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Become A Pre Sales Engineer

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Working As A Pre Sales Engineer

  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
  • Selling or Influencing Others
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Mostly Sitting

  • $104,949

    Average Salary

What Does A Pre 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 A Pre 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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Pre Sales Engineer Jobs

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Pre Sales Engineer Career Paths

Pre Sales Engineer
Solutions Engineer Product Manager Product Development Manager
Business Development/Product Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Systems Engineer Operations Manager Regional Sales Manager
Central Region Sales Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Account Executive Regional Sales Manager Channel Manager
Channel Development Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Product Manager Senior Product Manager
Director Of Marketing And Product Management
10 Yearsyrs
Solutions Engineer Senior Systems Engineer Senior Sales Engineer
Director Of Sales Engineering
12 Yearsyrs
Solutions Architect Senior Manager Director Of Sales
Director, Strategic Accounts
13 Yearsyrs
Senior Consultant Product Manager National Account Manager
Enterprise Account Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Consultant Program Manager Business Development Manager
Global Business Development Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Sales Engineer Account Manager Product Manager
Group Product Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Systems Engineer Project Manager Information Technology Project Manager
Infrastructure Project Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Architect Construction Manager Regional Project Manager
National Project Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Technical Consultant Sales Engineer Outside Sales
Outside Sales/Account Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Solutions Architect Program Manager Senior Product Manager
Principal Product Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Sales Engineer Regional Sales Manager Business Development Manager
Senior Business Development Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Product Manager Product Line Manager
Senior Product Line Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Account Executive District Sales Manager Regional Sales And Marketing Manager
West Coast Sales Manager
8 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Pre Sales Engineer?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Sales Engineer 3.7 years
Engineer 3.2 years
Pre Sales Engineer 3.0 years
Top Employers Before
Consultant 7.7%
Engineer 2.7%
Top Employers After
Consultant 8.4%
Manager 3.9%

Do you work as a Pre Sales Engineer?

Pre Sales Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

80.5%

Female

16.4%

Unknown

3.1%
Ethnicity

White

56.8%

Hispanic or Latino

15.1%

Asian

11.8%

Black or African American

11.1%

Unknown

5.1%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

26.8%

French

9.8%

Carrier

9.8%

Mandarin

7.3%

Chinese

4.9%

German

4.9%

Japanese

4.9%

Arabic

4.9%

Italian

4.9%

Portuguese

2.4%

Indonesian

2.4%

Dutch

2.4%

Macedonian

2.4%

Cantonese

2.4%

Russian

2.4%

Cheyenne

2.4%

Tagalog

2.4%

Croatian

2.4%
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Pre Sales Engineer Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

11.5%

University of Texas at Arlington

8.0%

Strayer University

6.2%

San Jose State University

5.3%

Western Governors University

5.3%

Northeastern University

5.3%

University of Maryland - University College

4.4%

Santa Clara University

4.4%

Texas State University

4.4%

Community College of the Air Force

4.4%

Stanford University

4.4%

University of Massachusetts - Lowell

4.4%

University of Houston

4.4%

More Tech Institute

4.4%

Northern Illinois University

4.4%

Georgia Institute of Technology -

4.4%

University of Maryland - College Park

3.5%

University of Illinois at Chicago

3.5%

Pennsylvania State University

3.5%

University of Texas at Dallas

3.5%
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Majors

Business

24.3%

Computer Science

18.7%

Electrical Engineering

10.9%

Computer Information Systems

5.6%

Management

3.6%

Management Information Systems

3.6%

Information Technology

3.6%

Finance

3.1%

Communication

3.0%

Computer Engineering

2.8%

Computer Networking

2.8%

Electrical Engineering Technology

2.6%

Mechanical Engineering

2.3%

Information Systems

2.3%

Project Management

2.2%

Engineering

2.2%

Education

1.8%

Marketing

1.7%

Computer Technical Support

1.5%

Liberal Arts

1.2%
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Degrees

Bachelors

44.1%

Masters

23.1%

Other

21.0%

Associate

6.6%

Certificate

2.7%

Diploma

1.7%

Doctorate

0.6%

License

0.2%
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Real Pre Sales Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Principal Pre-Sales Engineer Denodo Technologies, Inc. Palo Alto, CA Dec 14, 2015 $160,000
Pre-Sales Engineer Eplus Technology Inc. Milpitas, CA Jun 01, 2015 $154,500
Pre-Sales Systems Engineer Infoblox Santa Clara, CA Jul 10, 2015 $150,000
Director of Pre-Sales Engineer Serviont Global Solutions, Inc. Princeton, NJ Oct 31, 2015 $149,173
Pre-Sales Engineer Axon Solutions, Inc. Jersey City, NJ Jun 13, 2011 $145,000
Pre Sales AE 4 Broadcom Corporation San Jose, CA Jul 10, 2016 $137,093
Pre-Sales Engineer Clearstory Data Inc. Chicago, IL Oct 24, 2014 $135,000 -
$145,000
Pre-Sales Engineer True Ultimate Standards Everywhere, Inc. San Francisco, CA Oct 01, 2011 $135,000
Pre-Sales Applications Engineer Keysight Technologies, Inc. Santa Clara, CA Feb 09, 2016 $130,000
Pre-Sales Engineer III Syniverse Technologies Campbell, CA Oct 21, 2015 $130,000
Pre-Sales Solution Engineer Taulia, Inc. San Francisco, CA Oct 04, 2013 $130,000
Pre-Sales Applications Engineer Keysight Technologies, Inc. Santa Clara, CA Oct 15, 2015 $130,000
Development, Pre-Sales Oberthur Technologies of America Corp Waltham, MA Feb 10, 2015 $118,581
Pre Sales Systems Engineer Radiant Logic Inc. Novato, CA Oct 01, 2010 $118,206
Pre-Sales Engineer Datacard Group Miami, FL Apr 23, 2015 $115,170
Pre-Sales Engineer Sisense Inc. New York, NY Jul 07, 2014 $115,000 -
$150,000
Pre-Sales Application Engineer Keysight Technologies, Inc. Santa Clara, CA Sep 09, 2016 $112,958
Pre-Sales Engineer Riverbed Technology Jersey City, NJ Jun 18, 2015 $112,091
Pre-Sales Engineer Apptad Inc. Reston, VA Dec 23, 2016 $111,738
Pre Sales Engineer Alienvault, Inc. Austin, TX Sep 05, 2015 $110,000
O&G Pre-Sales Application Engineer Schneider Electric USA, Inc. Houston, TX Jun 15, 2016 $94,973 -
$132,499
Pre-Sales Engineer Firstrain, Inc. San Mateo, CA Dec 16, 2013 $93,267
Pre-Sales Applications Engineer Agilent Technologies, Inc. Santa Clara, CA Feb 11, 2010 $92,144 -
$180,000
Pre-Sales Applications Engineer Agilent Technologies, Inc. Santa Clara, CA Apr 02, 2010 $92,144 -
$120,000
Pre-Sales Engineer Avid Technology, Inc. Burlington, MA Oct 01, 2015 $91,936 -
$111,936
Pre Sales Engineer Vypak Corporation Metuchen, NJ Sep 20, 2013 $90,000
Pre Sales Engineer Vypak Corporation Metuchen, NJ Nov 17, 2014 $90,000

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Top Skills for A Pre Sales Engineer

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  1. Product Demonstrations
  2. Technical Support
  3. Storage
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Participated in proof of concept, product demonstrations and presentations, increasing product awareness and generating interest in company's products.
  • Developed custom solutions and provided technical support after the sale and implementation.
  • Participate in planning account strategies and presentations to counter competitor storage product recommendations and target major sales opportunities.
  • Served as initial technical contact with responsibility of reviewing technical specifications needed to support sales proposals with international customers.
  • Identified partner technical education requirements and lead development of computer-based training curriculum to meet those requirements.

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Top Pre Sales Engineer Employers

Jobs From Top Pre Sales Engineer Employers

Pre Sales Engineer Videos

Presales Life - 1.0

SEU 001 What Is Sales Engineering?

A Day in The Life - Technical Sales Engineer

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