Recommended for You

Sales Engineering 101

Do you want to know how to become a sales engineer? We are glad you are interested, but understanding the ins and outs of sales engineering before you decide to start your career as one is important. The first thing to know is what a sales engineer is and why companies prioritize hiring them. Sales engineers, also known as technical sales support workers, are vitally important for the long-term success of many B2B companies that offer technologically and scientifically advanced products and services. For example, B2B SaaS companies must sell high-tech, cutting-edge solutions to other businesses to help them solve complex problems such as payroll, HR management, and tax filing.

More organizations are prioritizing sales engineer jobs, while others do not see the need. If companies do not have technical sales professionals, this can potentially put more pressure on field sales representatives to convey the detailed benefits of your product or service. Hiring sales engineers helps with product or service sales because they provide advanced knowledge to potential customers during the sales process. They often act as an extension of the sales team that shares the pressure of closing a deal in the sales cycle. This will help the sales team focus on their primary job: closing deals.

Sales Engineer Education & Certifications

The employment of sales engineer job projection is estimated to grow no faster than the average for all occupations (about 6% between now and 2031). For the next decade, it’s estimated that 6,900 positions for sales engineers will open up in the workforce each year. Many of those openings are expected to replace workers transferring to different occupations or exiting the labor force to retire.

You might be wondering where to start your career as a sales engineer. Employers often require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree. Still, you can become one without one if you have the relevant years of work experience needed to be successful in technical roles. Many experienced professionals start in inside/outside field sales roles and later transition to a career as a sales engineer. But if you are looking to attend college, we wanted to share the most relevant college majors for those pursuing a career as a sales engineer:

  • Civil engineering
  • Electrical engineering
  • Computer science
  • Mechanical engineering
  • Business

Once graduates finish school and start to enter the workforce, they will need to undergo a period of sales education to bridge the gap between technical education, knowledge, and skills. As more companies prioritize sales engineering training for recent graduates and other sales professionals, they will reap the rewards. Professionals can take many sales engineer courses to get certifications to showcase their knowledge and skills. We listed a few below for you to consider taking a look at:

Our recruiters often interact with sales engineers and companies looking to add them to their organization. NCW Recruiter, Lee Hoppes said, “Sales engineers are the face of your company. They are the first person a customer sees, the person they depend on to offer solutions, and whom they expect to resolve issues should any arise. They must be sharp enough to dive into technical discussions with engineers, professional enough to present and stay calm in high-pressure boardroom situations, charismatic enough to build rapport instantly, and not be afraid to ask for the business and, most importantly, CLOSE! Hiring quality sales engineers is imperative for technical organizations interested in growth and moving forward.” Many things make a great sales engineer, but focusing on these traits is the best way to be successful.

Types of Sales Engineers

The beauty of sales engineering is the variability of jobs. Here are just some of the roles that are common within sales engineering:

  • Subject Matter Expert (SME) – An SME has extensive experience in a narrow field. This sales engineer will be brought in for deals requiring technical knowledge or a specialist’s touch to enhance the sales cycle.
  • Generalist – A generalist is the opposite of an SME. Their job is to be able to go to any meeting and add value across a variety of product offerings. In some cases, they can suggest a solution directly; in other cases, they will bring in an SME with technical knowledge of a product or service offering.
  • Solution Architect – A solution architect is a sales engineer who is more customer-facing in understanding a particular industry or enterprise’s business problems and can suggest solutions. Solution architects know how to combine different products and services to solve business problems with respect to the customer’s environment. They tend to be much more customer-focused.
  • Systems Engineers (SE) – Field systems engineers design and develop applications for different manufacturing control processes. They may be responsible for providing system configurations and safety protocols to meet business requirements. A systems engineer has a strong understanding of all elements in a solution, both the parts belonging to their company and other vendors involved.
  • Product Evangelist – A product evangelist is the sales liaison of sales engineering. They work with marketing by attending conferences, public demonstrations, or webinars and may sometimes assist on the direct sales side.
  • Technical Sales Representative – A technical sales rep is no longer a sales engineer but a sales rep who is technical enough to own any evaluation or sale. They step in if the customer already understands the product or service well and doesn’t require additional demonstration.

All the above roles may be needed to optimize an organization in different capacities. These careers will continue to boom and grow in the coming years because products and services are getting more complex, and these technical roles help bridge the knowledge gap. Companies today are prioritizing safe automation in their manufacturing processes. Starting a career as a sales engineer is a great way to capitalize on this trend.

Now that you’ve got the scoop on how to become a sales engineer and how they can transform a company’s sales cycle, what’s next? Well, a good next step is to connect with our team today. Industry 4.0 is among us. Our team specializes in aligning candidates with sales engineering roles with top companies in the industrial automation industry.

More Resources

Sales Engineer Job Apply:

Top 5 University Marketing & Sales Programs in the U.S.:

Top 8 Careers in Industrial Automation:

Industrial Automation – AI in Manufacturing

Professional Services: