How much do Sales Engineers make?

2 months ago   •   5 min read

By Bravado Staff

We break down the salaries and compensation packages of Sales Engineers in 2022.

Sales Engineer Salary Chart

A career in sales engineering is often considered to be a hidden gem within the world of sales. Not well known to many people outside of the sales industry, sales engineers, also known as solutions engineers, solutions architects, and pre-sales engineers, are the technical counterpart to the account executives and account managers. If you’ve ever wondered how it is possible that a sales rep with no technical background can deliver a demo on a highly technical product (i.e. databases), the answer is they bring along a sales engineer who can speak towards these technical topics to help drive the sale forward.

Although sales engineers are usually not directly responsible for closing deals like account executives, are sales engineers still highly paid like their account executive counterparts?

Bravado extensively explored our data set of over 10,000 sales compensation entries to determine how sales engineer compensation stacks up against the other sales roles.

What is a Sales Engineer?

A Sales Engineer is responsible for handling the technical conversation in a sales cycle. They are the sales rep’s technical liaison. Sales engineers are common in companies with technical products, such as databases, integration, and security.

Sales engineers might be assigned one account executive to work with, or they might support a full team of account executives – it all depends on the company. But all sales engineers should expect to build a strong relationship with their account executive counterpart(s).

What are the Sales Engineer job responsibilities?

Sales engineers will typically be involved in part or all of a sales cycle for a complex technical product. Typical tasks include delivering demos, building out technical requirements and IT architecture diagrams with the customer throughout the sales cycle, hosting weekly hands-on workshops, webinars, and events, and making themselves available to the customer to answer any technical questions that might arise during the sales cycle.

The best part of being a sales engineer is that you do not have to prospect. You will not be responsible for cold calls or cold emails.

Do Sales Engineers work remotely?

It depends on the company. Some companies will permit remote work, some hybrid, and some office only. However, the job typically can be done totally remotely unless in person events or onsite demos are required.

Even if remote, traditionally, a sales engineer will travel with their assigned account executive on site to deliver demos and meet customers within the territory.

Do Sales Engineers have quotas?

Generally, yes. The quota structure depends on the company, however.

The two most common quota structures for sales engineers are pool bonuses and traditional commission.

  • Pool Bonus Quota: Some sales engineers have a pool bonus quota, where a “pool of commission (money)” is paid out to the whole sales engineering team/organization based on their team’s performance and then distributed to the individual sales engineers based on individual performance.
  • Traditional Commission: Other sales engineers might be paired with 1 or 2 account executives and they will be paid a percentage on the deals (i.e. a commission) closed by the 1 or 2 account executive(s) they support.

Do Sales Engineers have quotas?

Generally, yes. The quota structure depends on the company, however.

The two most common quota structures for sales engineers are pool bonuses and traditional commission.

  • Pool Bonus Quota: Some sales engineers have a pool bonus quota, where a “pool of commission (money)” is paid out to the whole sales engineering team/organization based on their team’s performance and then distributed to the individual sales engineers based on individual performance.
  • Traditional Commission: Other sales engineers might be paired with 1 or 2 account executives and they will be paid a percentage on the deals (i.e. a commission) closed by the 1 or 2 account executive(s) they support.

How much do Sale Engineers earn?

The average sales engineer salary is $121,698. The average total compensation package is $1181,917. On top of the base salary, sales engineers can expect to earn on average $44,458 if they hit quota. Sales engineers will also typically earn an additional $8,695 in annual stock bonuses and $2,320 in signing bonus.

Bravado provides a filterable data set so that users can view sales engineer salaries based on their location, years of experience, and account size.

Broken down by account size, the average sales engineer compensation package figures look like this:

SMB Sales Engineer Compensation

  • Total Compensation Package: $140,428
  • Base Salary: $97,614
  • Commission at 100% of Quota: $37,803
  • Signing + Stock Bonus ($/yr): $5,011

Mid-Market Sales Engineer Compensation

  • Total Compensation Package: $158,761
  • Base Salary: $111,756
  • Commission at 100% of Quota: $40,273
  • Signing + Stock Bonus ($/yr): $6,732

Enterprise Sales Engineer Compensation

  • Total Compensation Package: $195,573
  • Base Salary: $133,541
  • Commission at 100% of Quota: $47,458
  • Signing + Stock Bonus ($/yr): $14,574

What are the best companies for Sales Engineers?

Applicants looking to break into a sales engineering career should target companies with strong compensation plans, fair quotas, and reasonable work-life balance. Applicants beginning their search should begin with Bravado’s list of top tech companies for sales people.

Aspiring sales engineers should also seek out companies with already established sales engineering teams within the sales organization. Companies that understand the importance of maintaining a well-oiled sales engineering organization will offer a much better experience than companies with only a few floater sales engineers.

Some of the top companies for sales engineers include Microsoft, Google Cloud, and AWS. All of these companies feature highly technical products and strong sales engineering organizations where sales engineers will be appropriately valued. These companies are also well known for their strong compensation packages, attainable quotas, and high job satisfaction.

Google Cloud Sales Engineer Compensation Entry Screenshot

How do I become a Sales Engineer?

A career in sales engineering does not require any experience at the entry level. Many companies offer programs for new graduates to begin their sales engineering career, such as Salesforce.

Applicants who already have existing experience in sales as an account executive, account manager, sales development representative, or software engineer will stand out to sales engineering hiring managers. Oftentimes, they’ll be able to skip the entry level role and get right into a mid-level or senior level sales engineer role.

All applicants should be prepared to highlight their technical acumen as well as customer facing capabilities.

What’s jobs can I get after working as a Sales Engineer?

Many sales engineers transition into technical roles such as product manager or even software engineer.

Some sales engineers transition into pure sales roles such as account executive, account manager, or sales development representative. Oftentime, sales engineers will make this transition as the annual earning potential as an account executive can be north of $1,000,000.


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