potential customers.

Sales engineers are also involved in market research and are expected to have in-depth knowledge of the various products’ parts and functions. Their job is to hold the client’s interest and make the client interested in buying their products and services. To achieve the same, they often give technical presentations to clients to explain the functioning of a particular product and how it will solve the client’s problem. Sales engineers can also collaborate with the sales team which can take care of the selling and marketing bit and leaves the sales engineer to handle the technical bit. Sales engineers have to often work under pretty stressful conditions as they are given sales targets to complete.

They are responsible for the following:

  • Team up with the salespeople to identify customer requirements and offer sales support
  • Prepare and give technical presentations to the clients
  • Resolve clients’ issues and concerns pertaining to the installed equipment
  • Help in the research of new products
  • Make suggestions to customers and demonstrate how bringing in certain changes will help reduce costs or increase production
  • Take inputs from customers regarding technical requirements to modify products to meet customers’ needs

Sales engineers are expected to have the following skills

Problem-solving abilities-Sales engineers must be willing to listen to the client’s grievances and concerns and offer solutions. They have to be attentive to the clients’ needs.

Interpersonal skills-Sales engineers are supposed to have good interpersonal skills in order to build relations with customers and also for communicating with other team members

Technological skills-Sales engineers must have in-depth knowledge of technology and must be aware of the new trends/developments to explain the products and services to clients

Self-Confidence-Sales engineers must also be confident, persuasive and sure about what they are offering while dealing with clients or while giving sales presentations 

Eligibility to become Sales Engineer

To become a sales engineer, a bachelor’s degree is required in engineering or a related field. But someone with past sales experience or technical experience can also become a sales engineer. People with a degree in science such as chemistry, physics or even with a business degree can also get into this field.

Engineering students can choose their specialization such as mechanical, civil or electrical. However, graduates with engineering degrees will need some amount of sales experience and training which will help them understand general sales techniques.

It is also significant for sales engineers to stay updated with the sales technology as it is a field which will require them to stay abreast with the new changes or development. 

Types of Job Roles Sales Engineer

Sales engineers can choose to opt for any of the following roles

Full Sales Role- This is an ideal choice for those whose passion lies in hardcore selling and they want to focus just on that.

Senior Sales Engineer- Sales engineer will get a chance to climb up the ladder and move to a higher rank which will involve taking up greater responsibilities.

Sales Management-Sales engineers can also make a transition to the management level and that will require a focus on the communication, leadership, communication and customer engagement. This role will be a combination of technical background as well business acumen.

Entrepreneurship-Sales engineers can also think of joining the business bandwagon. A start up career may seem promising as a sales engineer can use his experience to create solutions and work on building client portfolios.

Employment Opportunities for Sales Engineers

Sales engineers can find employment in the following industries

  • Manufacturing
  • Wholesale electronic markets
  • Agents and brokers
  • Telecommunications
  • Computer system design and related services
  • Merchant wholesalers and durable goods
  •  Research and Development departments

Top Recruiting Companies for Sales Engineers

Some of the top recruiting companies that employ sales engineers are:

  • Adobe Systems
  • IBM
  • Microsoft
  • CISCO
  • Salesforce.com 

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Pay Scale/Salary of Sales Engineer

The average starting salary of a sales engineer is approximately Rs. 293, 094. A sales engineer after completing a few years in the industry can expect approximately Rs. 481,020. This number is likely to go up after one continues to gain more experience in this field.

Note: The above figures are an estimate and vary from individual to individual and from company to company

Books & Study Material to Become Sales Engineer

Some of the books that sales engineer can refer to are mentioned below 

  • Mastering Technical Sales: The Sales Engineer’s Handbook, Third Edition by John Care and Aron Bohlig
  • Demonstrating to WIN! : The Indispensable Guide for Demonstrating Complex Products by Robert Riefstahl   
  • Making the Technical Sale: Real World Training for the Successful Sales Consultant (Miscellaneous) by Rick Greenwald and Jim Milbery
  • The Art of Sales: Sun Tzu’s The Art of War for the Sales Warrior by Sun Tzu and Gary Gagliardi

Pros of becoming a Sales Engineer

  • It is exciting as one gets to meet new people very frequently and gain a lot of exposure in the process. A career in sales can be challenging in a positive way as it will enable people to move out of their comfort zone and develop good communication and people skills.

  • Sales engineering is very lucrative and sales engineers make a lot of money. This field has the potential to earn loads of money as compared to other career options.

  • Sales engineers are also very knowledgeable as they are exposed to the marker needs and they are expected to stay up to date with the latest technology or development.

  • Sales engineers can also make a shift to the product side and can choose to work as product managers. They can also find employment in some of the big consulting firms.

  • It is a flexible job as one is not expected to be stuck in a cubicle the entire day.

Cons of becoming a Sales Engineer

  • Work hours can be erratic. It is not a typical 9-5 job as there may be days where one may be required to work for about 10-12 hours.

  • The job involves a lot of travel which may be hectic for some people.

  • It can be very challenging as there are targets to achieve and there are deadlines. Some people may not be able to cope with the stress and pressure.

  • This job will require a person to be sociable and talk all day as it involves interacting with clients and having meetings which can get monotonous and tiring for some.

Paths for Being Sales Engineer

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