Evolving technologies rapidly change how companies across all industries work. As a result, there is an increasing need for skilled professionals who can recognize the pain points of businesses and propose technology-based solutions. And today, jobs in tech sales look even more appealing than ever. If you have ever thought about becoming a Sales Engineer but couldn't decide if it is right for you, here are our top ten reasons why this would be an excellent career choice.
#1 Relatively Low Entry Barriers
Becoming a Sales Engineer is easier than you might think. Employers rarely have strict requirements for formal education and work experience. And successful Sales Engineers come from various backgrounds. Some might have degrees in Computer Science or Engineering, and others in Business Administration or Marketing. Some worked as developers before, others as sales representatives. What they all have in common is an interest in the technologies they promote, strong interpersonal skills, and a willingness to help clients solve their business problems.
#2 Earning Potential
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for sales engineers is $103,710 per year. Their income often consists of the base salary and a certain commission plan. The ratio might vary from 50/50 base/commission split to 80/20. In each case, the more they sell, the more they earn. Add to the equation good health insurance, stock options, and various perks companies offer to Sales Engineers, and you will see why this is one of the most lucrative jobs in tech.
#3 Promising Job Outlook
Sales Engineers are in high demand worldwide. At the moment of writing this article, LinkedIn has more than 78,000 open positions in the United States only. And U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects about 6,900 openings annually, on average, over the next decade. So, it is safe to say that demand for sales engineers will remain high in the coming years.
#4 Diverse Career Opportunities
Sales Engineers combine strong sales skills and business awareness with deep technical know-how. This allows them to succeed in many different roles. Sales engineers with strong leadership skills may move into sales management. Others might transition to product management, solution architecture, account management, project management, or marketing.
#5 It's Never Boring
The duties of a Sales Engineer are very versatile. These professionals alternate preparing demos and presentations, traveling to their clients, meetings with product managers and developers, and collaborating with other sales team members. Besides, they can work with different types of technological products and meet customers from various domains. So, a sales engineer job always has a place for new challenges and opportunities.
#6 Flexible Work Arrangements
Many sales engineers can choose whether they work from the office or home. And they can also set their work schedule as needed. Of course, sometimes it is necessary to meet with decision-makers from clients' companies or with other sales team members. However, their job generally does not require being at the office from 9 to 5, and it allows a good level of flexibility.
#7 Ability to See the Impact
Sales Engineers get to the root of clients' needs, identify their main pain points, and suggest how to improve things. In other words, they connect business with technology. Sales Engineers do not only work on a product that might, in theory, make someone's life easier. They actually see how the technology they promote solves real-life problems and makes a visible impact on clients' businesses. And that is why their job can be so fulfilling and rewarding.
#8 Building Expertise in Different Areas
In-depth knowledge of the specific technology is not enough to succeed in a Sales Engineer job. These professionals should also be familiar with the specifics of the client's domain. They need to understand their business goals and the most burning challenges. In addition to that, Sales Engineers have to know the products and services their competitors offer. In other words, working as a sales engineer gives one a broader perspective and teaches one to always look at the bigger picture.
#9 Personal Growth
Working as a Sales Engineer can help one develop a range of valuable skills applicable to many job roles and in many areas of one's personal life. Here are just a few examples:
- Communication skills. Sales Engineers must learn how to explain complex concepts to customers who might not have a technical background. On the other hand, they need to be able to translate the business requirements to developers. So, they master how to adjust their communication style to different audiences.
- Active listening. To be able better understand clients' needs, Sales Engineers need to learn how to ask the right questions and, most importantly, how to listen carefully.
- Presentation skills. Sales Engineers should be able to deliver compelling presentations to customers both in person and virtually.
- Teamwork. Sales Engineers work closely with other salespeople, developers, and technical support staff. So, they have plenty of opportunities to learn how to collaborate effectively with others.
- Problem-solving skills. A Sales Engineer's job is to come up with the best solutions for clients. And during their career, they develop strong problem-solving and creative thinking skills.
#10 Networking Opportunities
Sales Engineers interact with a wide range of people: potential and existing customers, other sales professionals, engineers, tech support representatives, marketers, etc. They also regularly attend industry events, trade shows, or conferences. Their work gives them plenty of opportunities to build strong business relationships with experts from different fields and significantly expand their professional network.
How to Become a Sales Engineer?
After reading about all the benefits of a Sales Engineer job, you might wonder how to break into this field. Although there is no one-size-fits-all track for landing a role, it is a good idea to start with these five steps:
Step 1: Learn the skills.
Focus on developing hard and soft skills necessary for sales engineers, including proposal writing, product research, effective communication, public speaking, and negotiation. You can also research job ads to understand what employers usually look for in candidates.
Step 2: Get familiar with tools.
Familiarize yourself with tools widely used in tech sales, such as SalesForce and HubSpot.
Step 3: Obtain hands-on experience.
Employers prefer candidates who have at least some hands-on experience in the field. If you've never worked in sales before, consider applying for a relevant internship or doing some volunteer work where you can familiarize yourself with sales engineer tasks.
Step 4: Network.
Don't underestimate the power of networking. Connect with experienced and aspiring sales engineers on LinkedIn, attend industry events, and follow relevant blogs or youtube channels. You never know who can tell you about an exciting job opportunity.
Step 5: Start applying for jobs.
And finally, create a compelling resume, update your LinkedIn profile, and start applying for open positions.
If you'd rather do all that under the guidance of experienced instructors and with the ongoing support of a mentor, enroll in our Sales Engineering program. In just ten weeks, you will learn new skills during interactive training sessions, participate in an internship and get real-world experience, prepare yourself for the job market, and start applying for your next high-paying job.