Sales Engineer Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

Last updated: June 22, 2022

A Sales Engineer, or Customer Engineer, is a sales professional who specializes in understanding all of the technical aspects of a technical product and explaining them to potential consumers. Their duties include consulting on product development, explaining product features to customers during live demonstrations and negotiating contract terms.

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Sales Engineer duties and responsibilities

Their work is not only to prepare presentations for clients but also to assess the equipment to see if the products meet customer demands. Here are some of the top responsibilities of Sales Engineers in a company: 

  • Prepare and give technical presentations to explain to customers how the products and services work.
  • Work with the customers and Engineers to ensure the equipment meets the system requirements.
  • Communicate with the sales team to understand consumer demands and offer sales support where necessary.
  • Secure orders, guarantee product standards and assure product delivery.
  • Establish customer rapport and acceptance.
  • Plan for modifications to products to meet consumer demands.
  • Help clients to solve problems with product usage.
  • Recommend new and improved products to the customers and explain how the equipment will be more cost-effective.
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What does a Sales Engineer do?

Sales Engineers are a key part of the sales team for a technically complex product or service. They often work in business-to-business sales, outfitting other companies with equipment and technology to improve their operations, optimize customer satisfaction and increase profits. Sales Engineers meet with sales leads and customers to discuss how their products can fulfill the consumer’s technical needs. 

Sales Engineers may lead a sales team of Salespeople who rely on the Sales Engineers to understand customer specifications and recommend the correct products. Sales Engineers develop materials to explain different aspects of a product and describe the benefits of making a purchase, for both the consumer and the sales team.

Sales Engineer skills and qualifications

In order to perform well in their fields, Sales Engineers need to be directly involved in the product’s technological or scientific development process. Here are some of the top skills and qualifications a Sales Engineer uses: 

  • Reliable technical background
  • Good marketing skills and business sense
  • Ability to work with others as a team
  • Ability to build client relationships easily
  • Analytical ability and great problem-solving skills
  • Presentation skills and ability to convey product value
  • High-level organizational skills for maintaining sales territory
  • Self-confidence to support persuasion and sales efforts

Sales Engineer salary expectations

The average salary for a Sales Engineer is $114,587 per year. Salary may depend on the level of experience, education and the geographical location. Sales Engineers can also earn an average of $20,000 per year in commissions. The typical tenure for this position is one to three years. 

Sales Engineer education and training requirements

Sales Engineers should have a bachelor’s degree in engineering, but in some cases advanced levels of experience and training within a company can replace the educational requirement. Most Sales Engineers are required to work independently as salespeople. Therefore, the position often requires a mentor who is familiar with the company culture, procedures and customers. Many Sales Engineers complete continuous training to keep their knowledge of technical subjects up-to-date.

Sales Engineer experience requirements

Prospective Sales Engineers should get ample sales experience before applying for a Sales Engineering job. To make sales, Sales Engineers need to understand the market as much as they may understand your products. They must also possess a track record of marketing complex enterprise solutions. 

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Frequently asked questions about Sales Engineers

 

What is the difference between a Sales Engineer and a Salesperson?

Sales Engineers and Salespeople are both sales professionals who work with clients to help them make a purchase. The main difference between the two roles is that Salespeople can sell any kind of service or product while Sales Engineers work with scientific, technological and mechanical products that require advanced knowledge to understand and implement. Salespeople tend to work in a retail environment selling directly to the consumer, though some Salespeople sell B2B products that require less technical knowledge. Both Salespeople and Sales Engineers rely on a combination of product knowledge and customer relationships to close a sale.

Sales Engineers have additional responsibilities like collaborating with the product development team to make adjustments to item specifications and customize products to fulfill a customer’s needs. They assist with coordinating delivery and installation and troubleshoot and issues after a sale.

 

What are the daily duties of a Sales Engineer?

Sales Engineers spend their time doing research, meeting with clients and responding to problems or feedback. When they start working with a new product, Sales Engineers study the specifications and perform extensive research to learn everything they can about the product’s functions. They communicate with Product Engineers and make recommendations about possible improvements. Sales Engineers search for sales leads and schedule meetings to demonstrate their products and answer technical questions. 

Before meeting with clients, Sales Engineers prepare presentations to explain each product in detail and discuss the different benefits of using their technology. The Sales Engineers can help potential customers perform a needs assessment and determine how their products can address problems within the company.

 

What are the characteristics of a good Sales Engineer?

Good Sales Engineers are passionate about technology and learning how things work. This means that they’re usually highly curious and creative individuals who are excellent at problem-solving and using logical reasoning. They’re also great at using interpersonal skills to convince others to see their point of view, building relationships as the basis for making sales. They’re charismatic, persuasive people who are confident in themselves and the products they’re selling. Successful Sales Engineers are also good teachers, able to show other people how to carry out technical tasks and operate their most complex products.

 

What should you look for on a Sales Engineer's resume?

When hiring a Sales Engineer, look for relevant experience with the technology you’re selling. Sales Engineers must have a background a technical field related to the product they’re selling. Even if they don’t have experience with your exact product, the Sales Engineer should use their resume to confirm that they’ll be able to learn about the product and understand its technical aspects. Sales Engineers who sell chemical compounds will need different skills and experience on their resume than those who work in computer science. Sales Engineer resumes should also feature communication and presentation skills.

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