Career Story: Applications Engineer For A Software Company

Applications Engineer For A Software Company

Job Title: Technical Sales Manager

Type of Company: My company manufactures product-development software.

Education: BS, Engineering Graphics

Previous Experience: I worked as a design engineer at a mechanical seal company.

Job Tasks: The people on my team are called application engineers. They work with sales representatives, searching for opportunities to promote software solutions to product development companies. Typically, when they make a sales call, they will bring an application engineer with them to explain our products. The business processes that our software supports can be complex and the application engineers are experts in those processes and how our software helps to improve them. The AE's often engage in software demonstrations to help prospective buyers understand what they'd be getting.

I am responsible for making sure the AE's have the tools and skills they need to get their jobs done. I make sure they have good hardware. I arrange training for them to keep their skills sharp. I focus attention on where we might need to build new demonstrations or presentations. And I help to coordinate feedback from the field AE's to our product managers.

I am responsible, in addition, for making sure that the right AE's are deployed to the right accounts. We want to make sure that the sales rep has the best possible chance to win a contract by proving that our solutions can help reduce product development cost, time, or improve quality.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: They best part of my job is the people that I work with on a daily basis. This is a very competitive industry. They are very dedicated with a strong desire to win. And they are willing to work very hard to make sure that we do. Additionally, my team is very talented and smart. Smart people challenge one another's ideas.

The worst part of my job is the travel. I have to do a lot of travel, but while it is fun at first, it can be draining after awhile.

Job Tips: Become multi-disciplined. Be a great engineer who understands finance as well. Be a great engineer with an excellent grasp of the full product development process. Be a great engineer with excellent presentation skills.

Additional Thoughts: This job offers a person wide access to a huge variety of product development environments. One day we are selling to a company that makes hot dog carts. The next day we are making a call to NASA or the Army or Dell or Nike. It's that variety that makes it very interesting.

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