Is becoming a sales engineer right for me?

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How to become a Sales Engineer

Becoming a sales engineer involves a combination of education, skills development, and networking. Here's a general roadmap to help you become a sales engineer:

  • Education and Background: Obtain a Bachelor's Degree in Engineering. This provides you with a solid technical foundation that is essential for understanding the products you'll be selling. Most engineering programs require students to choose an area of specialization after the second year. The most common majors are electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, or civil engineering, but some programs offer additional majors, such as chemical engineering, biomedical engineering, or computer hardware engineering.
  • Develop Technical Expertise: Gain in-depth knowledge of the products or services you'll be selling. This might involve continuing education, workshops, certifications, and staying updated with industry trends.
  • Develop Soft Skills: Sales engineers need strong communication, interpersonal, and presentation skills. Develop your ability to explain complex technical concepts in simple terms and tailor your communication to different audiences.
  • Gain Sales Experience: Develop a background in sales by working in related roles. This might include positions like technical sales support, customer service, or entry-level sales positions. This will help you understand the sales process, customer relationship management, and the art of persuasion.
  • Industry Knowledge: Choose an industry that interests you and aligns with your technical skills. This could be anything from software to industrial equipment. Deep industry knowledge is crucial for success as a sales engineer.
  • Networking: Attend industry events, trade shows, and conferences. Networking can help you connect with professionals in the field and learn about job opportunities.
  • Apply for Sales Engineer Roles: Look for sales engineer job openings in your chosen industry. Tailor your resume and cover letter to showcase your technical skills, sales experience, and passion for the industry.
  • Interview Preparation: Prepare for interviews by researching the company, practicing your elevator pitch, and preparing examples of how you've successfully combined technical knowledge with sales skills in the past.
  • On-the-Job Training: Many companies provide on-the-job training for their sales engineers. This might involve shadowing experienced colleagues, attending product training sessions, and learning about the company's sales process.
  • Continuous Learning: The field of technology and sales is always evolving. Stay updated on industry trends, new products, and changes in customer preferences.
  • Optional Certifications: Some industries or companies might require or prefer certain certifications. For instance, in the technology sector, you might consider certifications from technology providers such as Cisco or Microsoft.

Several certifications can enhance the skills and credibility of sales engineers in areas related to technology, sales, and communication. Here are some relevant certifications for sales engineers:

  • Certified Sales Professional (CSP): Offered by the National Association of Sales Professionals (NASP), the CSP certification focuses on comprehensive sales skills, including communication, negotiation, and relationship-building.
  • Certified Sales Executive (CSE): Also provided by NASP, the CSE certification is designed for experienced sales professionals and emphasizes advanced sales strategies, leadership, and management skills.
  • Technical Sales Professional (TSP) Certification: Offered by the Sales and Marketing Executives International (SMEI), the TSP certification is designed for individuals involved in technical sales, combining technical knowledge with sales expertise.
  • Salesforce Certifications: Salesforce offers various certifications related to its Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform. Certifications like Salesforce Certified Sales Cloud Consultant or Salesforce Certified Pardot Specialist can be valuable for sales engineers.
  • HubSpot Sales Software Certification: HubSpot provides certifications related to its sales and marketing software. The HubSpot Sales Software Certification covers topics like email marketing, lead nurturing, and sales automation.
  • ValueSelling Framework Certifications: The ValueSelling Framework is a sales methodology that focuses on value-based selling. Certifications such as the ValueSelling Certified Associate (VSCA) demonstrate proficiency in this approach.
  • Association of Professional Sales (APS) Certification: APS offers certifications for sales professionals, including the APS Professional Registration. While not specific to sales engineering, it covers fundamental skills that are valuable in technical sales.
  • Certified Sales Engineer (CSE) - Sandler Training: Sandler Training provides a Certified Sales Engineer program, emphasizing the unique challenges and strategies associated with technical sales.
  • Certified Professional Salesperson (CPSP): The Sales Enablement Society offers the CPSP certification, focusing on professional development in sales and sales enablement.
  • Microsoft Certified: Dynamics 365 Sales Functional Consultant Associate: For sales engineers working with Microsoft Dynamics 365, this certification validates skills in implementing, configuring, and extending the Sales module.
  • Miller Heiman Group Sales Certification: Miller Heiman Group offers sales certifications covering various methodologies, including strategic selling and conceptual selling.

Helpful Resources
Sales engineers can benefit from a variety of resources to enhance their skills, stay informed about industry trends, and continually improve their performance. Here are some helpful resources for sales engineers:


  • "The Challenger Sale" by Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson
  • "SPIN Selling" by Neil Rackham
  • "To Sell Is Human" by Daniel H. Pink
  • "Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion" by Robert B. Cialdini

Online Platforms and Blogs

  • HubSpot Academy: Offers free online courses on sales, inbound marketing, and CRM.
  • Sales Hacker: A community-driven platform with articles, webinars, and resources on sales strategies and technologies.
  • LinkedIn Sales Solutions Blog: Provides insights on sales trends, strategies, and best practices.
  • Blog: Offers articles and resources on sales coaching, conversations analytics, and sales enablement.


  • The Salesman Podcast: Hosted by Will Barron, featuring interviews with top sales professionals and experts.
  • The Brutal Truth About Sales & Selling: Hosted by Brian G. Burns, providing insights and strategies for modern sales.
  • The Sales Evangelist Podcast: Hosted by Donald C. Kelly, covering a wide range of sales topics and featuring industry experts.

Sales Training Platforms

  • Sandler Training: Provides sales training programs, workshops, and resources, including the Sandler Online platform.
  • University: Offers courses and resources on sales coaching, deal execution, and conversation analytics.

Industry Associations

  • Association of Professional Sales (APS): Provides networking opportunities, events, and resources for sales professionals.
  • Sales Enablement Society: Focuses on sales enablement best practices and offers resources for sales professionals.

Webinars and Online Courses

  • Coursera - Sales Courses: Various courses on sales, negotiation, and customer relationship management.
  • Udemy - Sales Courses: Offers a range of courses on sales techniques, strategies, and tools.

Sales Technology Platforms

  • Salesforce Trailhead: Salesforce's learning platform with modules on their CRM and related technologies.
  • LinkedIn Learning: Provides courses on sales skills, customer relationship management, and industry-specific sales strategies.

Sales Performance Blogs

  • Salesforce Blog: Covers a variety of sales-related topics, including technology, strategies, and best practices.
  • SalesLoft Blog: Focuses on sales engagement and provides insights on modern sales processes.