What Does a Sales Engineer Do?
Sales engineers bridge the knowledge gap between the product development team and the client or sales team. It is their responsibility to understand and explain the details of complex products or services in a comprehensive and simple manner – to both technical and non-technical clients and prospects. They help the client understand the benefits of the product or service and why it is beneficial to purchase. The role also involves providing customer feedback to product development and engineering teams.
Sales engineers work in multiple different industries but are heavily concentrated in technology companies. Success in the role requires a unique combination of technical acumen, strong interpersonal and communication skills, and comfort presenting to a group.
Are you a job seeker?
of job openings
and apply online
National Average Salary
Sales engineer salaries vary by experience, industry, organization size, and geography. To explore salary ranges by local market, please visit our sister site zengig.com.
The average U.S. salary for a Sales Engineer is:
Sales Engineer Job Descriptions
When it comes to recruiting a sales engineer, having the right job description can make a big difference. Here are some real world job descriptions you can use as templates for your next opening.
As a sales engineer with [Your Company Name], you will be responsible for becoming an expert in product knowledge in order to effectively communicate the benefits and advantages of the products to customers. The ideal candidate is capable of creating and presenting presentations to potential clients in order to effectively communicate the features of the products to clients. You must be able to provide these detailed presentations in an easy-to-understand and comprehensive way to clients who may not have a technical background. This is one of the most important aspects of the position as we want clients to be able to fully understand what the product is, what it does, and how it can most benefit them. The ideal sales engineer will have a background in sales and will understand sales psychology in order to effectively involve the sales process in their presentation for the highest possible close ratios.
Typical duties and responsibilities
- Explain details of the technology in layman’s terms
- Talk to customers using non-aggressive sales tactics
- Consulting product development
- Prepare for live demonstrations
- Negotiate contract terms and conditions
- Observe equipment and make sure it meets the clients’ standards
- Stay in communication with sales team members
- Obtain product knowledge
- Create sales processes
- Monitor sales
- Adjust sales processes and tactics as needed
- Set and achieve sales goals
- Knowledge of the VoIP industry
- Expert in sales
Education and experience
- Bachelor’s degree in engineering or related field
- Years of sales experience and technical experience
- Certifications related to sales or engineering is a plus
Required skills and qualifications
- Tech-savvy with advanced product knowledge
- Great written and verbal communication skills
- Self-driven and able to work alone
- Product expertise to demonstrate and show customers
- Works well under pressure
- Strong analytical skills
- Superior organizational skills
- Strong negotiation skills
- Excellent customer service skills
- Ability to speak two or more languages
- Advanced working knowledge of Microsoft and Google
- Professional engineering license
In this fast-paced, versatile Sales Engineer position, you will increase new business development by building customer relationships while assessing and fulfilling customer needs. You will also grow existing business by developing business relationships with existing clients, providing opportunities for negotiated contract work, retain sales, and generating additional sales opportunities.
Duties & responsibilities
A day in the life of the Sales Engineer:
- Uphold ABC Company’s standards for maintaining well-satisfied customers
- Operate with a complete service-oriented mentality
- Grow maintenance contract sales, project sales, and service base
- Identify and contact potential new customers for sales opportunities
- Review present estimating procedures and adjust accordingly
- Develop a continuous program to generate new service project sales leads
- Manage sold projects and coordinate all facets from sales through completion
- Coordinate field labor to ensure your projects are staffed as needed
- Negotiate and close on new business
- Perform after-sale job project management
Keys to success:
- Preferably have a bachelor’s degree in engineering OR comparable industry experience
- Have excellent verbal and written communication skills with proven ability to professionally articulate as well as professionally compose written communication
- Have strong new business development experience, including self-generated leads
- Preferably have a minimum of 5 years of HVAC Commercial/Industrial
- Have experience in selling service contracts (preferred)
- Project Management and Estimating experience (preferred)
- Be solution-focused
As a Sales Engineer you will be on the forefront of client solution and service design within our Digital Identity Hybrid Operate Program. You should possess a deep understanding of Identity and Access Management operations and familiarity of technologies such as Okta, SailPoint, ForgeRock, CyberArk, AWS, Saviynt, Azure, GCP, Transmit Sec, and BeyondTrust. Experience with the sales and pursuit process is critical for this role as is the ability to assess client needs for optimal service recommendations for the near-term and long-term.
- Collaborate with the Sales Account Executive, solution offering teams, and other SMEs to:
- Serve as a sales engineer proficient in secure access, network security and zero trust network access type services to support account teams with pursuits
- Work with practice leadership and stakeholders regarding the sales engineering services and offerings available from ABC Company’s Digital Identity Hybrid Operate practice.
- Advise account teams regarding the technical approach of the response by taking ownership of the solution description and usage and composition of assets within a solution
- Technically qualify opportunities as they progress in the sales process.
- Ensure the client’s technical needs are being met with proposed solutions and services.
- Participate in development and delivery of client pursuit materials such proposals, RFP responses, statements of work, discussion decks, as well as execution of sales/pursuit meetings
- Determine scope of services and offered managed services for pursuits based on client proposals or conversations
- Create client pursuit materials in Word, PowerPoint, and Excel to share ABC Company’s capabilities, experience, and qualifications
- Manage technical scoping and solution communications with account teams, vendors, 3rd party service providers, Deloitte leadership, and client personnel, where needed, during the pursuit process
- Act as the primary technical interface between the engagement team service leads for all in-scope services
- Identify and develop opportunities to provide new and expanded services
- Demonstrate ability to manage multiple pursuits across the Digital Identity service portfolio
- Seek opportunities and offer guidance on how to improve the sales methodology including owning and driving internal improvement initiatives
- Prepare, produce, and deliver materials used for reporting on opportunities and sales
- Analyze opportunity and sales data for insights and trends to shape future solution design
- Analyze complex issues to determine impact and to suggest alternative solutions based on client needs and objectives
- 7+ years working in security information and/or technology engineering support experience
- Ability to translate client requirements into solution design that can be delivered by the Digital Identity team
- Highly proficient in Microsoft applications including PowerPoint, Word, and Excel
- Excellent interpersonal and organizational skills
- Excellent oral and written communication skills
- Experience with security technologies in the client environment such as firewalls and network security services, identity technologies such as Okta, SailPoint, AD, cloud integrations within AWS, Azure, GCP. Understanding of VDI is a plus
- Basic knowledge in system security architecture and security solutions
- Travel required, varying based on client coverage
- Must be legally authorized to work in the United States without the need for employer sponsorship, now or at any time in the future
- Strong understanding of Security Assessments, such as NIST CSP
- Bachelor of Science with a concentration in computer science, information systems, information security, cloud security, identity, decision sciences, risk management, engineering (mechanical, electrical, industrial), or other business/technology disciplines or equivalent work experience
- Strong understanding of network security services and vendor products such as from Cisco, Palo Alto Networks, and security services on major hyperscalers, as well as enterprise level risk mitigation strategies
- Understanding of cloud-delivered managed services
- Working knowledge of operating systems and networking technologies in general
- Working knowledge of cyber threats, defenses, motivations and techniques
- Strong analytical and problem-solving skills
- Creative design skills across Microsoft application suite
- Self-motivated to improve knowledge and skills
- Experience with understanding clients with global network deployments
- A strong desire to understand the what as well as the why and the how of security incidents
- Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
Identifies opportunities for business expansion in support of the customer sales strategy for supplier offerings. Develops and maintains the business relationship by providing solutions for the company and its defined supplier(s) in a product line, to achieve the identified strategy and business financial objectives.
- Provides value added solutions for the company and its defined supplier(s) growth plans and business
- Identifies, defines, implements, and supports hardware and software based solutions through the engineering development process
- Develops key engineering and marketing relationships within the company’s supplier business units to drive collaboration and solution development at the engineering level
- Identifies and creates opportunity demand for identified products, coordinating the supporting seminars, training, and resource awareness that drives growth plan success for defined supplier(s)
- Performs analysis and reports results of various suppliers programs impact on customer(s) notifying the Director Supplier Manager (DSM) and supplier of success, issues and future growth plan strategies
- Maintains and drives trending knowledge of products, competitors, technology and customers in the assigned supplier product market
- Identifies and maintains field supplier relationships to create demand for products and services
- Applies technical/marketing/product expertise to position company as the distributor of choice to suppliers
- Drives assigned product family through with the company’s and supplier’s local sales teams and customer by attending supplier meetings establishing sales and marketing programs in coordination with the DSM and Supplier Business Manager (SBM) as applicable to increase assigned product knowledge for customers and company sales representatives
- Identifies and communicates roadblocks to Product Business Groups (PBGs) and makes recommendations for improvement. supports PBGs objectives, evaluates market conditions, and identify inventory strategies, as well as participate in Total Available Market (TAM) to Distribution Total Available Market (DTAM) conversion plans
- Other duties as assigned
- Mastery knowledge of industry best practices and disciplines. Considered a subject matter expert within the organization and contributes to the development of new concepts, techniques and standards
- Develops solutions to highly complex and uniquely challenging situations. Assignments require extensive evaluation of alternatives and variables. Expected to make improvements to policies and procedures
- Works independently toward long-range goals and objectives. Assignments are often self-initiated using independent judgment and discretion. May act as informal team lead and/or coach less experienced team members
- Serves as consultant to management and/or internal/external spokesperson for the organization on major initiatives related to policies, plans, and long-range objectives
- Actions may impact the organization and its reputation. Effects of erroneous decisions may be long-lasting, influence the future course of the organization, and/or require the expenditure of extensive additional resources
- Typically 8+ years with bachelor’s or equivalent
Education and certification(s)
- Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience from which comparable knowledge and job skills can be obtained
Candidate Certifications to Look For
- Certified Sales Professional (CSP). This certification shows that candidates are experienced in handling vital customers and can consistently meet target sales, which employers love to see. To qualify for this certification, candidates will need a college degree and at least 35 hours of accredited training.
- Project Management Professional Certification (PMP). Project management is important in any field of work, but especially as a sales engineer when candidates will be handling multiple clients. To qualify, they’ll need a four-year degree and 36 months of leading or managing projects and clients.
Sample Interview Questions
- Describe your experience as a sales engineer.
- Do you consider yourself a salesperson? Why or why not?
- How do you handle a situation where your client’s product isn’t working, and they are clearly upset?
- What is your approach to creating and delivering a technical presentation?
- How would you respond to a prospect who asks for a feature our product doesn’t have?
- Have you ever dealt with an angry or frustrated customer? Please describe the situation and how you handled it.
- How would you explain [Our Company’s Product] or Service] in layman’s terms to someone who isn’t experienced with technology?
- Can you tell us about a time when you had a great experience with a customer?
- What is the most important part of the sales process?
- In your opinion, what is the best way to gain trust with a potential customer?
- What sales software have you used in the past?
- Do you have experience providing customer feedback to engineering and product development teams?
- How would you respond when a salesperson knowingly exaggerates a product feature?
- How do you keep up with technology and industry trends?