Example Career: Sales Engineers
Sell business goods or services, the selling of which requires a technical background equivalent to a baccalaureate degree in engineering.
What Job Titles Sales Engineers Might Have
- Account Executive
- Account Manager
- Customer Engagement Manager
- Technical Sales Engineer
What Sales Engineers Do
- Collaborate with sales teams to understand customer requirements, to promote the sale of company products, and to provide sales support.
- Sell products requiring extensive technical expertise and support for installation and use, such as material handling equipment, numerical-control machinery, and computer systems.
- Plan and modify product configurations to meet customer needs.
- Confer with customers and engineers to assess equipment needs and to determine system requirements.
- Prepare and deliver technical presentations that explain products or services to customers and prospective customers.
- Arrange for demonstrations or trial installations of equipment.
- Create sales or service contracts for products or services.
- Develop, present, or respond to proposals for specific customer requirements, including request for proposal responses and industry-specific solutions.
- Visit prospective buyers at commercial, industrial, or other establishments to show samples or catalogs, and to inform them about product pricing, availability, and advantages.
- Research and identify potential customers for products or services.
- Provide technical and non-technical support and services to clients or other staff members regarding the use, operation, and maintenance of equipment.
- Recommend improved materials or machinery to customers, documenting how such changes will lower costs or increase production.
- Develop sales plans to introduce products in new markets.
- Diagnose problems with installed equipment.
- Provide information needed for the development of custom-made machinery.
- Document account activities, generate reports, and keep records of business transactions with customers and suppliers.
- Keep informed on industry news and trends, products, services, competitors, relevant information about legacy, existing, and emerging technologies, and the latest product-line developments.
- Maintain sales forecasting reports.
- Identify resale opportunities and support them to achieve sales plans.
- Secure and renew orders and arrange delivery.
- Write technical documentation for products.
What Sales Engineers Should Be Good At
- Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Fluency of Ideas - The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
- Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
- Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
What Sales Engineers Should Be Interested In
- Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
What Sales Engineers Need to Learn
- Sales and Marketing - Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
- Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
- Engineering and Technology - Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
- English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.