5 skills sales engineers need and the tools to maximize them

Sales engineers play a key role in the sales cycle when products are more technical.

Sales engineers rarely work alone. They often work with a salesperson or account manager, support clients or leads in the pipeline.

What are sales engineers?

Sales engineers can come under a variety of job titles. Such as systems engineer, solutions engineer, support engineer, applications engineer, field applications engineer, consulting engineer and sales consultant. Also, some account managers are trained in a variety of sales skills.

Sales engineers aren’t needed in every sector or company. Only when products are particularly technical, and clients benefit from a deeper level of understanding. At times sales engineers are speaking with others in technical roles in client or prospect companies. Whereas, other times, they are talking to those who don’t have technical skills or expertise, and a product needs explaining more simply.

Sectors more likely to need sales engineers include healthcare, AI/ML, more complicated database-related products, engineering, defence, and Industry 3.0.

Sales engineers are skilled at making the technical more comprehensive. Selling the benefits of complex systems and processes, either to a technical, or usually, non-technical audience. Sales engineers need a technical background, or at the very least, a more technical level of understanding than most salespeople.

In this article, we are taking a look at the five core skills sales engineers need, and tools that maximize sales engineers skills.

5 skills sales engineers need

#1: Bridge gaps between stakeholders

One of the main jobs of a sales engineer is to bridge the gaps that exist in complicated sales cycles. Stakeholders in client and prospect companies need to understand how complex products work.

Unless a sales engineer can simplify and sell something complicated, a prospect is unlikely to purchase. It’s that simple. Buyers need a basic or more in-depth level of understanding, depending on their role in the company.

A sales engineer bridges the gaps between product specialists and those who created it, sales teams selling it, and prospects wanting to buy it, who need it to make sense. Communication is a key skill for any sales engineer, regardless of the product or sector.

#2: Explaining technology, simplifying

For a sales engineer to be successful, they need to explain and simplify the tech solutions customers are interested in.

Now this doesn’t necessarily mean dumbing everything down. Customers need to understand how something works, otherwise they won’t buy it. Explaining is the process of educating. Once a customer can explain back key aspects of the technology to a sales engineer, their work is complete, in many ways.

An educated customer is informed and more likely to want to buy a product.

#3: Aligning technology with customer needs

Equally crucial is ensuring that a product is aligned with the needs of the customer. Identifying pain points and challenges is the role of a salesperson. When a product is quite complicated, then sales engineers can be deployed to explain and educate as to the ways the product solves these pain points.

#4: Succinctly present a Demo

Something sales engineers with extensive technical knowledge need to avoid doing is overwhelming an audience with too much information.

An audience needs to understand a product. But not every stakeholder needs to understand a product in the same way, to the same depth and detail. A CEO needs a different level of understanding than a product specialist in a client company.

This means a sales engineer needs to have the skills to deliver any presentation succinctly. Keep the audience engaged, and remember that this is a sales pitch. Every demo and presentation is a sales pitch, not a product-based “show and tell.”

#5: Understand and support the sales process

At the end of the day, sales engineers are part of the sales process. They play a key role in this process. And that means understanding and supporting it effectively. At the end of the day, that means being clear on where particular demos are in the pipeline for every client, the audience, and how to move each sales lead forward.

Screen sharing to maximize sales engineers skills

Screen sharing makes it easier for sales engineers to deliver the presentations that prospects need. This way, a sales engineer can show, rather than tell a prospect or client how a piece of technology works.

Not only is this better for the client, it helps to accelerate the sales process. Which is why so many sales teams and sales engineers turn to CrankWheel to deliver screen sharing presentations. If you are demonstrating a piece of software, CrankWheel even gives sales engineers the ability to let prospects take control. Try it out; thereby making anything complicated easy to sell.

Any tools sales engineers can use to sell complicated products and services are worth investing in, which is why so many rely on CrankWheel.

CrankWheel: Cut your sales cycle in half with instant screen-sharing. Go from two or more sales calls to one: Become a one call close sales team.