Whether you’re a recent college grad just entering the workforce or you’re a seasoned sales engineering professional looking to make a career change, the choices available to you are many. To help you make a more informed decision, we thought it might be beneficial to explore some of the traditional and non-traditional options, along with which skills and qualifications are likely to make you a success on your chosen path.
Traditional Sales Engineer Career Paths
Level 1 – Associate Sales Engineer
Traditionally, a sales engineer will begin his or her career at an associate level. Associate sales engineers, or ASEs for short, typically work with smaller organizations that have no more than a few thousand employees. As an ASE, you will need to learn the product inside and out. You will also need to figure out how you can add value to the process in order to improve sales and retention rates.
Level 2 – Corporate Sales Engineer
As a corporate sales engineer (CSE), you will begin to take on much bigger and more high profile accounts for your organization. As part of this process, you will also begin focusing on performing client evaluations and doing more detailed and tailored work. In other words, a CSE is a few steps up from an ASE.
Level 3 – Senior CSE or Team Lead
The next traditional rung in the sales engineer career path is a senior level corporate sales engineer. As the title suggests, you will take on much more responsibility and be looked to as a leader in your field. You may also choose to pursue the option of becoming a team leader, through which you would be responsible for managing a team of sales engineers.
Level 4 – Field Sales Engineer
Field sales engineers focus on enterprise accounts for companies that have more than three thousand employees. Again, as the title suggests, at this level you would be in the field, working directly with clients, either over the phone or in-person.
Non-Traditional SE Career Path
If you decide that the above positions aren’t really the best fit for you, making a shift to engagement management might be a good solution. As an engagement manager, you will actively provide support for product implementation on-site. EMs are also tasked with overseeing any additional changes or upgrades that may be requested by the client.
The product marketer role marries technical know-how with marketing prowess. Individuals on this career path utilize their tech savvy to develop compelling marketing content and collateral. Product marketing also plays a role in supporting the sales team.
Customer Success Manager
As the title indicates, CSMs are responsible for ensuring that clients are successful using the product once it’s gone live. They provide support to the client, providing them with best practices and helping them to incorporate any add-ons they need as their company scales.
Essential Skills for Success
In any of the above sales positions, you will need the following key skills, strengths and qualifications if you want to be a success:
- Good presentation skills
- Willingness to learn
- Ready to take on challenges
- Problem solver
As a sales engineer, there are many different paths you can take in your career. If any of the above roles interest you, contact us to find out whether we have an opportunity that matches what you’re looking for. We can help bring your career to the next level.