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What Does a Sales Engineer Do?

R. Stamm
R. Stamm

A sales engineer works closely with management, the client, and the sales staff to explain the intricacies of complex technical products. Engineers provide advice on the development of products and suggest improvements in an attempt to close deals. These persons help to develop strategies for finding new business for different technological products and initiate communications between the sales force and businesses concerning those products. A person in this position must understand all aspects of the client’s business and the product in order to find the best solution to the client's problems. This job requires a considerable amount of experience and education in a variety of fields.

Sales engineers must be able to create a product demonstration and present it to new and existing clients or representatives of their own company. They attend trade shows, business conferences, and product seminars and explain all the details concerning the product to prospective clients. Engineers are required to train staff and personnel on all aspects of software programs and technological devices. In addition, this person is expected to discuss any customer concerns with all levels at a given company from the sales staff to upper management. This job requires a considerable amount of travel throughout the assigned sales territory and sometimes beyond.

Woman posing
Woman posing

The qualifications for a sales engineer position are extensive and require candidates to have knowledge of software, technology, and the sales process. For this reason, many companies look for candidates with at least three to five years of experience in vendor sales. Knowledge of writing various business documents, such as Requests for Information and Requests for Proposals, is necessary in the position of sales engineer. On a more personal level, people in this job must have strong communication skills and be problem-solvers who can adapt to different environments.

In order to obtain a position as a sales engineer, candidates need to meet certain educational requirements and should have considerable experience. An educational background in computer sciences is useful to candidates, and many companies look to hire individuals with a Bachelor’s of Science degree. Other degrees that are useful in a job such as this one are engineering, mathematics, or any of the sciences. Persons who want to work as a sales engineer should learn some psychology to assist in understanding and solving customer and staff issues. Many companies want to hire a person with a minimum of three years experience and some require five.

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