I was asked recently about what made a really good Sales Engineer and quite honestly I struggled to answer the question.
Having met, I estimate, around 2000 sales engineers across engineering, electronics, scientific, construction, M&E and Instrumentation, it’s fair to say that they vary wildly and good ones are different for radically different reasons.
In reply I used a bit of a clichéd response that I’ve been using for years. And that is “that there are two types of sales engineers; the first is a Sales engineer with a capital ‘S’ and a small ‘e’” - that’s a sales professional selling a technical product that uses his commercial guile and acumen to win a sale, for instance selling components, commodities or manufactured products. The second is a “sales Engineer with a small ‘s’ and a capital ‘E’” and these tend to sell on their technical qualities, experience and qualifications above their raw sales abilities. In essence they provide solutions which are often bespoke to exact need and the sales engineers involved are often published experts in their field.
It was therefore impossible to answer the question in a simple sentence yet made me think about what an absolutely eclectic bunch made up the ‘tour de force’ that are sales engineers! In tribute Aaron Wallis has launched www.thesalesengineer.co.uk which is technical sales website updated weekly with the latest technical news together with the latest sales engineer jobs. To receive a free copy of a newsletter entitled ‘The Sales Engineer’ simply join the mail list