How to Hire a Sales Engineer

Does your growing business need a sales engineer? Sales engineers have distinct differences from the average salesperson. Sales engineers sell complex technical, mechanical and medical products.

Here are some tips to help you find great sales engineer candidates and make the right hire for your business.

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Sales engineers searching for jobs on Indeed*

29,651

Job seekers that clicked sales engineer jobs

6,682

Resumes for job seekers with sales engineer experience on Indeed

2,936

Sales engineer jobs that received clicks

What is the cost of hiring sales engineer?

  • Common salary in US: $86,046 yearly
  • Typical salaries range from $17,000$208,000 yearly
  • Find more information on Indeed Salary

*Indeed data (US) – April 2021

As of April 2021, sales engineer jobs in the U.S. are very competitive compared to other job markets, with an average of 10 job seekers per sales engineer job.

Why hire a sales engineer?

Hiring a sales engineer is absolutely critical if your business revolves around a highly technical product or software. These skilled professionals can provide you with the peace of mind that you’re working with experts who know how to seal deals in an intellectual and professional manner. A great sales engineer hire can:

• Meet and exceed sales goals
• Provide quarterly reports
• Provide clients with digestible ways to understand products

Deciding between a full-time vs freelance sales engineer

Small engineering businesses might have a working relationship with a freelance sales engineer to sell their products and systems to clients. This can be cheaper than hiring a full-time salesperson when the company has limited demand. 

Companies can also hire freelance sales engineers to provide temporary coverage for the position when the full-time employee is ill or taking vacation time. Additionally, freelancers can be used to show new full-time hires the basics of the job if there aren’t any established sales engineers with the company. 

Many engineering and technology companies employ full-time sales engineers to bridge the gap between the clients and the engineers. 

What are the types of sales engineers?

There are a few different positions that fill a role similar to that of sales engineers. These jobs include:

  • Subject matter experts: Subject matter experts are sales engineers who have particular knowledge regarding one field. They’re often brought in to communicate with clients about a project that’s heavily based on their specialty. 
  • Generalist: A generalist is the opposite of a subject matter expert. They possess broad knowledge of a variety of fields and offer their support on several projects. 
  • Solution architect: Solution architects are engineers who engage with clients and develop technical solutions to specific business problems.
  • Product evangelist: A product evangelist works with the company’s marketing department and attends public conferences to make pitches to groups of potential clients. 
  • Technical account manager: A technical account manager acts as a liaison between existing clients and the company. They work to solve problems with current projects. 

Where to find sales engineers

To find the right sales engineer for your business, consider trying out a few different recruiting strategies:

  • Hire from within. Conduct interviews with members of your engineering team to determine if any are interested in moving to a more client-focused position. 
  • Hang flyers. Put up help wanted signs about the position to raise community awareness and attract potential candidates. 
  • Look online. Experienced sales engineers may be looking online for work. Connect with these individuals to see if they want the job and set up interviews. 
  • Network. Ask members of the sales and engineering communities to find leads about sales engineers who are searching for jobs. 
  • Post your job online. Try posting your sales engineer job on Indeed to find and attract quality sales engineer candidates.

What are the types of sales engineers?

There are a few different positions that fill a role similar to that of sales engineers. These jobs include:

  • Subject matter experts: Subject matter experts are sales engineers who have particular knowledge regarding one field. They’re often brought in to communicate with clients about a project that’s heavily based on their specialty. 
  • Generalist: A generalist is the opposite of a subject matter expert. They possess broad knowledge of a variety of fields and offer their support on several projects. 
  • Solution architect: Solution architects are engineers who engage with clients and develop technical solutions to specific business problems.
  • Product evangelist: A product evangelist works with the company’s marketing department and attends public conferences to make pitches to groups of potential clients. 
  • Technical account manager: A technical account manager acts as a liaison between existing clients and the company. They work to solve problems with current projects. 

Writing a sales engineer job description

A thoughtful description is important to finding qualified sales engineer candidates. A sales engineer job description should include a compelling summary of the role, a detailed list of duties and responsibilities and the required and preferred skills for the position.

When writing your sales engineer job description, consider including some or all of the following keywords to improve the visibility of your job posting. These are the most popular search terms leading to clicks on sales engineer jobs, according to Indeed data:

  • Sales engineer
  • Sales
  • Technical sales engineer
  • Technical sales
  • Sales-engineer
  • Pre sales engineer
  • Project engineer
  • Industrial sales
  • Sales representative
  • Solutions engineer

Interviewing sales engineer candidates

Strong candidates for sales engineer positions will be confident answering questions regarding:

• How they explain technical products in layman’s terms
• Maintaining client relationships
• CRM software

Need help coming up with interview questions? See our list of sales engineer interview questions for examples (with sample answers).

FAQs about how to hire a sales engineer

When should I hire a sales engineer?

If your product or systems are complex, your company should consider hiring a sales engineer. 

Do sales engineers work off of commission?

Although the job can be paid through commission, sales engineers typically have a higher base salary than other sales jobs due to the knowledge required. 

How do I choose between two quality sales engineer candidates?

You could hire the candidate who has more experience working with the type of product your company sells. You could also use the applicants’ sales records as a deciding factor. 

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