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Sales Engineers: the Answer to Technology’s Rapid Forward Progress
Blog / Sales Management / Feb 7, 2019 / Posted by Philip Piletic / 971 

Sales Engineers: the Answer to Technology’s Rapid Forward Progress

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Technology is advancing at a breakneck speed in almost every single discipline, which means regular sales personnel are at risk of becoming obsolete. Companies now need people who can present the benefits and features of highly specialized products. Unfortunately, many of these products are beyond the comprehension of those without at least some background in engineering.

Imagine a traditional salesperson attempting to explain why corporate IT departments should adopt one piece of hardware over its various competitors. While they might be cordial, the representative wouldn’t be able to answer any of the questions potential buyers had. This has lead to the rise of so-called sales engineers, who supply advice and support as well as other services for their clients.

If you’re looking for people who can seamlessly take your business into the next decade, then you’ll want to look into this fast-growing field of expertise.

How Sales Engineering Became a Specialty

Consumers tend to make buying decisions based on brand preferences, trends and a variety of social reasons. These issues matter very little in industrial and commercial markets. Nevertheless, salespeople working in these fields have long attempted to apply the same strategies to industrial marketing that they do to selling clothes and food.

Some developer trade shows looked very odd as a result. Business leaders can’t take hardware dealers seriously when their sales personnel don’t know much about the equipment they’re selling. Vendors have thus reached out to those with engineering experience to represent their products. While tech companies first started doing this around fifteen years ago, firms have begun hiring sales engineers at higher rates than ever before.

How Sales Engineers can Help Your Business

Traditional sales strategies and closing techniques don’t work when dealing with expensive scientific equipment. If you’ve ever sat through a presentation like this when trying to buy something like an electron scanning microscope, then you probably felt as though you were unsure you could even trust the vendor to support their hardware.

New personnel are taught to be technicians, consultants and even troubleshooters. Sales engineer training courses are every bit as challenging as those taken by any other kind of engineer. As a result, they’ll be able to go over the kind of equipment you currently have deployed and help you make educated choices about what tools to bring into your place of business.

In many cases, sales engineers work directly for manufacturers or distributors. This means that they often have a fair amount of experience with the hardware they sell. This gives them more freedom to tailor solutions to your business environment than a traditional salesperson might have. This means you won’t have to worry nearly as much about compatibility problems or any other issues related to miscommunication.

Managing Conflicts of Interest

Industrial clients and sales engineers are technically in conflict with one another. Any representative of a company is under pressure to steer their clients away from products made by competitors. This means its important to exercise caution when considering any advice you might receive from one.

Some industrial buyers have taken this idea too far and tend to ignore everything they’re told. This is the result of years of traditional sales personnel promoting products without knowing much about what they’re selling. Fortunately, sales engineers are far more scrupulous and want their customers to enjoy at least some return on the investment they’re about to make. They’re also required to keep pace with countless technical developments so they don’t present old information to clients.

Get the most out of your time spent with them by requesting a demonstration if at all possible. Even though you might both be interested in different aspects of the transaction, your assigned sales engineer will still be able to teach you a great deal about the products available to your firm.

Answering the Call of New Technological Developments

New engineering developments happen on a daily basis. Technologists are constantly coming out with new products that serve the needs of niche industries. Hardware vendors are quickly turning to sales engineers to promote their products while simultaneously teaching potential buyers about their merits. While most people don’t enjoy shopping for new scientific equipment, working with a sales engineer can make the journey much easier.

    About Author

    His primary focus is a fusion of technology, small business and marketing. Freelancer and writer, in love with startups, traveling and helping others get their ideas off the ground. Unwinds with a glass of scotch and some indie rock on vinyl.

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