As implied by the name, these professionals are both engineers and sales/business specialists. They work in all kinds of companies—public or private, manufacturing or service company—that offer products to customers.
Thanks to their technical knowledge, sales engineers can explain the features of complex products (e.g. software packages, medication, machine tools) and propose solutions adapted to the needs of potential customers. At the same time, they use their business acumen to negotiate contracts and close sales. They are in charge of developing and managing a customer portfolio in a geographic sector or given market. Part of their compensation may be commission-based.
THE CORE OF THEIR JOB:
- prospecting for customers
- analyzing their needs
- conducting studies (e.g. technical, financial, business leads)
- developing estimates and specifications
- coordinating the various project workers (e.g. subcontractors, suppliers)
They also take care of after-sales follow-up by providing technical support to build customer loyalty, for example. In wholesale markets, they analyze requests for proposals, write bid files and follow their progress.
- A major asset: an engineering degree complemented by specialized business training, giving them the tools to explain AND negotiate! Some positions are open to technicians with several years of experience.
- Have a solid technical, economic and business foundation
- Know the company, its market and how its products work
- Master negotiation tools
- Be able to simplify complex ideas
- In Quebec, bilingualism (English/French) is an absolute must
- Interpersonal skills
- Interest in technical issues
- Organization skills
- Teaching skills
- Listening skills