What is Technical Sales Development? [Job Overview]

Table of Contents

Technical sales development is the process of promoting and selling technological and scientific products or services. It is a specialized area of expertise found within manufacturing, software technology, biological, chemical, pharmaceutical, medical equipment, and telecommunications industries. 

Conventional salespeople can easily transfer experience across industries, but technical personnel must integrate sales knowledge with a highly-specialized skill set. 

Technical Sales Development Roles

The main players in technical sales are the representatives, engineers, and managers. They collaborate to ensure that the company meets sales targets while maintaining high customer satisfaction with all products and services1

Technical sales development representatives

Sales development reps are responsible for finding new prospects, reaching out to them, and refreshing the sales pipeline with qualified leads

In their daily activities, a technical sales representative

  • builds relationships with prospective customers; 
  • prepares proposals and presentations for sales pitches;
  • leads demonstration sessions for technical products;
  • finds prospecting information for lead qualification;
  • nurtures leads in the pipeline;
  • learns industry trends for technical products;
  • shares periodic activity reports with the sales manager and engineers.
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Technical sales engineer

Sales engineers work closely with SDRs and clients to provide technical knowledge and information on the company’s products2. A sales engineer is in charge of the following:

  • Understanding technical product specifications;
  • Collaborating with design, product, and R&D departments to solve customers’ pain points;
  • Breaking down technical problems and terminologies for clients and SDRs;
  • Maintaining professional relationships with clients;
  • Advising clients on product value and suitability;
  • Preparing activity reports for sales managers.
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Technical sales development manager

Managers coordinate the activities of the technical sales department. They play the following roles:

  • Direct activities of the technical sales team;
  • Manage the sales pipeline and assign quotas for SDRs;
  • Develop new accounts and strengthen customer relationships;
  • Hire and train technical sales staff;
  • Conduct research to identify leads;
  • Prepare sales reports for management.
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Requirements for Technical Sales Development

If you are interested in combining sales knowledge with scientific or technological expertise, a career in technical sales might be right for you. The requirements for each specific position vary by industry, but common ones include:

  • Education
  • Technical training
  • Experience
  • Mobility 

Education 

Most technical sales roles require a bachelor’s degree in marketing, business, computer science, information technology, biochemistry, or engineering. A graduate degree is beneficial when the candidate is adding sales knowledge to technical expertise, like a biochemist with a master’s degree in marketing or business administration.

Technical training

Technical training is a core part of sales development in this niche. Reps and engineers undergo one to three months of intensive training to build expertise and hone the required skills for the job3.

The best technical sales managers create training curriculums using industry experience and product knowledge. 

Experience

Employers appreciate candidates with strong interpersonal skills developed through sales experience. Related roles like marketing, customer care, and business development are valuable for technical sales jobs. 

An entry-level sales position is a good starting point for a career in technical sales. 

Mobility

Technical sales professionals are always on the move, meeting up with prospects and performing demonstrations. The ability and willingness to travel within and outside local territories is a common requirement for technical sales positions. 

Bottom Line

Are you looking to sell products or services in science, technology, or other specialized industries? Assembling a technical sales development team is a great way to combine experience and expertise to ramp up revenue and grow your business.

Resources

  1. https://blog.hubspot.com/service/what-is-customer-satisfaction
  2. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/sales/sales-engineers.htm
  3. https://www.zippia.com/technical-sales-engineer-jobs/how-to-become-a-technical-sales-engineer/
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