Progressing in your career as a junior sales engineer means developing the skills and experience necessary to excel in a senior role. Knowing the differences between a junior and a senior sales engineer is a great place to start when preparing for career advancement in the field.
This article discusses the roles and responsibilities of both professional levels, as well as how long it takes to become a senior sales engineer. Find out what skills you need to get ahead and what potential salary awaits you.
What is a Sales Engineer?
A sales engineer is a professional who designs, develops and implements an effective sales strategy for a company. They understand and anticipate customer needs to ensure the company stays one step ahead in every scenario.
Sales engineers ensure that all information about a company’s products and services reaches its target audience. Sales engineers also explain advanced products to potential customers using their technical skills. According to PayScale, the average base salary of sales engineers is $74,289 per year.
junior vs. Senior Sales Engineers: Areas of Responsibility
Junior and senior sales engineers have different and clear responsibilities. In the section below, we will describe the different duties of junior versus senior sales engineers. Some of these responsibilities may overlap depending on the company they work in.
Job description Junior Sales Engineer
- Managing product sales. Junior sales engineers are responsible for fulfilling product orders, maintaining inventory levels and ensuring customer requirements are met.
- Calculate customer quotes. Junior sales engineers accurately calculate customer quotes for available products and provide the quotes to customers.
- Capture and maintain customer contact information. Entry level sales engineers record details and contacts of all customers and also update data for existing customers.
- Search for new customers and sales opportunities. A junior sales engineer actively seeks out potential customers who can benefit from their products and builds strong customer relationships to sell their company’s products to these customers.
- Assist senior sales engineers. Junior sales engineers are the backbone of any business and play an integral role in helping their senior colleagues with any task.
Job description Senior Sales Engineer
- Negotiation and conclusion of sales agreements. A senior sales engineer must be able to negotiate effectively to make profitable sales and avoid being on the losing end of a deal by agreeing terms and conditions.
- Provide training. A senior sales engineer should train their sales team to develop their skills and improve their performance. This training can cover hands-on sales techniques or focus more on the technical aspect of the products to increase a junior’s technical expertise.
- Providing technical presentations. A senior sales engineer is responsible for creating and presenting technical sales presentations and demonstrating how the company’s products will meet customer needs.
- Provide technical assistance: A senior sales engineer provides technical assistance to customers in need, and they must be able to inform customers about each technical product and its use.
- Generate sales leads: A senior sales engineer is responsible for generating sales leads after the first contact. They are also responsible for negotiating prices, arranging deliveries after completing orders, and concluding or renewing contracts with customers.
Junior vs. Junior Salaries Senior Sales Engineer
Just as job responsibilities and roles differ, so do the salaries of junior sales engineers and senior sales engineers. In this section, we take a closer look at junior versus senior sales engineer salaries.
Salary Junior Sales Engineer
According to Payscale, the average base salary of a junior sales engineer is $58,000 per year. The income from commissions would be on top of this amount. A junior sales engineer earns less than a senior due to the difference in job responsibilities, educational background and level of experience.
Senior Sales Engineer Salary
A senior sales engineer earns an average salary of $108,917 per year, according to Payscale. This salary figure represents the average wage per year in the United States. A senior sales engineer earns more than a junior sales engineer due to their high level of experience and educational background.
How long does it take to become a Junior Sales Engineer?
It takes less than two years to become a junior sales engineer and you don’t need a degree to become a sales engineer. You can become a budding sales engineer simply by attending a sales bootcamp or having experience in sales.
A college degree can also help you become a sales engineer, but an associate degree usually takes two years to complete and a bachelor’s degree takes about four years. While a college degree is not required to become a sales engineer, you do qualify for career advancement to a senior sales engineer.
How long does it take to become a Senior Sales Engineer?
It can take two to six years to become a senior sales engineer, depending on your level of education and amount of work experience. To progress to senior sales engineer roles, you need a college degree, which can take two to four years to complete. Earning an associate degree takes two years, while a bachelor’s degree requires four years of study.
You must also have a significant amount of work experience as an entry-level sales engineer to advance as a senior sales engineer and meet technical requirements. Having two to six years of relevant experience is acceptable for successful sales engineers.
Career Path and Progress from Junior to Senior Sales Engineer
1. Gain experience
Moving from a novice sales engineer to a senior requires years of sales experience and a track record of meeting sales goals. A junior sales engineer must have at least six years of sales and technical experience before being considered qualified enough to progress to a senior position.
2. Get Higher Education
Becoming a sales engineer does not always require an educational background, but becoming a senior sales engineer requires additional training. Enroll in an advanced degree such as a two-year master’s degree to gain more technical knowledge that will set you apart from your peers who may only have a diploma or bachelor’s degree.
3. Obtain certifications
Earning a certification expands your portfolio and shows employers that you are knowledgeable. Many senior sales engineers earn certifications such as Certified Sales Professional (CSP) or NAASE’s Certified Sales Engineer (CSE) designation.
4. Improve your skills
Senior sales engineers are seniors for a reason, which means they are progressive in every way, including their skills. To advance in this career, you must be willing to improve your skills. A senior typically leads a team, so developing leadership skills is important. You should also work on improving your communication skills, problem-solving skills, and technical presentation skills.
5. Continue your training
A junior sales engineer seeking to become a senior sales engineer must invest in ongoing training. A sales engineer must constantly gain technical knowledge in sales and experience in engineering. Improving knowledge of the technical aspects of products keeps sales engineers abreast of their sales quota and enables them to advance in their careers.
Should You Become a Sales Engineer?
Yes, you should become a sales engineer if you have experience in sales, extensive knowledge of technology and advanced products, and the necessary skills needed to succeed in this position. Being a sales engineer is an exciting, fast-paced job with growth potential.
Junior vs. Junior Salaries Senior Sales Engineer
Yes, sales engineering is a good job and career path. According to BLS, sales engineering is expected to grow by eight percent between 2020 and 2030, which is faster than the average. This demand means strong job security and career opportunities.
A senior sales engineer is a professional who is adept at identifying sales and business opportunities and developing product strategies that maximize revenue potential and minimize costs. They are responsible for navigating prospects and current customers through the sales process and ensuring they are aware of the company products available.
Yes, sales engineers are also real engineers. Although sales engineers are primarily concerned with bringing technology-based products to market, they understand these technological and scientific products better than the average customer.
Successful sales engineers need a wide range of soft skills such as analytical and problem solving skills, written and oral communication skills, problem solving skills, interpersonal skills, exceptional presentation skills. They must also have excellent customer service, technical skills, and previous sales experience.
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