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Become An Inside Sales Engineer

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Working As An Inside Sales Engineer

  • Selling or Influencing Others
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Getting Information
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • $57,640

    Average Salary

What Does An Inside Sales Engineer Do

Sales engineers sell complex scientific and technological products or services to businesses. They must have extensive knowledge of the products’ parts and functions and must understand the scientific processes that make these products work.

Duties

Sales engineers typically do the following:

  • Prepare and deliver technical presentations explaining products or services to existing and prospective customers
  • Confer with customers and engineers to assess equipment needs and to determine system requirements
  • Collaborate with sales teams to understand customer requirements and provide sales support
  • Secure and renew orders and arrange delivery
  • Plan and modify products to meet customer needs
  • Help clients solve problems with installed equipment
  • Recommend improved materials or machinery to customers, showing how changes will lower costs or increase production
  • Help in researching and developing new products

Sales engineers specialize in technologically and scientifically advanced products. They use their technical skills to explain the benefits of their products or services to potential customers and to show how their products or services are better than their competitors'. Some sales engineers work for the companies that design and build technical products. Others work for independent sales firms.

Many of the duties of sales engineers are similar to those of other salespersons. They must interest the client in buying their products or services, negotiate a price, and complete the sale. To do this, sales engineers give technical presentations during which they explain the technical aspects of the product and how it will solve a specific customer problem.

Some sales engineers, however, team with salespersons who concentrate on marketing and selling the product, which lets the sales engineer concentrate on the technical aspects of the job. By working as part of a sales team, each member is able to focus on his or her strengths and expertise. For more information on other sales occupations, see the profile on wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives.

In addition to giving technical presentations, sales engineers are increasingly doing other tasks related to sales, such as market research. They also may ask for technical requirements from customers and modify and adjust products to meet customers’ specific needs. Some sales engineers work with research and development (R&D) departments to help identify and develop new products.

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How To Become An Inside Sales Engineer

A bachelor’s degree is typically required to become a sales engineer. Successful sales engineers combine technical knowledge of the products or services they are selling with strong interpersonal skills.

Education

Sales engineers typically need a bachelor’s degree in engineering or a related field. However, a worker without a degree, but with previous sales experience as well as technical experience or training, sometimes holds the title of sales engineer. Workers who have a degree in a science, such as chemistry, or in business with little or no previous sales experience, also may be called sales engineers.

University engineering programs generally require 4 years of study. They vary in content, but all programs include courses in math and the physical sciences. In addition, most programs require developing strong computer skills.

Most engineering programs require students to choose an area of specialization. The most common majors are electrical, mechanical, or civil engineering, but some engineering departments offer additional majors, such as chemical, biomedical, or computer hardware engineering. However, some undergraduate programs offer a general engineering curriculum; students then specialize in a particular area either on the job or in graduate school.

Training

New graduates with engineering degrees typically need sales experience and training before they can work independently as sales engineers. Training covers general sales techniques and may involve teaming with a sales mentor who is familiar with the employer's business practices, customers, procedures, and company culture. After the training period, sales engineers may continue to partner with someone who lacks technical skills yet excels in the art of sales.

It is important for sales engineers to continue their engineering and sales education throughout their careers. Much of their value to their employers depends on their knowledge of, and ability to sell, the latest technologies. Sales engineers in high-technology fields, such as information technology and advanced electronics, may find that their technical knowledge rapidly becomes obsolete, requiring frequent retraining.

Advancement

Promotions may include a higher commission rate, a larger sales territory, or elevation to the position of supervisor or sales manager.

Important Qualities

Interpersonal skills. Strong interpersonal skills are a valuable characteristic for sales engineers, both for building relationships with clients and effectively communicating with other members of the sales team.

Problem-solving skills. Sales engineers must be able to listen to the customer’s desires and concerns, and then recommend solutions, possibly including customizing a product.

Self-confidence. Sales engineers should be confident and persuasive when making sales presentations. 

Technological skills. Sales engineers must have extensive knowledge of the technologically sophisticated products they sell in order to explain their advantages and answer questions.

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Inside Sales Engineer jobs

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Real Inside Sales Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Inside Sales Engineer Logmein, Inc. Boston, MA Dec 09, 2016 $91,936
Applications Engineer/Inside Sales Engineer Thermal Engineering International USA, Inc. Houston, TX Nov 15, 2011 $85,000
Inside Sales Engineer Vector Controls, LLC Plano, TX Jun 09, 2016 $83,000
Inside Sales Engineer Vector Controls and Automation Groups Plano, TX Jul 01, 2014 $82,000
Technical Inside Sales Engineer Charles Ross & Son Company Hauppauge, NY Dec 12, 2016 $80,000
Inside Sales Engineer Munters Corporation Buena Vista, VA Jan 29, 2010 $79,680
Inside Sales Engineer (Applications Engineer) Munters Corporation Buena Vista, VA Feb 21, 2012 $78,000
CNG Inside Sales Engineer Cisco Systems, Inc. San Francisco, CA Aug 10, 2015 $77,064 -
$106,800
Inside Sales Engineer/Product Specialist Yeomans Chicago Corporation Aurora, IL Sep 30, 2014 $72,615
Inside Sales Engineer Pacific Coast Sales & Service, Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Oct 01, 2009 $70,958
Inside Sales Engineer Control Components, Inc. Rancho Santa Margarita, CA Jul 26, 2014 $67,000 -
$98,072
Senior Inside Sales Engineer Crane Co. Signal Hill, CA Sep 01, 2014 $67,000
Senior Inside Sales Application Engineer Gems Sensors, Inc. Plainville, CT Sep 27, 2010 $65,770 -
$75,000
Inside Sales Engineer National Instruments Corporation Austin, TX Aug 31, 2013 $64,000
Inside Sales Engineer Motion Industries, Inc. Miramar, FL Jan 04, 2010 $62,193
Inside Sales Engineer Id Business Solutions, Inc. Burlington, MA Oct 11, 2010 $60,750 -
$70,000
Inside Sales Engineer American Industrial MacHinery and Parts, Inc. Miami, FL Sep 01, 2014 $60,000
Inside Sales Spectrasensors, Inc. Houston, TX Nov 25, 2011 $60,000
Inside Sales Spectrasensors, Inc. Houston, TX Sep 19, 2012 $60,000
Inside Sales Engineer Schneider Electric USA, Inc. La Vergne, TN Sep 06, 2014 $59,155 -
$71,860
Inside Sales Tech Engineer/Systems Coordinator Mine Safety Appliances Company Houston, TX Dec 02, 2011 $58,752
Inside Sales Tech Engineer/Systems Coordinator Mine Safety Appliances Company Houston, TX Dec 12, 2011 $58,752
Inside Sales Engineer Tristate HVAC Equipment LLP West Conshohocken, PA Dec 18, 2009 $58,000

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Top Skills for An Inside Sales Engineer

ProductKnowledgeCustomerServicePurchaseOrdersOrderEntryTerritorySalesRepsCustomerBaseMonthlySalesGoalsCustomerOrdersSalesOrdersEnsureCustomerSatisfactionCustomerRelationsInventoryControlPhoneCallsNewCustomersNewAccountsInternetProductLinesDataEntryCRM

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Top Inside Sales Engineer Skills

  1. Product Knowledge
  2. Customer Service
  3. Purchase Orders
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Closed sales transactions by leveraging extensive product knowledge to propose optimal solutions for customer business needs.
  • Supported the Outside Sales team by ensuring the delivery of personalized customer service through timely quotations and accurate order processing.
  • Initiate purchase orders to provide customers with materials that we are out of stock or special orders.
  • Provided customer support in showroom by answering product questions, order entry, and purchase order maintenance.
  • Provided technical support and managed order process for company's largest dollar territory.

Top Inside Sales Engineer Employers

Inside Sales Engineer Videos

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