Best Practices for Technical Sales Engineers in 2024

In technical sales engineering in 2024, the rules have changed.

In the old days, you could enjoy a fun, exciting, and lucrative career, pulling down $100 – $200K and more, each year as an industrial sales or manufacturing sales engineer with nothing more than a bright smile and good manners. You’re probably saying to yourself, “Yea, it was that easy to make $200k in my dreams, only!”

You’re right, not even a nostalgic look in the past could paint a picture that rosy red. But whatever it took to achieve that level of success ‘back in the day’ is irrelevant today. There’s more technical sales engineers entering the field, joining companies, and fighting for your commissions. So, this year, if you want to make some real money, you’re going to have to put in some real work.

Welcome to 2024, ladies and gentlemen!

We’re going to talk about some of the best sales tips that are trending now and will be vital tools in the arsenal of top technical sales engineers to brand home ‘the bag’ in the new year.

Crash Your Comfort Zone and Reach Your Goals

Humans are creatures of comfort. It’s easy for us to get into a well-honed rut that we can’t dig ourselves out of. The power and pull comfort have on us is so great that it brings us into something none of us wants to be – complacency.

If you’re not moving, you’re complacent. If you’re not growing, you’re complacent. And right now, is your ‘aha!’ moment that you could be asleep at the wheel of your life. If you’re not getting the results you want, you may be complacent.

When asking industrial sales teams from all over the country and all over the world what their sales teams are doing, the response is usually the same: “They’re doing now what they’ve been doing for years.”

If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it, right?

But, in most cases, plenty of things are broken on sales teams that a single bottleneck cannot be targeted.

The first concept these technical sales engineers must be given is to STOP. Stop doing what’s not working to bring in sales for your company. For instance, sending out a single prospect email hoping that something happens with it does not work.

Being a technical sales engineer is not the best career for the complacent, lazy, rigid, demotivated salesperson.

Realistically, I’m not saying you have to close a six-figure deal every month, but you must shake yourself out of whatever complacency rut you may be in and fix every step of your sales pipeline to be successful in 2024.

Crush Complacency and Claim Your Success

When speaking to MFG prospects, students, and clients, I often ask, “What sales and marketing activities do your team implement?”

Trade Shows are usually one of the top activities they list in response.

Trade shows work but they are expensive and they don’t offer any residual or compounding effect. The next activity I get a lot of is email marketing.

When I ask more about this, I expect that I’m going to hear about a robust automation series, a weekly piece of nurture content being shared with the growing list, holiday promotions, and the works.

No. That’s just not usually the case.

When most technical sales engineers talk about email marketing, they mean that they send a single email to prospects. If the prospect doesn’t respond, these sales professionals figure, they must be disinterested.

Being passive, sending out a single email hoping that something happens with it does not work.

Start Fishing and Stop Waiting for Referrals to Jump in Your Lap

One of the top reasons why many technical sales engineering teams in industrial sales are so complacent is due to the expectation that prospects will respond when prompted a single time. The other expectation is that good ole’ fashioned referral marketing will save the day.

With these two expectations in place, most sales professionals do a mental equivalent of pushing their hats down over their eyes and wait for a fish to just fly out of the water and into their laps.

The excuses that are usually told include:

“I’m waiting for a return call from a potential client.”

Ok, that’s natural. But if you’ve only reached out once and it’s been a month, then that’s a follow up system that needs to be tightened up and expanded – by a lot!

“I’m waiting for referrals from marketing.”

As a technical sales engineer, you should develop multiple lead generation methods yourself in order to maximize your personal success. It may be a sad but true reality – you can never leave your success in the hands of others.

“I’m waiting for calls from the recent trade show.”

Do you see the common thread that’s woven through all of these responses? Most technical sales engineers spend the majority of their time “WAITING!”

These industrial sales engineers are sitting on the proverbial bucket, waiting for opportunity to fall in their laps on a lazy summer’s evening.

Stop waiting for opportunity to strike, get out there and make something happen.

Attract Opportunity by Building Your Personal Brand

In 2024, it is increasingly important for top technical sales engineers to build a personal brand. You need to first identify your values and write down your top five. You need to do some soul searching to determine the focus of content that you will share. Next, you need to identify a specific target audience you want to reach with your message. Then, you need to develop a content calendar, a schedule that you want to follow in creating and sharing content.

You have no idea how much it will pay off when you invest in your own personal brand. And all it takes is pulling out your phone and creating some content. Document your journey as a sales engineer. Let people know what you’re working on. Let people know what you’re doing to push the ball forward.

Technical Sales Engineering on LinkedIn

One of the best places to do this in the digital marketing and social media landscape is to focus on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is the social media platform for professionals and business owners. There are close to 1 billion users on LinkedIn and this is the best time to join the platform and start sharing.

That’s because while most of the prospects you could only dream of targeting are on LinkedIn but aren’t following too many people who sell what you sell, because those other sales engineers are not yet active on LinkedIn. If you wait another year or two, they will be, and competition will be stiff.

But if you act now, you can become a big player on LinkedIn and attract tons of viable prospects and build your own warm list of prospects.


If you get off the bucket, lace up your shoes, and start running after your dreams, you can achieve them. You can become a highly paid technical sales engineer easier than ever in 2024, because where some doors close, new ones open. There are new strategies and techniques working and trending now, and those who are going to bring in the big money by year’s end, will be those who get busy using them today.

If you want to dive deeper into pitching and how to win a client, among other skills that

will boost your performance in technical sales, consider enrolling at

Industrial Sales University

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