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Technical sales engineers are a part of the general sales department, responsible for assisting with the sale and support of complex technological products. Because these individuals are both client-facing and internally-based, not only must they be super tech-savvy, but they must also be able to present their product in a way that makes sense to the customer. Formal job description aside, however, what does a Technical sales engineer actually do all day? Let’s take a look.
On any given day, SEs will collaborate with other employees – namely other engineers and those on the sales team – as well as with customers to assess needs and determine system requirements. Sales engineers must be adept at evaluating each customer’s unique situation to identify their needs and pain points and then will work with the sales team to develop an ideal solution.
A typical day in the life of a sales engineer might look something like this:
- Gather detailed information about the product and/or customer need
- Discuss technical features and/or design of the products or services with other technical personnel
- Customize the solution as much as possible to align with client needs/preferences/pain points
- Present solutions to customers and perform product demonstrations
- Answer questions and provide general support, both to clients as well as internal employees
- Closely monitor market trends or conditions
Because a good portion of a sales engineer’s day-to-day activities involves drilling down into the technical aspects of the product, it is imperative that they remain informed of industry news, emerging technologies, what the competition is up to and, of course, the latest product developments. This ensures that SEs are fully prepared to deliver timely, accurate support.
In addition to the day-to-day tasks SEs have on their to-do lists, they are also typically responsible for the planning and modification of configurations in order to meet changing customer needs. Some SEs also secure and renew orders as well as arrange for delivery of products or services.
On a weekly (or monthly) basis, SEs develop and present proposals that meet the specific requirements of the customer. As mentioned, sales engineers are also responsible for selling products that often require in-depth technical expertise, as well as providing support for the installation and ongoing use of those products once they are implemented. If problems arise, it’s the sales engineer who will typically be called upon to troubleshoot, diagnose and correct the issues.
Savvy sales engineers will go a step beyond these basic job duties to make recommendations to customers with the goal of helping them to improve operations, increase production and/or lower costs. These are the SEs that really excel in their role, because not only do they earn the trust, respect and loyalty of customers, but they also help to improve retention, which is better for the company overall.
Is Sales Engineering the right career for you?
Successful SEs tend to enjoy seeing projects through from start to finish. They are self-motivated, passionate about technology and comfortable making decisions. They are also capable of communicating well with people at a variety of different levels and positions. For instance, they can speak at a high level with executives but also present their product or service in layperson’s terms to prospects and customers.
If this describes you, a career as a sales engineer might be right up your alley. To learn more about the role and the opportunities we have available, get in touch today.