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What Is a Sales Engineer & How Do You Become One?

What does a sales engineer do? To understand this properly, think of buying a new laptop. With so many innovations, we have to do some research before we even go to the IT shop.

If we are considering the field of engineering, there are so many complex technical units on the market, such as medical equipment, lighting systems, and aviation hardware.


All of these products need customers, but who will be able to sell them? Sales engineers, of course! And what is a sales engineer’s role? Those tech geniuses have the power to answer the tough questions posed by other engineers.

They can explain the value of the product and teach others how to use the installed equipment or software. What does it take to become such an expert? Read on to learn more!


sales engineer


What Is a Sales Engineer’s Task?

The position of sales engineer involves participating in the sales process as an expert. Some clients will want to hear out the technical details, characteristics, and numbers.

Often, sales engineers work alongside sales reps and help them to prepare for a product presentation. What does a sales engineer do other than that?


Sometimes, this position requires traveling within the country or abroad to give consultations to new clients. Determining a client’s pain points and offering a solution is also part of the sales engineer definition.

It’s up to this person to explain the differences between similar brands and clarify why your product is the right choice.


The role of a sales engineer is invaluable if you’re working with advanced technologies.


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How to Become a Sales Engineer – The Key Qualities Required for This Position

These are some of the most important qualities that make a sales engineer a valuable expert:


Problem-solving approach – This makes it easier to discover a client’s pain points, offer a solution, and translate a product’s technical features into benefits that the client will gain.


Soft skills – In this position, the most important ones are communication skills, listening skills, and creative thinking. To become a sales engineer, all three are prerequisites.


Teamwork compatibility – What is a sales engineer’s team? The job involves working side-by-side with sales reps and marketers. This requires patience and conflict-management skills.


Experience in sales – This is a shortcut to successful deals, which adds value to a sales engineering candidate.


what is a sales engineer


Are Sales Engineering Positions in Demand?

Are you worried the job might be replaced by robots or that there will be no open vacancies? It’s just the opposite – becoming a sales engineer is a profitable decision.

The job is popular in many tech-related niches. Moreover, the demand for this role is expected to grow in the future. We witness the skyrocketing popularity of IT developers, and new digital wonders are surfacing every week.


What is sales engineering if not an effective way to promote those wonders? With AI trends and SaaS popularity, sales engineers are valuable employees for HR.

Even today, the demand for this position is growing faster than for the majority of other positions.


How to Become a Technical Sales Engineer

As the job unites almost opposite disciplines, there’s no list of strict provisions to apply for it. Some key expectations that should be met, though, are:


  • Sales engineer education requirements suggest a degree in an engineering field or IT. Education provides fundamental knowledge that is in high demand in tech sales.
  • Experience in working with people, especially in sales. Sales communication might be stressful, and it requires strong soft skills.
  • Taking an online course. With a trend for online educational courses, you can easily work on your blind spots.


The easiest path to becoming a sales engineer is to write a CV and send it to the company’s HR department. If you show good potential, they will train you for their position.


The Downside of Working as a Sales Engineer

Let’s look at the common complaints sales engineers share. This will be helpful for those who are not certain yet whether to try this role.


  1. The lack of authority in making decisions. This is a typical complaint, as a technical sales engineer has to assist and advise, and the final decision is made by their manager.
  2. Incorrect or incomplete information about the prospects given by the sales reps. Working alongside an irresponsible colleague is a patience test! Demanding clients. Often the clients want a custom visualization from a technical sales engineer alongside reports in a certain format or a specific program for presentations. However, this is a constant downside of working with people.


The Challenges a SE Is Likely to Face

Though the main challenges, such as problem-solving abilities and soft skills, are already listed in the job description, what does a sales engineer do besides all that?


  • Develop new products – or assist during this process
  • Write financial and sales reports
  • Serve the equipment that has already been installed
  • Work with the marketing team
  • Sometimes, the working hours are extended when traveling to another city or country
  • It’s likely that once you’re an experienced sales engineer, you will become a manager for junior employees


All in all, this position requires a balance between knowledge and the ability to explain what you know.



The position of a sales engineer is a unique role. People who can explain difficult concepts in simple words are the future of our digital world.

However, there are a bunch of challenges for tech minds: participating in sales, working with people, and speaking a lot about products.


Still, sales engineering is more than just a sales position – this is a hybrid between creation and selling.

 As we’re more and more involved in technology, this job is going to be in greater demand. The good news is that you don’t have to sell your soul to get the role.


An engineering education will be enough to start your training and stop wondering what a sales engineer is.


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