A good way to learn more about the everyday life of sales engineers is through an internship. Most sales engineer jobs require previous sales experience, so an internship or part-time job with a company that produces and sells scientific or technical equipment is a great starting point. Familiarity with general sales techniques is important; find classes and read publications offered by professional associations such as the Manufacturers' Representatives Educational Research Foundation and the Manufacturers' Agents National Association.
Sales engineers have backgrounds in scientific and technological areas, which enables them to discuss and sell complex products and services to businesses. Their general tasks are much like those of salespeople: they identify prospective customers; conduct research and prepare materials to present to prospects; negotiate prices and close sales. Sales engineers work for companies that design and produce technical products, and they also work at independently owned sales firms. They may work alone or in sales teams. They meet with customers to discuss their equipment needs and assess which products and services are most suited to their business goals and budgets. They also recommend improvements that can be made to machinery and materials that can improve efficiency, explaining to customers the specific production increases and cost savings. Some sales engineers work in research and development also, helping with the identification and development of new products.