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Sales Engineers Career

Career Description

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.

This page includes information from O*NET OnLine by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license.