So, what exactly is a Sales Engineer or Technical Sales Engineer? These technical sales professionals use their knowledge of engineering and technology to sell complex products or solutions to businesses and organizations. They work closely with sales teams to understand the technical needs of potential customers and demonstrate how the company’s products or solutions can meet those needs.
The role and responsibilities of a Sales Engineer or Technical Sales Engineer are varied. They may provide technical support and guidance to sales teams, assess customer needs and requirements, demonstrate and present products or solutions to potential customers, answer technical questions and provide technical explanations, collaborate with product development teams to provide customer feedback and insights, create technical proposals and presentations, and attend trade shows and conferences to represent the company and its products.
To become a Sales Engineer or Technical Sales Engineer, you will typically need a bachelor’s degree in engineering, computer science, or a related field. Many employers also prefer candidates who have a master’s degree in business administration (MBA) or a related field. In addition to formal education, Sales Engineers and Technical Sales Engineers should have strong technical skills and knowledge in their area of expertise.
There are also several professional certifications that Sales Engineers and Technical Sales Engineers can obtain, such as the Certified Professional Manufacturers’ Representative (CPMR) or the Certified Sales Engineer (CSE). These certifications can help demonstrate expertise and commitment to the field and may lead to increased job opportunities and higher salaries.
In addition to technical expertise, Sales Engineers and Technical Sales Engineers should have excellent communication and interpersonal skills. They should be able to clearly and effectively communicate technical information to both technical and non-technical audiences. They should also have strong problem-solving skills and the ability to think critically. Sales Engineers and Technical Sales Engineers should also have strong sales skills, including the ability to identify and pursue new business opportunities, negotiate contracts, and close deals.
Sales Engineers and Technical Sales Engineers often start their careers in entry-level positions, such as technical sales representatives or sales engineers. With experience and proven success, they may advance to more senior roles, such as senior sales engineers or sales managers. Some Sales Engineers and Technical Sales Engineers may also choose to specialize in a specific industry or product area, such as healthcare, software, or manufacturing.
There are several professional associations and organizations that can support the career development of Sales Engineers and Technical Sales Engineers. These include the Association of Technology Sales Leads (ATSL) and the Association of Professional Sales Engineers (APSE). These organizations offer networking opportunities, professional development resources, and industry insights that can help Sales Engineers and Technical Sales Engineers advance their careers.
The job outlook for Sales Engineers and Technical Sales Engineers is positive. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of sales engineers is expected to grow 5% from 2019 to 2029, which is about as fast as the average for all occupations. This growth is driven by the increasing demand for technical products and solutions in a variety of industries, including healthcare, manufacturing, and information technology.
According to the BLS, the median annual wage for sales engineers was $92,040 in May 2020. The lowest 10% earned less than $53,390, and the highest 10% earned more than $142,250.
There are several resources available for those interested in learning more about becoming a Sales Engineer or Technical Sales Engineer, including professional associations and organizations, such as the Association of Technology Sales Leads (ATSL) and the Association of Professional Sales Engineers (APSE), as well as online courses and training programs. Additionally, many universities and colleges offer engineering and business degree programs that can provide the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in this career track.