Sales Engineer Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

A Sales Engineer, or Technical Sales Engineer is responsible for selling technical products or services in the fields of science, technology or engineering. Their duties include arranging client meetings, presenting technical data and analysis to customers and providing after sales troubleshooting for products. 


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Sales Engineer duties and responsibilities

A Sales Engineer is responsible for providing customers with technical and scientific information on a particular product or service, with the ultimate goal of making sales and hitting sales targets. A Sales Engineer’s key responsibilities and duties include:

  • Sourcing leads and cold calling potential customers
  • Developing business opportunities by arranging meetings and making sales pitches
  • Presenting technical plans and detailed schematics of products to customers
  • Providing detailed analytics to show customers why a product will help their business
  • Answering customer queries on scientific or technical issues 
  • Providing a point of communication between the client and Account Managers or service providers
  • Arranging follow-up meetings with clients to retain their business and make further sales
  • Maintaining an up-to-date knowledge of their industry and the products or services they sell


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What does a Sales Engineer do?

A Sales Engineer is employed to sell advanced technical and scientific products to businesses and organisations. They work in industries where detailed technical information and analysis is requested before a customer makes a purchase. Examples include the IT industry, automotive industry or pharmaceutical industry. A Sales Engineer needs a scientific or engineering background alongside the ability to sell products. It’s their job to convince a customer that a product or service can provide the technical solutions that their business needs. 


Sales Engineer skills and qualifications

A Sales Engineer needs a mixture of scientific, technical or engineering skills that are relevant to their field alongside excellent sales and communication skills. A Sales Engineer selling pharmaceutical products needs chemistry knowledge while a Sales Engineer selling computer software requires IT skills. A successful Key Sales Engineer candidate will have various prerequisite skills and qualifications that typically include: 

  • Ability to communicate technical or industry-specific information in an easy-to-understand format
  • Excellent product or service knowledge including technical aspects, as well as the potential benefits a product could have for a customer
  • Ability to provide excellent customer service, including excellent after-sales communication and care
  • Ability to set their own schedule to manage and make appointments with clients
  • Ability to work within a sales team to hit wider company targets and goals and personal sales targets
  • Ability to analyse and present sales data to management
  • Knowledge of the latest industry trends, discoveries and developments
  • Excellent knowledge of sales and marketing techniques such as cold emailing or networking at events


Sales Engineer experience requirements

A successful Sales Engineer needs both technical and sales experience. Employers must look for candidates with at least five years of experience in their specific industry, such as IT or chemistry. This demonstrates that a candidate has technical expertise and knowledge to present the functionality of products in detail and answer customer queries. Employers should also look for experience working in sales roles, including successfully meeting with clients, developing business and hitting targets. Technical, industry-specific experience is often more important to employers than sales experience, however. 


Sales Engineer education and training requirements

A Sales Engineer needs to demonstrate that they have an exceptional academic background in technical or scientific subjects. Strong results at GCSE and A-level in English, maths and science subjects such as physics or chemistry are essential. Employers must look for candidates with a degree-level education that’s relevant to their industry. For example, candidates need a degree in computer science or computer engineering if they are selling hardware or solutions for company-wide networks or communications systems. Candidates with a postgraduate education in a relevant technical subject demonstrate advanced technical skills that are desirable for the role. 


Sales Engineer salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for a Sales Engineer is £34,126 per year. Salary may be dependent on experience, location and company. 


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Sales Engineer job description FAQs


What makes for a good Sales Engineer job description?

A good Sales Engineer job description outlines the products or services that need to be sold and the technical knowledge and level of education needed to sell them to customers. For example, a good job description in the pharmaceutical industry outlines which specific drugs or treatments a successful candidate has to sell to clients. A good job description also outlines whether a Sales Engineer works primarily on commission for products sold, or on a salary basis. 


What's the difference between a Sales Engineer and a Sales Manager?

A Sales Engineer is specialised in a particular technical field, whereas the role of Sales Manager is found across a wide range of industries that won’t always require technical knowledge. A Sales Manager capacity is always in a managerial and leadership role, as well as a sales role. A Sales Engineer won’t necessarily take on leadership duties unless specifically appointed to lead and manage a sales team. 


Are technical skills more important than sales skills for the role of Sales Engineer?

A Sales Engineer needs to be able to provide advanced technical knowledge and data to clients. In scientific fields, for instance customers will make informed choices based on the technical capacities of a product rather than on the sales techniques of the Salesperson. 

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