Technical Sales Engineer Training: The 4 Skills of Mastery

fundamentals Jun 30, 2022
Courses and tools for professionals

 A good salesperson needs to have an in-depth understanding of the products they are selling in order to succeed. In most cases, learning the ins and outs of a product doesn't require all that much technical expertise. For business-to-business (B2B) companies selling software and other forms of advanced technology, though, understanding the product well enough to sell it to other industry experts often requires many years of training and experience.

As technology has come to dominate almost every aspect of our modern economy, it's created the need for a new type of sales professional - sales engineers. As the title suggests, the role of a sales engineer is one that combines elements of both engineering and sales, ensuring that the men and women in charge of selling a company's high-tech product are subject matter experts who are comfortable answering any question a customer might ask.

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Sales engineering has become an increasingly popular career choice and one that offers a lot of lucrative opportunities to those who possess the right combination of technical and people skills. Before you can secure your dream job as a sales engineer, though, you will first need to complete technical sales engineer training. 

In this article, we'll cover everything you need to know about sales engineering and sales engineer training, including the role and importance of sales engineers, the top sales skills that a technical sales engineer needs to acquire, and how to choose a training course that will put you on the path to a rewarding new sales career. 

What is a Sales Engineer? 

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Sales engineering teams often have similar responsibilities to any other sales team, with the key difference being that sales engineers are salespeople that focus on advanced products that a typical salesperson might not have the knowledge or education to understand.

In other cases, rather than selling products directly, sales engineers will work to support the company's sales team and provide them with the tools, resources, and advice they need to succeed. In this way, a sales engineer bridge the gap between sales and product development, advising product development teams on how to create a product that is specifically designed for optimized sales and advising salespeople on the methodology for selling the product to tech-savvy customers. 

How Much do Sales Engineers Earn? 

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The increasing demand for sales engineers combined with the relative lack of sales professionals who possess the abilities and knowledge to sell tech products makes sales engineering a career path that offers a lot of potential for high wages.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), sales engineers earn a median salary of $103,710 per year for their services. The BLS also predicts an 8% growth in job outlook for sales engineering through 2030, making it a job that is in high demand.  

Where Are Sales Engineers Employed?

 Sales engineers are commonly employed by any company that sells technology products that are too complex to be easily understood by the average salesperson. B2B sales is one area where technical sales professionals are commonly employed since B2B tech products tend to be a lot more complex than consumer-oriented products.

Along with working for B2B sales companies, many sales engineers are employed by an independent sales organization, leasing out their services to third-party companies.  

The Top Skills a Sales Engineer Needs to Master

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Working as a sales engineer requires you to master a range of essential skills and skill/business development is one of the most important keys to succeeding as a sales engineer. Some of the top areas that you should prioritize as you go about training to become a sales engineer includes things such as: 

1) Technical Expertise 

The first and arguably most important quality of a sales engineer is strong technical expertise. Depending on where you are employed, this technical expertise can take a number of different forms.

A sales engineer working for a company that offers B2B sales software, for example, is likely going to need much different expertise than a sales engineer working for a company that sells aerospace components.

Depending on where you are employed and the nature of your role, experience with software engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, or some combination of these may be required. 

2) Great Teamwork and Communication 

Develop and enhance your team

We've mentioned already that sales engineering often bridges the gap between a company's product development team and its sales team. In order to coordinate the goals and efforts of two very different departments, though, you need to demonstrate great teamwork and communication skills. These are essential abilities for any sales position but are especially important for technical sales engineering. 

3) Problem-Solving Skills 

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Great problem-solving abilities is one of the hallmarks of any successful engineer, and the same is true for sales engineers as well. When a customer has an issue with an advanced product and needs help devising a solution, a technical sales engineer is often the one who steps in to assist.

This means that sales engineers need to demonstrate a keen ability for diagnosing customer problems and devising innovative solutions to whatever issues a customer is facing. 

4) Sales Skills 

Technical expertise is an essential quality for sales engineers, but so are the people skills and "soft skills" that are often associated with great salespeople. While some sales engineers spend much more time advising sales teams rather than selling products themselves, many others are highly involved with the company's sales process and spend a large portion of their day communicating with prospects and existing customers alike. If you are going to pursue a career in sales engineering, therefore, you'll first need to hone your sales knowledge and abilities. 

How to Choose the Best Technical Sales Engineer Training Program 

Sales engineers are required to demonstrate a unique range of abilities and knowledge. The good news for those interested in this job, though, is that are plenty of great online courses that are specifically designed to provide those interested in sales engineering with the training they need to boost their technical sales expertise.

Whether you are already employed as a sales engineer and are looking to acquire new skills to further your career or you are just now beginning your path to a sales engineering job, here are three tips for choosing a technical sales training program: 

1) Choosing Between Online and In-Person Training 

Close the deal through practice

Choosing between online courses and in-person courses is one of the first decisions you will need to make as you go about searching for the right training program. There are benefits and drawbacks to both options.

Online courses are more convenient for many people, allowing you to work on your own schedule from the comfort of your own home. They also tend to be a little more affordable. However, many people find that they retain information better when attending an in-person course compared to online learning.

Choosing between online courses and in-person training, therefore, is mostly a matter of personal preference. For this reason, we at Demo Doctor offer both online and in-person technical sales engineer training courses. 

One other important piece of advice as you go about choosing between online and in-person training is to be wary of free courses. While attending one of these free courses may seem like a great way to save a buck, the quality of the education and instruction that you will receive is almost certain to be much lower than what you can expect from a high-quality, paid course. 

2) Consider Feedback From Past Students 

Practice makes perfect

One of the best ways to evaluate a sales engineering training course is to listen to what those who have already taken the course have to say. Reading the rating and reviews from past students can be an excellent way to learn more about the benefits that a course offers as well as any drawbacks that you need to be aware of. 

3) Choose a Course That Offers Refunds 

No matter how much research you do, it's difficult to know what you are going to get out of a course until you start attending it. If a course isn't teaching you the new skills you need to excel at your job, you may decide to abandon it and move on to searching for other courses.

For this reason, it is highly advisable to choose a course that offers refunds. At Demo Doctor, for example, we give our students 30 days to decide if our technical sales training course is the right choice for them. If you decide at any point within this time frame that the course isn't what you were expecting, we are happy to offer a full refund. 

How to Sign Up for Technical Sales Training From Demo Doctor 

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At Demo Doctor, our business development experts have helped countless technical sales professionals hone their sales skills and make themselves exponentially more valuable to the business that employs them. With our Sales Engineer Mastery course, you can look forward to first-class instruction from industry-leading instructors and a curriculum that is meticulously designed to help you reach your business development goals.

From B2B sales tactics to creating effective customer demonstrations to improving relationships and communication with other sales staff, our Sales Engineer Mastery course covers everything you need to know to excel in technical sales. To learn more about how Demo Doctor's proven technical sales engineering training can help you reach the job of your dreams, feel free to contact us today!