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10 Sales Engineer Skills To Help You Be More Efficient

10 Sales Engineer Skills To Help You Be More Efficient

A graphic illustrates popular sales engineer skills that can help you increase your efficiency.
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If you’re a sales engineer, you have a lot of responsibilities. 

From converting prospects into customers to managing sales data, you know just how important it is to have the right skills to handle your day-to-day sales engineer responsibilities effectively.

Given the complexity of sales engineering operations, building a set of sales engineer skills is key to both showing your value and serving your customers. 

In this blog post, we’ll break down 10 sales engineer skills and helpful tools you can leverage to take your impact to the next level.

1. Technical understanding

2. Analytical thinking and problem-solving

3. Presenting

4. Empathy

5. Time management 

6. Risk analysis

7. Networking

8. Persuasion and negotiation

9. Teamwork

10. Project management

Let’s get started!

1. Technical understanding

As a sales engineer, having a strong understanding of your company’s product(s) or service(s) goes without saying. 

You should be able to answer questions about: 

  • How the product works
  • What makes it different (read: better)
  • Key features and benefits
  • Popular integrations

In turn, you should be able to:

  • Demystify hyper-technical concepts for existing customers (technical documentation for the win!) 
  • Help your company attract new customers and increase sales 
  • Build a loyal following for your brand

2. Analytical thinking and problem solving

Another skill you’re likely to find in a sales engineer job description is the ability to find and solve customer problems. To do this effectively (and enjoy the process!), having strong problem solving skills is a prerequisite. Assessing a situation quickly, identifying the root cause of the problem, and developing a solution that meets customer needs is table stakes.

On top of that, you’ll also need analytical thinking skills to brainstorm, find patterns, seek out data, and make informed decisions based on the situation at hand. Analytical thinking skills can run the gamut for sales engineers, from researching and analyzing data to using creativity to solve unique problems.

3. Presenting

As a sales engineer, communicating with potential customers about your products and/or services may involve presenting to large groups, including your teams and other stakeholders. Being able to present information clearly and concisely is critical, as good presentation skills can help you engage your audience and build rapport.

Confidently speaking in front of a group can also help increase trust—whether you’re in an interview or meeting with a customer evaluating different software options. 

💡Tango tip:

Before giving a presentation, prep for any out-of-left-field questions people may ask you. Jot down notes, if you need them!

4. Empathy

Empathy lets you understand and share the feelings of another person or group of people—or put yourself in someone else’s shoes. In sales, empathy often comes into play during discovery, when the primary objective is to dig into a prospect or customer’s pain points and goals and really listen about what they may (or may not!) need. 

Needless to say, empathy is essential for developing relationships and helping people solve their most pressing problems. Knowing how to personalize a pitch will go a long way in helping people feel seen and heard. 

5. Time management 

As someone in a sales engineer role, you'll be responsible for completing various tasks in a typical workday, from running client meetings and product demonstrations to doing administrative work and research. 

Practical time management skills will help you successfully complete all of these tasks. Having a solid time management system can also help you:

  • Hit all of your deadlines
  • Communicate proactively
  • Reduce unnecessary stress
  • Improve overall job satisfaction
  • Add to your skill set and sales engineer resume
💡Tango tip:

Finding ways to streamline your tasks can help you better manage your time. Want to take back time and still create standout documentation?

Use a tool like Tango to create beautiful how-to guides in seconds and share your institutional knowledge.

6. Risk analysis

If you have strong risk analysis skills, you’ll be well-equipped to find and reduce any risks you may come across while learning about your customer’s problems. This can be useful, as bumps in the road are common during the sales process, sometimes lasting months and involving the communication of multiple parties.

Separate but related: Having strong risk analysis skills can help you better understand a potential client’s business and specific pain points, making it easier to present the best possible solution.

7. Networking

As the saying goes, "It’s not what you know; it’s who you know." Being a sales engineer is no exception. By using your networking skills to strengthen your professional network, you can gain exposure to new industries and sales opportunities that you may not have had otherwise.

Networking with others in your space can also help you stay up to date with industry trends and common problems and solutions.

💡Tango tip:

To help you build a strong professional network, try using an online platform such as LinkedIn or attending networking events, conferences, and webinars.

8. Persuasion and negotiation

Let’s face it—potential customers may not always see the light after your first sales call. In some situations, you may have to rely on the power of persuasion to help convince a prospect that your product or service is the right fit for their short- and long-term needs. 

Down the line, after a prospect becomes a long-time customer, they may ask for a different price, timeline, or contract. Knowing how to navigate those negotiation conversations will hopefully benefit you, your company, and your customer. 

9. Teamwork

Because sales engineers are often part of a sales team, the ability to work with a variety of different personalities is a major bonus (if not a requirement). Strong teamwork skills can help your whole team work together to achieve a common goal.

Chances are good that you’ll need to quickly get to know—and collaborate well with—different people to ensure your sales process goes off without a hitch. “Teamwork makes the dreamwork” is a refrain for a reason. Any friction felt internally will likely be felt externally, by your customers. 

10. Project management

The last skill on our list of sales engineer skills is project management. Project management helps you juggle multiple projects and deadlines to ensure you and your team accomplish the tasks at hand—without wasting time or working harder than necessary. Recognizing common project management challenges ahead of time can also help you save your team from potential headaches.

As a sales engineer, you may need to do all of the following on any given day:

  • Present a product update to a customer
  • Negotiate a contracts
  • Answer FAQs from a current customer
  • Help team members learn a new process (Maybe with a step-by-step how-to guide? Maybe with more screenshots than text? Maybe with a few clicks of a button? 🤗)

11 sales engineer tools you should know

Now that you know how to be a good sales engineer, you may be wondering about tools you can use to take your work to the next level. Check out these 11 sales engineer tools to help support your sales team with daily tasks and optimize everyday processes.

1. Salesforce

Salesforce is a customer relationship management (CRM) software that enables salespeople to manage their pipeline, attach files and notes to deals, and create custom workflows.

By automating repetitive tasks, Salesforce allows you to focus on selling and building relationships with customers. ‍It also provides extensive reporting features that help you track your progress and identify areas for improvement.

2. Zoom

Zoom is a video conferencing service that allows you to hold and attend virtual meetings, conferences, and webinars. Zoom also offers several features that are ideal for sales engineers, such as screen sharing, whiteboarding, and breakout rooms. These allow you to effectively give presentations and demo products without needing physical materials.

3. Google Calendar

Google Calendar is a free online tool that allows users to create and manage their meetings and events by setting reminders, creating recurring events, and sharing calendar information with others. Whether you use it for managing your own time or for coordinating with a team, Google Calendar can be a valuable tool for sales engineers.

4. Calendly

Calendly is a sales automation tool that enables you to easily schedule and track appointments. With Calendly, you can let customers schedule meetings automatically, send automatic reminders before appointments, keep track of customer interactions, and follow up with customers after meetings.

Calendly also integrates with popular CRM tools such as Salesforce and HubSpot, making it easy to keep customer data in one place. 

5. Slack

Slack is a team messaging app that lets users communicate and collaborate in real time. It's available on the web and mobile and integrates with various applications, including Salesforce, allowing you to easily access customer data and manage your sales pipeline within the app.

‍You can also use Slack channels for file sharing, group chats, and private conversations. The messaging tool is valuable for keeping track of conversations, sharing documents and files, and coordinating with other team members. 

6. HubSpot

HubSpot is an all-in-one CRM platform that connects everything scaling companies need to deliver a best-in-class customer experience into one place.

With Sales Hub, you can access deeper insight into your prospects, automate busywork, and close more deals faster. There are countless features specifically designed to power sales teams, including task automation, email sequencing, pipeline management, deal forecasting, and more. 

7. Gmail

Gmail is an email service developed by Google. Users can use Gmail online or through mobile apps for iOS and Android. Gmail also offers features such as offline email storage, an email search function, support for multiple inboxes, and more. Gmail is great for staying organized and keeping track of customer communication. 

8. Loom

Loom is a powerful tool sales engineers can use to take their sales presentations to the next level. ‍With Loom, you can quickly and easily record yourself giving a presentation and share the video with prospective customers. Loom videos can also be embedded on websites and shared through social media, making it easy for prospects to view the presentation at their convenience. 

9. SignNow

SignNow is an e-sign software that allows users to sign documents electronically. ‍You can use SignNow to streamline the sales process by creating and sending digital contracts to clients. Your client can then review and sign the contract without printing it, scanning it, and emailing it back. 

You can also use SignNow's tracking feature to see when a client views or signs a contract (which makes follow up a breeze). 

10. Tourial

Tourial helps you create customized, interactive product demos that guide your audience through your product in a way that is engaging and easy to follow. With Tourial, you can eliminate friction points in the sales process, increase conversions, and shorten sales cycles. The platform is simple to use and gives you flexibility to create tailored stories for specific audiences.

11. Tango

Tango is a browser extension and desktop application that automatically generates helpful how-to guides while you work. What makes it so popular with sales engineers? It takes half the time to create technical documentation, making it easier to spend more time winning deals and less time answering repetitive questions.

The bottom line

As a sales engineer, you know that efficiency (read: how to save time) is the name of the game. Being able to quickly assess customer needs and provide solutions that suit unique use cases is half the job. 

The other half of the job is usually helping users become successful with products, processes, or new tools. Because if your teammates and/or customers can easily learn how to get work done (the right way), then everyone wins. 

Remember those 10 sales engineer skills we rounded up to help you be more efficient? We may have left out the most important one of all. Excelling at knowledge transfer will make you an invaluable team player (and a no-brainer new hire, if someday you decide to make a jump).

Ready to ditch the documentation dread and set a new standard for your sales engineering team? 


What is a sales engineer?

A sales engineer is a salesperson who specializes in scientifically or technologically advanced products. In this role, sales engineers commonly work on a sales team and help customers solve problems by presenting solutions.

What are sales engineer tools?

Sales engineer tools help support sales teams with daily tasks and aim to automate and optimize related sales processes. Some examples include Tango, Salesforce, and Slack.

How much does a sales engineer make?

A sales engineer has an estimated total pay of $117,607 per year.

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