Employers typically prefer graduates with qualifications in computer science, software engineering, physics or maths.
Technical sales engineers are often the key point of contact for clients, answering queries, providing technical advice and demonstrating how to use new products and/or services.
Typical responsibilities of the job include:
- identifying and establishing new business
- organising sales visits
- giving demonstrations, training and presentations to help clients discover and understand products/services
- liaising with existing clients
- preparing tenders, proposals and quotations
- providing pre-sales and post-sales support
- negotiating contracts, terms and conditions
- reviewing cost and sales performance
- writing reports and sales literature
- supporting other members of the sales team by training them in the uses of products/services
- attending trade exhibitions, conferences and meetings
- ensuring that sales targets are met.
Typically, technical sales engineers are employed by companies that provide products or services for which training and a good level of knowledge is needed to use/fully appreciate the benefits of. Employers include:
When searching for positions, TARGETjobs’ vacancies might be a good place to start. You may also find that industry-specific publications for the specific industry you are interested in, as well as their online equivalents, advertise jobs.
Entry requirements vary according to the industry you are working in. For some positions, a degree in any subject is acceptable. However, some employers require sector-specific degree subjects, such as chemical engineering (for the chemical or food industry) or civil engineering (for the construction industry). Other relevant subjects include computer science, physics and maths.
You are likely to need work experience in a customer-facing role; how long this will need to be for, whether a part-time position or work experience will suffice and how relevant it needs to be to the industry all depends on the particular employer and position.
Some technology and engineering companies offer sales engineering graduate programmes. If you take this route into the career, you are likely to need a relevant degree. Some work experience in a customer-facing role will be extremely beneficial for your application, too. Sales work experience – or a part-time retail or sales position – is typically sufficient.
With the right skills, experience and knowledge, it’s possible to enter the profession without a degree. Perhaps you can demonstrate strong knowledge and interest in the industry through extracurricular activities and/or work experience. How important a degree is considered will depend on the industry and employer.
- Strong technical skills
- Research and analytical skills
- Organisational skills
- Communication skills, including the ability to explain clearly, listen to the feedback of clients – and relay this to colleagues
- The ability to negotiate with and influence others
- Teamworking skills
- Sales skills
- Commercial awareness.
A full driving licence may be required.