Air conditioning sales engineers are employed by air conditioning suppliers to match solutions from the manufacturer’s portfolio of products to the needs of commercial customers. Typically, they will deal with M&E consultants and installers.
Air conditioning sales engineers tend to work both on developing new business and looking after existing accounts with a view of gaining specification or an opportunity to quote on installations.
This is primarily a sales job although technical and product knowledge will be important in some roles. For example, if a manufacturer is promoting VRF installations, a sales engineer with experience of VRF products and their benefits will add value to the role and be able to talk with greater authority to existing and potential new customers. An air conditioning sales engineer will therefore combine technical knowledge with sales skills to bring a manufacturer’s products to market.
The role will vary from company to company, with some sales engineers working very independently to promote a set range of products. Others will work closely with a sales manager or as part of a team, possibly including specification engineers and design engineers. Sales engineers will interact with the internal sales team and product managers regularly to co-ordinate sales activity and learn about new features and benefits.
Day to day activities
As an air conditioning sales engineer you will be expected to manage your diary effectively to source new opportunities and manage existing relationships. You will be responsible for arranging meetings with customers and doing your research to identify potential projects which might require your manufacturer’s products. You will also spend time keeping up to date with industry trends, regulatory changes and new product developments.
As with all sales engineer roles, relationship building is a key aspect of the job. M&E consultants will need to trust a sales engineer’s knowledge and use their expertise to help them do their job well for their own clients.Keeping in touch with consultants throughout the project is also important for most sales engineer roles in this industry sector, although some elements of this will be handled by project managers or sales managers in certain companies.
The qualifications required will depend on the company, the size of the team and the product range the sales engineer is responsible for. Large manufacturers will employ a range of engineers including sales engineers, specification engineers and project engineers. In these cases the sales engineer’s job may be very sales focused and a proven sales track record will take priority over any industry or technical expertise. Other jobs may invite applications from candidates with experience in estimating or internal sales or those who are currently working as applications engineers or design engineers within an M&E consultancy. In those roles, a technical understanding of air conditioning systems, particularly from the consultancy side, will be of particular value. Some jobs may ask for qualifications in a mechanical or building services subject.
Skills and attributes
Air conditioning sales engineers spend a lot of time managing relationships and communicating with customers so excellent communication and people skills will be essential. You may also be hired for your network of contacts, particularly if you have moved into a role with a manufacturer from a job with a contractor. Relationships can take a long time to develop and contracts can be slow to negotiate so patience and persistence are valuable qualities too.
Air conditioning sales engineers typically earn upwards of £45,000. Actual income can be much higher when bonus payments and benefits are taken into consideration. Salaries vary between employers and region. Smaller or up and coming manufacturers may offer lower salaries and higher bonuses whereas more established employers tend to offer a bigger basic salary.
Satisfaction comes from sourcing and securing new opportunities and developing strong relationships with contractors over time. Often air conditioning sales engineers are working as part of a team to win and deliver a project which can be rewarding for everyone involved. The work is well suited to someone who enjoys meeting and talking to people. Jobs are often flexible and home-based which means sales engineers have the freedom to manage their own time to a certain extent.
Find out more
If there’s something you’d like to know about the role of an air conditioning sales engineer that we haven’t covered here, we’d be happy to help further. Or we could point you in the direction of air conditioning sales roles available right now. Check our latest listings of air conditioning and refrigeration jobs or call us on 0115 8714 777.