Technical sales specialists, also called sales engineers, focus on complex scientific and technical products for businesses. They typically work for the wholesale trade, professional and scientific services, and manufacturers of computers and electronic products. The jobs involve extensive travel because their territories typically span many states and cities, with some customers in foreign countries.
As with any sales profession, technical sales specialists need strong interpersonal skills because they build long-term relationships with clients and communicate verbally and in writing with other sales team members and technical workers. They must be persuasive in their presentations and persistent in pursuing leads. Excellent technology skills help specialists understand the complexities of their companys offerings and keep them up-to-date on the latest advances in their industries. Specialists also rely on problem-solving acumen to analyze customer issues and recommend appropriate solutions.
To find potential customers, technical sales specialists follow up on recommendations from current clients, read industry journals and search the Internet. They meet with customers and technical staff to discover what they need. They can then prepare and deliver presentations that propose solutions offered by their companies that lower costs and increase productivity. When customers are ready to order, specialists negotiate contracts and arrange for delivery. They then periodically check up on clients to see how current installations are working and to offer additional services and products.
Technical sales specialists can work in teams, which can contain other specialists, engineers or marketing people. Many specialists do both the presentations and negotiating of contracts. Others focus on explaining the technical aspects of their offerings and leave the selling to marketing team members. Specialists can perform other tasks that are related to sales. For example, some are involved in market research, so they can modify existing products and services or recommend new ones. Others develop and implement product-training programs for their organizations and customers.
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