Sales may be an art or science, and the person who does it is either an artist or scientist or whatever you can call him according to your wish but this is not the typical 9-5 job and doesn't offer a cakewalk for the professionals. You may get it without any problem, but the survival of the fittest attitude can help to achieve a lot and can continue it for a long run. Career is sales engineer may seem a little bit difficult however with practice and willing to learn can make a successful sales engineer. You may win some deals or lose, but that doesn't affect a professional if you understand that both winning and losing is the part of every game. A successful sales engineer can work in any environment and any moment without any preparation, and that's what companies want.
In a professional life, a person never becomes successful without having passion and is the reason 90 percent people hate their jobs and still, they are doing it which is why they are not growing anymore. Sales engineer career is not different either, and in fact, you can continue other jobs without any passion, but working in this field without passion is impossible as selling is the only priority for every organization. As a sales engineer, you should love the product and no matter how difficult it is to handle still this must have some positive side, and that's why companies are willing to release it in the market. We can't avoid the drawbacks however by apologizing you will make a negative impact; instead, represent in a positive way that client will convince to test and will give the feedback happily. If you are not passionate about the product, it will be impossible to explain and convince the client, and this is the first rule to become a successful sales engineer.
Expert in engaging
How do you feel when your professor gives a boring lecture for straight one hour? It is impossible to pay attention for a long time, and that's exactly happened in sales also. The moment they feel like you are wasting their time means you lose the deal and no matter how good the product, it would not impress them because you fail to engage them. People don't want to listen what you say; instead, they want to hear what they want, which means the priority should be how the product can solve their problem not how you create it.
A sales engineer is technically different than a salesperson because of some technical demands where they have to test, explain and offer technical support if required which is impossible for the non-technical sales guy. When the customer agrees to see the demo means they have some interest and the chance of purchasing the product is more, but a failed presentation could make the disaster. It doesn't matter whether you are showing the demo virtually or physically; perfect presentation matters. Customers give their valuable time, so there is no compromise on clearing their queries and for which representatives should prepare themselves well. Rehearsal it before going to show the demo and make sure that you cover all the questions that customer could ask though it is impossible to predict their doubts, however, a clear understanding of product would help you to resolve their queries.
Admit it or not, one of the underrated skills that some people tend to ignore and think that selling never happen if we become truthful whereas the same people expect honesty while they purchase something. Though it is difficult to say No sometimes, however, you can show the drawback in a way that customer will understand what happened. In case you face a situation like this, it is better to answer honestly and evaluate if the deal can happen despite having some issue. When you articulate the pros and cons, customer's trust will increase, and h/she may consider buying by comparing with competitors, and this will help to avoid their dissatisfaction in future.
There are no ready-made steps to become a successful sales engineer, and the above steps are some simple suggestions which must be followed by a sales engineer to become successful whereas the countless tips can be learned only through time, experiences and from sales veterans. Your willingness to become successful depends on the time and efforts you put.