Advancing 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 vs senior sales engineer is a great place to start when preparing for career advancement in the field.
This article will share 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 advance, 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 customers’ needs to make sure the company stays one step ahead in any given scenario.
Sales engineers ensure that all of the information about a company’s products and services reaches the target audience. Sales engineers also explain advanced products to prospective 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 various and clear areas of responsibility. In the section below, we will describe the different duties of junior vs senior sales engineers. Some of these responsibilities may overlap depending on the company in which they work.
Junior Sales Engineer Job Description
- Handle product sales. Junior sales engineers are responsible for handling product orders, maintaining inventory levels, and ensuring that customer requirements are fulfilled.
- Calculate customer quotations. Junior sales engineers accurately calculate customer quotes for products available and provide the quotes to customers.
- Record and maintain client contact data. Entry-level sales engineers record details and contacts from all clients while also updating data for existing ones.
- Search for new clients and sales opportunities. A junior sales engineer actively seeks out potential customers who could benefit from their products and builds a strong customer relationship to sell their company’s products to these customers.
- Assisting senior sales engineers. Junior sales engineers are the backbone of any company and play an integral part in helping their senior counterparts with whatever task is assigned to them.
Senior Sales Engineer Job Description
- Negotiate and close sales deals. 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 on terms and conditions.
- Provide training. A senior sales engineer must provide training to their sales team to develop their skills and boost their performances. This training could be on hands-on sales techniques or focus more on the technical aspect of the products to enhance a junior’s technical expertise.
- Conduct technical presentations. A senior sales engineer is in charge of making and showcasing technical sales presentations and demonstrating how the company’s products will satisfy clients’ needs.
- Provide technical assistance: A senior sales engineer provides technical assistance to clients in need, and they must be able to educate clients on any technical product and its usage.
- Generate sales leads: A senior sales engineer is responsible for generating sales leads following initial contact. They also have the responsibility of negotiating prices, arranging deliveries after completing orders, and securing or renewing customers’ contracts.
Junior vs. Senior Sales Engineer Salaries
Just as the job responsibilities and roles differ, so do the salaries of junior sales engineers and senior sales engineers. In this section, we delve into junior vs. senior sales engineer salaries.
Junior Sales Engineer Salary
According to Payscale, the average base salary of a junior sales engineer is $58,000 per year. Earnings from commissions would be on top of this amount. A junior sales engineer earns lower than a senior because of 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 annually, according to Payscale. This salary figure represents the median pay per year in the United States. A senior sales engineer earns higher than a junior sales engineer due to their high level of experience and educational background.
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How Long Does It Take to Become a Junior Sales Engineer?
It takes less than two years to become a junior sales engineer and becoming a sales engineer doesn’t require having a degree. You can become an entry-level sales engineer simply by attending a sales bootcamp or having experience in sales.
A college degree can also help you become a sales engineer, however, an associate degree typically takes two years to complete, and a bachelor’s degree will take about four years. While a college education is not required to become a sales engineer, it does make you eligible for career growth to 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 advance to senior sales engineer roles you need a college degree, which could take two to four years to complete. Earning an associate degree takes two years, whereas 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 Progression from Junior to Senior Sales Engineer
1. Gain experience
Progressing from an entry-level sales engineer to a senior requires years of sales experience and a good track record of meeting sales goals. A junior sales engineer is required to have at least six years of sales and technical experience before they can be considered qualified enough to move up to a senior role.
2. Pursue higher education
Becoming a sales engineer does not always necessitate an educational background, but becoming a senior sales engineer involves earning additional education. Enroll for an advanced degree like a two-year master’s degree program to gain more technical knowledge that will set you apart from your peers who may only have a diploma or a bachelor’s degree.
3. Acquire certifications
Obtaining a certification boosts your portfolio and shows employers that you’re knowledgeable. Many senior sales engineers earn certifications like Certified Sales Professional (CSP), or NAASE’s Certified Sales Engineer (CSE) designation.
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4. Improve your skills
Senior sales engineers are seniors for a reason, which means they are advanced in all aspects, 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 to hone your communication skills, problem-solving skills, and technical presentation skills.
5. Continue your training
A junior sales engineer who aspires to be a senior sales engineer must invest in ongoing training. A sales engineer must continually gain technical knowledge in sales and experience in engineering. Improving knowledge of the technical aspects of products keeps sales engineers on top of their sales quotas and allows them to advance further 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 sophisticated products, and the necessary skills required to succeed in this job role. Being a sales engineer is an exciting, fast-paced job with growth potential.
Junior vs. Senior Sales Engineer Salaries FAQ
Yes, sales engineering is a good job and career path. According to BLS, sales engineering is projected to grow by eight percent from 2020 to 2030, which is faster than the average. This demand means strong job security and opportunities for advancement.
A senior sales engineer is a professional skilled in identifying sales and business opportunities and developing product strategies that maximize revenue potential while minimizing costs. They are responsible for navigating prospective customers and current customers through the sales process and ensuring they are up-to-speed on the company products available.
Yes, sales engineers are real engineers too. While sales engineers are primarily concerned with marketing technology-based products, they understand these technological and scientific products better than the average customer.
Successful sales engineers need a wide range of soft skills like analytical and problem-solving skills, written and verbal communication skills, problem-solving skills, interpersonal skills, exceptional presentation skills. They must also have excellent customer service, technological skills, and previous sales experience.
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