What does a sales engineer do?
Sales engineers specialize in products and services that scientifically and technologically advanced. They explain the benefits of the products and services to potential customers and demonstrate how their products are better than any competitors’. They capture the interest of potential products, negotiate a price, and perform other tasks to secure the sale. They also offer advice to customers of the best use of products and services. They serve as a liaison between the company and customer by helping customers solve any problems or concerns with the product or service. Sales engineers are often involved in the development and improvement of products to best meet their customers’ particular needs.
What kind of training does a sales engineer need?
Sales engineers must have at least a bachelor degree in engineering. Extensive experience in sales and engineering may be sufficient and substitute for a bachelor degree for some positions. Many employers prefer applicants with some form of engineering experience. Prospective sales engineers typically complete courses in mathematics, biology, chemistry, physics, English, engineering, and communications. Many employers provide on the job training where new sales engineers work with experienced sales mentors to learn the policies and procedures of the company. Sales engineers must complete continuing education and additional training throughout their careers to keep their skills up to date and stay abreast on the advancements in the field.
What are the prospects for a career as a sales engineer?
Employment of sales engineers is expected to grow about as fast as average for all professions, increasing 9% from 2008 to 2018 (1). Technological advances in production of products and services will drive job growth.
Job prospects are expected to be good with some competition. Sales engineers with excellent sales ability will have the best job opportunities. Some job openings will stem from the need to replace sales engineers that retire, transfer, or leave the field for other reasons.
How much do sales engineers make?
As of December 2009, the middle 50% of sales engineers earn annual salaries between $45,076 and $61,457. The top 10% earn annual salaries of more than $70,258 (2).
A career as a sales engineer is a great choice for people with a strong interest in sales and engineering. Sales engineers must have a solid understanding of sales procedures and techniques and the ability to sell products and services effectively. Technical aptitude, patience, perseverance, and determination are essential characteristics. Sales engineers must also be strong in science and mathematics because they work with products and services that are technical and complex. They must have excellent communication, interpersonal, and teamwork skills and the ability to interact with a variety of customers.