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Become A Sales Support Engineer

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Working As A Sales Support 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

  • $124,090

    Average Salary

What Does A Sales Support 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 Sales Support 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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Sales Support Engineer jobs

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Real Sales Support Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Technical Sales Support Engineer Ericsson Television, Inc. Duluth, GA May 02, 2012 $147,960
Structures Sales and Support Engineer Tekla, Inc. Kennesaw, GA Oct 01, 2010 $130,000
Cisco Sales Support Engineer VOX Network Solutions, Inc. Brisbane, CA Jan 11, 2015 $120,000
Sales Support Engineer Wartsila North America, Inc. Long Beach, CA Aug 31, 2014 $112,069
Sales Support Engineer-Compressors UOP LLC Des Plaines, IL Oct 01, 2014 $103,666
Technical Sales Support Engineer M-I LLC Aka M-I Swaco Houston, TX May 22, 2012 $103,248
Sales Support Engineer, Associate Manager SONY Latin America, Inc. Miami, FL Apr 11, 2015 $100,879
Technical Sales Support Engineer Schlumberger Technology Corporation Garden Grove, CA Jan 02, 2016 $98,750
Sales Support Engineer, Associate Manager SONY Latin America, Inc. Miami, FL Jan 03, 2014 $95,454
Technical Sales Support Engineer M-I LLC Aka M-I Swaco Houston, TX May 07, 2012 $91,080
Sales Support Engineer Salesforce.Com, Inc. San Francisco, CA Nov 29, 2013 $90,376
Senior Sales Support Engineer Salesforce.Com, Inc. San Francisco, CA Jan 01, 2014 $90,000
Sales Support Engineer, Services Wartsila North America, Inc. Houston, TX Sep 22, 2012 $90,000
Pre-Sales Support Engineer Informatica Corporation Austin, TX Jul 25, 2015 $88,899
Area Sales Support Engineer, Agreement Services Wartsila North America, Inc. Fort Lauderdale, FL Sep 07, 2013 $85,400
Sales Support Engineer-Transformers Siemens Industry, Inc. Cary, NC Mar 24, 2016 $85,000
Tech Sales Support Engineer Schlumberger Technology Corporation CA Aug 08, 2013 $84,000
Technical Sales Support Engineer Schlumberger Technology Corporation Canonsburg, PA Oct 17, 2016 $84,000
Technical Sales Support Engineer Schlumberger Technology Corporation Frisco, TX Aug 27, 2014 $84,000
Pre-Sales and Support Engineer Entriq, Inc. San Diego, CA Sep 12, 2010 $82,000 -
$96,000
Technical Sales Support Engineer Schlumberger Technology Corporation Addison, TX Oct 01, 2010 $81,996
Technical Sales Support Engineer Schlumberger Technology Corporation Canonsburg, PA Jan 16, 2015 $74,589 -
$84,000
Product Support Engineer/Sales Support Engineer 2 Siemens Medical Solutions USA, Inc. Knoxville, TN Sep 19, 2012 $73,000
Product Support Engineer/Sales Support Engineer 2 Siemens Medical Solutions USA, Inc. Knoxville, TN Dec 12, 2011 $73,000
Sales Support Engineer Arkadin, Inc. New York, NY Oct 01, 2011 $72,000
Technical Sales Support Engineer Smith International, Inc. Houston, TX Dec 22, 2013 $71,400
Sales Support Engineer ECO Engineering, LLC Cincinnati, OH Oct 01, 2012 $71,100

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Top Skills for A Sales Support Engineer

ProductDemonstrationsTechnicalSalesSupportHardwareEngineeringSupportWindowsPotentialCustomersWebTradeShowsPre-SalesRFPCustomerSupportSalesStaffProjectManagementTechnicalIssuesVoipTcp/IpCustomerSatisfactionDistributorsCustomerBaseCustomerRequirements

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Top Sales Support Engineer Skills

  1. Product Demonstrations
  2. Technical Sales Support
  3. Hardware
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Developed and delivered product demonstrations.
  • Provided technical sales support for IT systems integration and security services business.
  • Propose solutions for customers' applications using appropriate technologies and hardware based on interpretation of customer specifications.
  • Provided Engineering support for the Sales organization to insure all technical questions were accurately addressed.
  • Planned software deployments across large Windows and Linux infrastructures involving installation and configuration for servers, workstations, and network components.

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