Sales engineering is a hybrid of sales and engineering that exists in industrial and commercial markets. Buying
decisions in these markets are made differently than those in many consumer contexts, being based more on
technical informa;on and ra;onal analysis and less on style, fashion, or impulse. Therefore, selling in these markets
cannot depend on consumer-type sales methods alone, and instead it relies heavily on technical informa;on and
problem-solving to convince buyers that they should spend money on the seller's products or services, in order to
meet a business need (that is, to sa;sfy a business case).
A sales engineer is thus both "a salesperson that
understands and can apply engineering" and "an engineer that understands how to sell engineered systems". They
thus not only sell but also provide advice and support. They provide this service to various internal or external
customers, and they may work for a manufacturer (servicing its industrial-account/business-to-business customers),
for a distributor (which in turn services the industrial-account/business-to-business customers), or for a third party
such as an engineering consultancy or a systems integrator.
Sales Engineers are a cri;cal sales team member in many companies and industries around the world. They are more
than just technical experts in their respec;ve industries. Highly successful sales engineers must build and maintain
parallel exper;se in "soJ skill" disciplines such as business acumen, presenta;on skills, building customer
rela;onships, developing an engagement strategy, and having a thorough understanding of the targeted industry.
Many companies have difficulty finding people who possess these quali;es, plus have extensive technical knowledge.
The essence of the sales engineering role can be called by various names. Which name is most apt can even depend
on which industry it is used in. Some common job ;tles that involve the essence of sales engineering include Sales
Engineer, Solu;ons Engineer, Systems Engineer, Customer Engineer, (pre-sales) consultant, Technical Account
Manager; Applica;ons Engineer or Field Applica;ons Engineer, and others.
Sales engineers oJen work under stressful condi;ons because their income and job security depend on commission
from successfully comple;ng sales. Some sales engineers may work addi;onal and irregular hours to meet sales
goals and client needs.
Entry Level Education
Sales engineers typically need a bachelor’s degree in engineering or a related field. Successful sales engineers
combine technical knowledge of the products or services they are selling with strong interpersonal skills.