Where are you in your career path? Are you a new graduate looking for your first job, or are you an engineer looking to switch jobs? Wherever you may be, you are probably reading this because you’ve decided that you want to seriously consider a career as a sales engineer.
If you’re at this point in your career, you need to take a good look at your background. What is your current background, and how does it pertain to this new job? If you have an engineering degree or already have experience in the industry you want to get into, great! These are all promising starts for getting into technical sales.
If not, don’t worry because there are still many opportunities for you to enter the sales industry and achieve success in this new career.
Does Experience Matter?
When thinking about your background, maybe you’re worried because you have no experience in sales whatsoever. Although some background in sales is always a plus, having no sales background or experience is a hurdle you can overcome.
Many people have entered sales and have gone on to have successful and fulfilling careers coming from entirely different backgrounds.
Fortunately, this lack of sales experience is something you can work on and change. You might want to consider applying for a supporting role first in sales and then move your way up to the position you want.
For example, if you start in Sales Support, you’ll learn about:
- contacting sales leads
- keeping track of sales targets, and
- managing correspondence between the sales team and their clients
Learn from the salespeople you are working with and see what works and what doesn’t. All of the experience you gain in a supporting position will help you become a great sales engineer later.
But how much money could you be losing because you are not getting the proper training and learning from industry experts? Learn how to get employers to recognize you and the skills to make it happen.
Use Your Education and Experience to Your Advantage
Some companies and organizations look for engineers to turn into salespeople. Having an engineering background is always a big plus because you’re already familiar with technical terms and products in technical sales.
The company that’s hiring can save money by hiring engineers and then training them to become sales engineers. They won’t have to pay someone who is just starting the same salary as an experienced sales engineer.
Some companies prefer hiring employees without any sales experience. This can work to their advantage. Aside from the money the company saves, they can train the engineer exactly how they want. If you’re an engineer, companies like this can serve as your foot in the door and start your career in technical sales.
Look for Opportunities Everywhere
When considering all your options, you need to ask yourself, “What experience do I have the most in?” If you’re a new graduate and straight out of school, ideally, you’ve had an internship or two related to technical sales or even just sales in general. If not, you might want to consider an internship position now. This allows you to beef up your background and experience before looking for a permanent technical sales position.
If you’re already working, you can first start looking for opportunities within your organization. Lateral positions are a great way to get into another department. If you’re in engineering, talk to your manager or superior about the possibility of moving into sales.
They might have positions available and are open to hiring internally instead of hiring an outside applicant. Some companies prefer to do this because the employee is already familiar with company culture and how things work within the organization. The additional training needed will be for the sales-specific position and not for other soft skills that the organization knows you possess already.
How to Prepare for a Technical Sales Career
Whether you are looking to move positions internally or to a new company, you need to look at your background. See how you can apply your knowledge and experience to your resume.
How should you present yourself when you are talking to a potential new employer or your organization’s hiring manager? Remember to highlight and include whatever relevant experience you have.
You need to make sure that your experience fits the job description and the position you want. Maybe you had sales experience in college or even in high school. Even if it wasn’t directly related to technical sales, there are ways to make the skills you learned and experiences you had fit the position you are eyeing.
What to Do When You Don’t Have Sales Experience
One key point to remember is that your background will always be the first thing the hiring organization will look at. Did you have any experience in sales? If the answer is no, but you have experience working as a project engineer or account manager, this works to your advantage.
Many project engineers move up into sales. This is because they know how to deal both with customers and the technical aspects of products. They have the people skills needed and are also familiar with the technical side of things.
Many times, project engineers and account managers are the following technical sales engineers in a company. If you are starting from scratch, this is also something you can consider.
How Important is Your Background If You Want to Become a Sales Engineer?
The first thing to remember – your background is essential. It is one of the first things tje HR department or a hiring manager will look at on your resume. Make sure to highlight any sales-related experience you have and to make your background fit the position you want.
Even without any sales experience yet, you can still have a successful career as a sales engineer. This might mean looking at a sales support position, a project engineer role, or account management first. These jobs will all help give you the best background and experience you need to become a successful sales engineer.
With over 15 years of experience, we don’t just teach “theory.” We provide actionable lessons so you can see results tomorrow by providing you with all the tools you need to not only significantly increase your personal income but become a top performer at any company. If you are ready to take your technical sales career to the next level or are eager to make a career change, then click here to take the next step towards success with Technical Sales University.