What is a Sales Engineer? How to Become a Sales Engineer

How to Become a Sales Engineer

All sales jobs are not created equal. As there are many products within different industries, so too do sales jobs. The methods used to market these products are also quite different. Modern technology has made it possible to do so. Some of these products can be extremely complex and require advanced knowledge.

A salesperson must be able to describe the product from top to bottom. Its technical aspects–to be at forefront of selling these products. A general sales rep may make some sales but not all. To help close the deal, there is someone who has a better technical understanding of the product. This is the role of a sales engineer.

What does a sales engineer do?

The job of a sales engineer is to sell their products to clients, negotiate a price, and close sales. A sales engineer does more than sell products. Sales engineers today are more like consultants. They help customers understand complex products and select the product that solves their problems. Sometimes, a sales manager will do market research and R&D to create better products that meet customers’ needs.

What is a sales engineer?

Sales engineers are a type of business-to-business sales rep that specializes in selling technical products and services. These engineers must be knowledgeable about the technical aspects of the products they sell.

They need to understand how a product works, and the technology that makes it tick. This technical knowledge is what allows them to accurately describe the benefits of their products and close deals.

They are just like any other salesperson. However, they often depend on commissions from sales success and must work as hard as anyone else to achieve both client and sales goals.

Also read: What Is a Product Engineer? Skills, Requirements, and Salary

Sales engineer job description

The main responsibility of a sales engineer is to have a deep understanding of the product or service that they are selling. They offer technical support to customers and close the sale. Sales engineers are usually full-time, although some may work irregular hours in order to meet client requirements and reach targets.

Sales engineers have many daily responsibilities, including:

  • Prepare, develop, and present technical presentations to clients about a product
  • Assisting customers and sales teams at all stages of the buying cycle.
  • Creating new leads who may buy the product, and following up with them after initial contact until they close their sale
  • Set and achieve the company’s sales targets
  • Analyzing and collecting feedback from clients to determine marketing trends and to help identify new strategies to increase sales.

Sales engineer responsibilities


As a general sales representative. Sales engineers’ primary responsibility is to drive sales. They must find potential customers, market the company’s products, and close sales.

Market research is another important role for sales engineers. Assist product designers in incorporating user feedback. This generates data used to create products that sell better.

Sales engineer salary

Sales engineers’ annual salaries depend on the product they sell and which company they work for. ZipRecruiter states that the average sales engineer earns $6,732 monthly in the U.S. or $80,786 annually.

Employers offer a combination of a monthly salary, a commission for sales, and other bonuses. However, some companies operate entirely on a commission basis. The volume of sales per salesperson or the overall performance of the company or team may determine the commission.

Because the demand for the product or service and the sales vary from season to season, the economy has a significant impact on the commissions and bonuses that they receive. Sales engineers are compensated for travel expenses such as accommodation, meals, and transport.

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the number of sales engineers will grow by 8% between 2020 and 2030, according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics.

What it’s like to work as a sales engineer

A sales engineer’s job often starts with taking the time to get to know your product and keep up with all updates and bug fixes. This is essential because the sales engineer must demonstrate how a product works, and how it can solve a customer’s problem. They must also follow up with prospects and communicate with them until the deal is closed.

Engineers will be required to market the product or service in addition to making sales. Trade shows, conferences, and similar events can provide opportunities to network and promote your product or service. This could ultimately lead to more sales.

Additionally, sales engineers must perform data analysis and create reports for senior managers to review. Sales support may require them to assist other sales teams.

Sales engineers can find their job stressful as their income is dependent on sales success. You must also be willing to give up your job as a product producer to become a sales manager. Sales engineers are the first engineers before moving into sales. Sometimes the experience of looking back at product development can feel overwhelming.

How to become a sales engineer

A majority of sales engineers hold a degree in engineering or computer science. Sales representatives may be called sales engineers if they do not have a degree. As long as the salesperson, They have sufficient technical and sales knowledge about the product or service.

Other people may have degrees in science-related areas but no sales experience. They can still be sales engineers. As you can see, there are many skills and certifications that are required to be a sales engineer.

1. Education

A college degree requires at least four years of education, mainly in high-tech fields. Sales engineers are most likely to hold computer science or electrical engineering.

Sales engineers typically complete a sales education program after graduation. This bridges the gap between engineering and sales. Once they are proficient in the sales process, they can become full-fledged engineers.

A seasoned sales mentor may supervise the sales training period. This person is familiar with the company’s customers and business practices. Sales engineers often work with general sales reps, who have the technical skills but need to supplement their sales abilities.

However, education for sales engineers does not end at a degree. It is vital that a sales engineer has the knowledge and skills to stay current with technology as it changes every year. As technology changes rapidly, sales engineers need to be trained frequently to keep up with the latest developments.

2. Skills

A sales engineer must have strong interpersonal skills just like any other salesperson. Sales engineers need to have strong interpersonal skills in order to be able to communicate with clients and work with other members of the sales and product teams.

They must have great communication and persuasion skills in order to confidently present the product or services to clients and convince them to buy it. Self-confidence is important, just like in general sales.

A sales engineer must also have a deep understanding of the products that they sell in the market. This technical knowledge will allow them to suggest a solution for specific customer problems, such as the product they sell.

A sales engineer’s resume should also include skills in project management, computer skills, customer services, and technical presentation.

3. Qualifications

You can start your career as a sales engineer A bachelor’s degree is required in engineering or computer science. Although employers don’t require extensive sales experience, it is preferred.

Sales training is required for new graduates who want to enter the market. This will give them some experience and allow them to work independently. Many times, sales training is done in-house with lessons about the product or service offered by the company.

Many sales engineers don’t start their careers with a high-tech degree. These are usually experienced sales agents with sufficient technical knowledge about the product and can reinvent themselves as engineers.

There is no sales engineer certification in the United States. But, because the sales portion of the job is the same across industries, sales engineers often have general sales certifications.

The National Association of Sales Professionals offers a number of sales certifications, including Certified Professional Sales Person (CPSP). The Certified Professional Salesperson (SCPS), which is offered by Sales and Marketing Executives International, Inc., is another.

These can be earned by registering with the appropriate organizations and completing the relevant programs.

4. Languages & technologies to learn

Sales engineers have many skills and technologies that they need to master in their careers. The industry in which the sales engineer works will determine which technologies they need to be proficient in.

Sales engineers working in the computer industry must be able to use the cloud, use automation, understand design and know how to use databases. Healthcare sales engineers will focus on different technologies than manufacturing, networking, and chemical sales engineers.

However, all sales engineers need to be proficient in computer programming. This knowledge is essential to be able to use software such as CRMs and project management tools. This knowledge can also be used to create technical presentations.

International sales engineers may need to be fluent in foreign languages in order to sell in other countries. Mandarin, French, and Spanish are some of the languages multi-lingual or bi-lingual sales professionals can speak.

Also read: What Is A Program Manager? Role & Responsibilities

How To become a sales engineer

Take a course

The first step is often to get an education to become a sales engineer. You will need technical knowledge so you may choose to take a course in a science-related field or an engineering field depending on which industry you are interested in.

Sales engineers almost always have some background in computer science, computer hardware, mechanical, civil, or electrical engineering.

Choose a specialty

Once you have completed your degree, you will need to choose a specialization in the field you wish to work in. You might consider the following industries:

  • Architectural design
  • Automated machinery (e.g. for automobile manufacturing, etc.).
  • Hardware for computers
  • Computer systems design
  • Manufacturing
  • Telecommunications

You might also need to complete post-graduate courses or programs to match your market skills and learn the necessary know-how.

Start at the bottom

Sales training is a must for many sales engineers, especially those who are just graduating. This helps them to acquire the skills they need to complement their technical knowledge.

These sales skills are essential to becoming a successful sales engineer. You will often work under an experienced sales engineer or general sales professional to learn how to sell. They can also provide guidance on the products and services of the company, Sales standard operating procedures, and company culture.

In order to gain as much knowledge as possible, you might need to work with a general or specialist salesperson.

Get relevant experience

To prove your worth, you’ll need to put in a lot of effort. You might be involved in the following projects:

  • Marketing automation solutions can be used to nurture more leads, and integrate your marketing data into one place.
  • To identify the market demand drivers, it is important to research customer pain points and find ways to stand out.
  • To build credibility proof that may help potential clients buy your product, you can use testimonials, reviews, and case studies of customers.

You will be more valuable to your company if you can drive more sales. As a sales engineer, you’ll also learn more.

Network like crazy

Your network will prove to be a valuable asset as you progress in your career as a sales engineer. Networking is a key skill that will allow you to find new clients. You will be more influential and more likely to get more business referrals the more connected you are.

Networking can also be a great strategy to help you find the best opportunities for your career growth and to open doors for you. You can also build strong relationships and support structures around your job as a sales engineer. You will also learn about the latest technologies and gain insight into other fields. Additionally, you’ll get professional advice.

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