Overview: Candidates who fill sales engineer jobs sell complex scientific and technological products and services to businesses. Generally, sales engineer jobs require extensive product knowledge and an understanding of the scientific processes behind what make these products work. Along with technical product knowledge of the products or services they’re selling, sales engineers are also required to have strong interpersonal skills.
Employees in sales engineer jobs are usually engaged in the following activities:
- Preparing and delivering technical presentations that explain products or services to customers and prospective customers.
- Conferring with customers and engineers to assess equipment needs and to determine system requirements.
- Collaborating with sales teams to understand customer requirements and provide sales support.
- Securing and renewing orders and arranging delivery.
- Planning and modifying products to meet customer needs.
- Helping clients to solve problems with installed equipment.
- Recommending improved materials or machinery to customers, and showing how changes will lower costs or increase production.
- Helping to research and develop new products.*
Sales engineer jobs may also have other titles, including application engineer, field consultant, pre-sales support, and area support engineer.
Educational Requirements: Sales engineer jobs normally require a bachelor’s degree in engineering or a related field. But many others have achieved sales engineer jobs on the basis of previous sales experience, or through technical experience and training, especially those with science degrees, such as chemistry. Students are required to choose an area of specialization in most engineering programs, such as electrical, mechanical, or civil engineering, but some engineering programs allow for additional majors, such as biomedical, chemical, or computer hardware engineering, that may translate more readily into sales engineer jobs.
Employment for sales engineer jobs is projected to grow 7 percent from 2014 to 2024, about as fast as the average for all occupations. But strong growth is expected for sales engineer jobs in computer software and hardware, and computer systems design and related services, which is the top employing industry of sales engineers. In particular, employment of sales engineer jobs in computer systems design and related services is projected to grow 21 percent from 2014 to 2024, and growth is also expected to be strong in independent sales agencies (companies that sell on behalf of manufacturers without taking title to the goods being sold), according to Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Expected Salary: Candidates looking for sales engineer jobs can expect an average annual salary of $97,650 per year. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $55,280, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $165,250. In May 2015, the median annual wages for sales engineers in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:
Telecomm.-$109,880; computer systems design and related-$109,220; wholesale electronic markets and agents and brokers-$94,370; merchant wholesalers, durable goods-$92,710; manufacturing-$88,360, according to Bureau of Labor statistics.
GlassDoor.com places the average annual salary for sales engineer jobs at $87,633 with a slightly higher average of $92,812 in places like New York City.**
Typical Job Description: Here’s a sample job description for sales engineer jobs from the folks over at Pragmatic Marketing. This is designed to assist HR talent professionals who need to create a job application that will attract qualified candidates, as well as job candidates who are seeking to understand the specific job duties and requirements of business development manager jobs.
The Sales Engineer must be able to articulate technology and product positioning to both business and technical users.
Sales Engineers are the primary technical resource for the field sales force. Sales Engineers are responsible for actively driving and managing the technology evaluation stage of the sales process, working in conjunction with the sales team as the key technical advisor and product advocate for our products. The Sales Engineer must be able to articulate technology and product positioning to both business and technical users. Must be able to identify all technical issues of assigned accounts to assure complete customer satisfaction through all stages of the sales process. Must be able to establish and maintain strong relationships throughout the sales cycle.
- Responsible for development and delivery of product demonstrations
- Responsible for representing the product to customers and at field events such as conferences, seminars, etc.
- Able to respond to functional and technical elements of RFIs/RFPs
- Able to convey customer requirements to Product Management teams
- Able to travel throughout sales territory.
The ideal candidate must be self-motivated with a proven track record in software sales and knowledge of technology; comfortable in the dynamic atmosphere of a technical organization with a rapidly expanding customer base. Must possess strong presentation skills and be able to communicate professionally in written responses to emails, RFPs, and when submitting reports; organized and analytical, able to eliminate sales obstacles through creative and adaptive approaches. Must be prepared for extensive travel.
- 3-5+ years relevant experience in vendor sales
- Experience and familiarity of our products and line of business a plus
- A B.S. in Computer Science or a related field is strongly preferred***
* Sokanu. What is a Sales Engineer? (Accessed June 22, 2016).
***Pragmatic Marketing, Inc. Sample Sales Engineer Job Description. (Accessed June 22, 2016).
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