A sales engineer is someone who sells technical and complex products to other businesses, and can help with intricate or technological problems. They must have a thorough knowledge of the product or service that they are trying to sell, so that they can explain to potential clients how the product works, the product’s USP and how the product will benefit the client. A sales engineer is a very demanding job, and therefore there are some specific skills and qualities that they must have in order to excel in their role.
If you are a sales engineer looking to find yourself a new and exciting role, get in touch with a member of staff from the BMR Solutions team today where we will be happy to help.
General Sales Skills
As the name suggests, a sales engineer’s main duty is to sell, so much of the skills and qualities that make up their job is identical to the skills of a sales person.
Ability to deal with pressure
The security of a sales engineer’s job heavily relies on sales. At the very minimum, they are expected to hit their sales target, so it’s crucial that a sales engineer is able to remain calm under pressure. Like any salesperson, they have to understand that if they don’t hit their goals, they risk losing their job, but if they exceed their target, they could potentially receive a pay rise or a promotion.
Willing to work long and irregular hours
As discussed above, it’s vital that sales engineers hit their target, and to achieve this, they must be willing to work extra hours, which usually involves working particularly long shifts, and even some weekends.
Ability to work both in a team and independently
As a sales engineer, it’s crucial that you can work both collaboratively, and individually. For example, you need to be able to effectively communicate with the other sales people within your company to develop marketing strategies, but also need to be able to work alone when conducting market research and other analysis.
Often having to pitch or present to potential customers, a sales engineer must feel comfortable speaking in front of people, and must be able to accurately answer any questions or queries.
Good negotiation/persuasion skills
Without coming across as too pushy, a sales engineer needs to have good persuasive and negotiation skills. In a situation where a customer might be struggling to see the benefit of the service or product being sold, it’s up to the sales engineer to change the customer’s mind and convince them that the product is worthwhile. Similarly, if a customer was trying to push an agreement where the profit margin of the product was too small, the sales engineer would have to try and negotiate a beneficial deal for both parties. They want as big a profit margin as possible, but they don’t want to risk losing a potential client.
Must be trustworthy and have a likeable personality
A customer would never agree to a deal if the sales person came across as untrustworthy, so the sales engineer must be genuine. Creating a rapport and a relationship could also help a deal to be agreed with a customer.
It’s paramount that the sales engineer has an exhaustive knowledge of the product or service that they are attempting to sell so that they are able to fully and correctly explain the product, it’s features and why it is better than any of its competitors. If any questions are asked about the product, being able to confidently and correctly answer them will maximise the chances of generating a sale, which therefore contributes to the sales engineer reaching their sales target.
It is also essential that a sales engineer has a good understanding of their target market so that they can appropriately position and promote their product. A good sales engineer spends a significant amount of time conducting market research as it allows them to represent their product to appeal to potential clients. Carrying out in-depth research will also enable a sales engineer to understand the strengths and weaknesses of their competitor’s products.
Establishing Good Relationships with Clients
It is also crucial that a sales engineer keeps a good relationship with all clients so that they remain satisfied with the service they are being provided. The engineer should always respond to emails and must be willing to travel to the clients to solve any problems or difficulties that they are experiencing with the product or service being given. It’s not essential, but having a full driving license would be beneficial as it would allow the sales engineer to get to clients easier than public transport would.
Willing to Attend Trade Shows and Conferences
A sales engineer should also be willing to attend various trade shows and conferences to promote their product. They will almost certainly be expected to attend shows across the UK, and in some companies, sales engineers may be required to attend conferences abroad to further promote the brand. The aim of attending these shows is to generate more sales leads, and in order for this to happen, the company needs to be professionally represented by the engineer.
Good Maths Skills
It’s key that a sales engineer has a good understanding of maths as they are dealing with numbers and money every day. They need to be able to analyse the costs and sales within the business, as well as being able to evaluate their ROI, and how successful their paid marketing strategies are compared to free marketing techniques.
Being Able to Speak a Foreign Language
This isn’t essential, but if you are working for a large international business, it can help if you have the ability to speak a foreign language(s). You could be dealing with clients from other countries, and having a language barrier could prevent sales from taking place.
Having a Degree
Again, it’s not essential, but if you are a sales engineer for a significantly complex and technical product, such as telecommunications, having a significant level of knowledge regarding the industry will be advantageous. However, for some companies, this isn’t essential, and instead they will expect you to learn as you work.
If you are a sales engineer looking for a job, the team at BMR Solutions would love to help! Either upload your CV and a member of our team will get back to you, or call us on 0117 9710171. We are often pairing technically-trained staff with some of the country’s most reputable companies, and you could be next!
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