Job Title: Sales Engineer For Software Company
Education: BA English, University of Massachusetts MS Information Systems, Northeastern University
Previous Experience: I started work after college in the customer service department of a software company. I then was trained to answer basic technical customer service questions and continued in high tech. I eventually managed a tech support team of 120 in a call center environment, then became a technical liason between a vendor and the support team. I then became an implementation manager for a software company, and moved into presales technical roles of a Sales Engineer at both mid market and large software companies.
Job Tasks: My company provides remote access software services. It gives people a way to connect when they are not physically in the same location. It is categorized as "Software as a Service" as there is no premise based software, instead we provide a subscription to our services. This allows our customers to not worry about software installs, upgrades, maintenance, hardware costs, and administrative overhead. We are an "online" division of one of the world's largest software companies.
My typical job tasks are demonstrations to prospects, explaining technical details of our software and security to prospects and their technical staff, as well as answering technical questions for the sales teams. My days are spent on the phone and at my computer. We also answer technical questionnaires for organizations that are looking for software solutions. These documents can be lengthy and very detailed.
Half of my day is reactive, responding to various requests for assistance and questions. These requests come from customers, prospects, sales staff, and colleagues. The other half of my day is proactive, performing scheduled demonstrations, conversations, or general admin such as expense reports. I use email and calendaring continuously throughout the day.
Travel is minimum because of the nature of my company's services - remote access. Every few weeks I travel to a prospect or customer site for a meeting, and a few times a year I travel to trade shows and other remote events. I work from a home office and travel to corporate headquarters 2 times a year.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of the job is the flexibility of working from home. I have no commute and I can control a good portion of my schedule. The worst part of the job is gaining access to the right individuals for assistance, working in different time zones and locations.
Job Tips: Do everything you can to keep your technical knowledge current. Stay aware of changes in the market and technologies.
Prove yourself as a reliable, stable, effective resource in order to gain trust and enjoy the freedom of working from a remote location.
Keep communications professional, accurate, and timely. English skills are just as important as technical skills to be an effective communicator.
Additional Thoughts: Technical certifications are a good way to prove your technical credibility, while effective interpersonal communication skills to share technical knowledge with a wide variety of audiences is equally important.
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