Inside Technical Sales Professional — Career Path to Sales Engineer Rockstar

Web­site caplinq CAPLINQ Europe BV

Spe­cial­ty Chem­i­cals, Plas­tics & Prod­ucts

THE NO-NONSENSE SUMMARY: This posi­tion is intend­ed for curi­ous pro­fes­sion­als who love to learn about new tech­nolo­gies, work in small teams and with cus­tomers to find solu­tions to their man­u­fac­tur­ing chal­lenges. Report­ing to the Busi­ness Devel­op­ment Direc­tor, this posi­tion is meant to be the step­ping stone to an out­side Sales Engi­neer posi­tion. There is lim­it­ed trav­el expect­ed in the first 12–18 months. After being pro­mot­ed to Sales Engi­neer, inter­na­tion­al trav­el will be approx­i­mate­ly 25–40% of your time. Be sure to read to the end of the descrip­tion to be sure you don’t miss an impor­tant detail.

ROLE’S MISSION

The Inside Sales Pro­fes­sion­al iden­ti­fies, devel­ops and sup­ports new tech­ni­cal sales oppor­tu­ni­ties that increase CAPLINQ’s sales rev­enue of prod­ucts sup­plied by our sup­pli­ers.

DESIRED OUTCOMES

  • Increase total gross mar­gin of sales of supplier’s prod­uct sold EXW by €60,000/year for the next 3 years
  • Man­age sales fun­nel projects to main­tain at least €2,000,000 in new poten­tial oppor­tu­ni­ties
  • Con­vert min­i­mum €500,000 worth of projects into cus­tomers per year

THE ROLE
Yes, you read that right – we’re look­ing for a ROCKSTAR. If the title sounds uncon­ven­tion­al, it’s because CAPLINQ is too. We’re look­ing for that spe­cial some­one who has not one, but two com­ple­men­tary skills – the amaz­ing abil­i­ty to under­stand tech­ni­cal con­cepts (Learn­ing Prod­uct Knowl­edge) and the abil­i­ty to speak con­fi­dent­ly about them (Com­mu­ni­ca­tion).

Let me come right out and say that we wel­come new grad­u­ates of tech­ni­cal schools and pro­grams to apply, but if you think you are more expe­ri­enced, and grasp exact­ly all the con­cepts described here­un­der — then you are also wel­come to apply. Salary and ben­e­fits will be com­men­su­rate with expe­ri­ence and skill set.

Our cus­tomers don’t respond well to old-fash­ioned sales pitch­es, and the term “Pro­fes­sion­al” bet­ter fits the posi­tion than “Sales”. The posi­tion involves very lit­tle (if any) prospect­ing, and much more ser­vic­ing of cus­tomers’ needs with our prod­ucts. If you con­sid­er your­self more some­one who wants to help the cus­tomer than a pushy sales­man — keep read­ing.

As a fast-grow­ing multi­na­tion­al, our prod­ucts and ser­vices have found a sweet-spot in the mar­ket. Our mar­ket­ing and devel­op­ment teams have cre­at­ed prod­ucts and con­tent that are attract­ing new cus­tomers and now we’re look­ing for that spe­cial rock­star that is look­ing to start (or re-start) a career in tech­ni­cal sales.

Do you describe your­self as a proac­tive, super-orga­nized, enthu­si­as­tic, mul­ti­task­ing rock­star that likes to work with engi­neers on the tech­nolo­gies that will shape the next 20 years? Our cus­tomers are Euro­pean man­u­fac­tur­ers in the auto­mo­tive, fuel cell, com­put­er chip, hydro­gen- & elec­tric-pow­ered vehi­cles indus­tries, look­ing to define the next gen­er­a­tion vehi­cles, bat­ter­ies, iPhone- & Galaxy-parts and major infra­struc­ture redesigns. Our cus­tomers will rely on you to rec­om­mend and sup­port projects with epox­ies, alloys, graphene com­pos­ites and ion-exchange mem­branes. Cool, right?

Does this type of work inspire and moti­vate you? Then I encour­age you to read on. If on the oth­er hand, you’re already exhaust­ed read­ing this, I rec­om­mend you take a nap and check out anoth­er job post.

Though the job descrip­tion says “Sales” , there will be no aggres­sive sales tac­tics or cold-call­ing involved. Your leads and projects will all come to you and it will be your respon­si­bil­i­ty to ser­vice, sup­port and coor­di­nate a very diverse range of activ­i­ties and requests. At the same time, this posi­tion is meant to be a train­ing ground for out­side sales activ­i­ties; so skills learned here (prod­uct knowl­edge) will be use­ful for a future sales role where you can con­fi­dent­ly com­mu­ni­cate our unique sales propo­si­tion (USP) and then learn (Nego­ti­a­tion) the price you can offer to our cus­tomers.

So, what will you be doing?
The posi­tion and respon­si­bil­i­ty will grow along with you. As a small, but fast-grow­ing com­pa­ny, the role will be excit­ing for you if you like work­ing in a small team and hav­ing a lot of free­dom to define your roles and respon­si­bil­i­ties. No two days will like­ly be the same.

Broad­ly speak­ing, your work will revolve around the fol­low­ing two activ­i­ties:

Inside Tech­ni­cal Sales (about 80% of your time)

You will inher­it an exist­ing cus­tomer-base of projects and prod­ucts and new leads will come in from cus­tomer ser­vice (who have pre-screened them). With the sup­port of an inside sales admin­is­tra­tor, you will be respon­si­ble to rec­om­mend and sup­port prod­ucts to be test­ed and/or mod­i­fied.

Exam­ples of activ­i­ties:

  • Research and rec­om­mend prod­ucts for cus­tomers’ appli­ca­tions
  • Sup­port cus­tomer projects and pro­grams with sam­ples, data and test results
  • Update CRM to include cur­rent sta­tus and “Next Action Items” for Inside Sales Admin­is­tra­tion
  • Put togeth­er Pow­er­Point and sales pre­sen­ta­tions high­light­ing new prod­ucts and fea­tures
  • Col­lect and com­pile com­pet­i­tive infor­ma­tion to com­pare against our prod­ucts

Out­side Sales Engi­neer Train­ing (about 20% of your time)

This posi­tion is intend­ed to pro­vide the required train­ing to be an Out­side Sales Engi­neer. By this title, we mean some­one that can tech­ni­cal­ly sup­port cus­tomers with prod­ucts, com­plete­ly man­age cus­tomer projects and per­form onsite test­ing and nego­ti­ate direct­ly with Pur­chas­ing Man­agers. To this end, you will be respon­si­ble to deter­mine for your­self (with the help of your man­ag­er), what skills are lack­ing, what train­ing is need­ed and how you can best pre­pare your­self.

Exam­ples of activ­i­ties:

  • Research and get train­ing on prod­ucts, appli­ca­tions and prod­uct selec­tion cri­te­ria
  • Get train­ing on Design of Exper­i­ments (DOE), project man­age­ment and price nego­ti­a­tion
  • Devel­op skills in sales man­age­ment and month­ly sales report­ing
  • Devel­op cus­tomer and man­age­ment pre­sen­ta­tions skills to effec­tive­ly frame an argu­ment

DESIRED SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE

What mind­set do you require?
Skills can be learned. Mind­sets, though they can be learned too, are more often a part of who you are. We val­ue the mind­set at least, if not more, than either expe­ri­ence or hard skills.

  1. Desire to be a Sales Engi­neer – We are look­ing for some­one who through school or expe­ri­ence, has the tech­ni­cal knowl­edge for the job, but who is seek­ing to learn the com­mer­cial and mar­ket­ing skills required to be a suc­cess­ful Sales Engineer.2. 
  2. Curios­i­ty – We want a per­son who is curi­ous. Google is your best friend, and you might be secret­ly addict­ed to get­ting as much infor­ma­tion as you can. Some­times you Google too much 😉3.
  3. Data-dri­ven – Our cul­ture is a mer­i­toc­ra­cy. It encour­ages and rewards deci­sions that are made with data as opposed to senior­i­ty, intu­ition or per­son­al expe­ri­ence.
  4. Con­tin­u­ous Improve­ment – Peo­ple and process­es can always get bet­ter. We’re look­ing for some­one who ques­tions every process to see if there’s no room for improve­ment. Like­wise, if you want to improve your­self, we offer mon­ey to sup­port your con­tin­u­ous learn­ing jour­ney.
  5. Courage – Boss­es make mis­takes and col­leagues aren’t always fair. That’s life. We’re look­ing for some­one who may be afraid to con­front these issues, but does it any­way.

What skills do you NOT need?
Before we list the skills you do need, it is impor­tant that you know what we skills or expe­ri­ence we do NOT require:

  • Prod­uct knowl­edge: You do not need to know any­thing about any of the prod­ucts we sell, nor any of the ser­vices we pro­vide. All will be taught on the job.
  • Lots of work expe­ri­ence: This is meant to be an entry-lev­el posi­tion where you will learn “knowl­edge” on the job. What we can’t teach – and val­ue enor­mous­ly is some­one that is orga­nized, ana­lyt­i­cal, curi­ous, ded­i­cat­ed and can keep our projects orga­nized and on track
  • Dutch: Our staff comes from all over the world and we speak most­ly Eng­lish in the office. To the out­side world, most of our com­mu­ni­ca­tion is also Eng­lish.

What skills do you require?

We don’t even have any hard skills that are required, but the ide­al can­di­date would have the fol­low­ing com­pe­ten­cies:

  • Is opti­mistic, ener­getic and loves to smile
  • Has a tech­ni­cal degree or equiv­a­lent expe­ri­ence in Engi­neer­ing, or Bach­e­lor of Sci­ence
  • Asks ques­tions, then asks more ques­tions, then asks even more ques­tions
  • Is very orga­nized, and likes to have a place for every­thing and every­thing in its place
  • Is a strong plan­ner and orga­niz­er and thrives in get­ting things done
  • Has a pro­fes­sion­al-lev­el of writ­ten and spo­ken Eng­lish (at least 7/10)
  • Under­stand the tech­nolo­gies and deter­mine their USP in the mar­ket
  • Effec­tive­ly trans­late cus­tomers’ require­ments to sup­pli­er
  • Clear­ly artic­u­late cur­rent sta­tus and deter­mine next action items
  • Define & use tools to work effec­tive­ly with ISA & oth­er team mem­bers
  • Orga­nize, man­age & pri­or­i­tize projects in a sys­tem­at­ic man­ner
  • Use and improve the tools used an inside sales pro­fes­sion­al
  • Pays atten­tion to detail. The very last para­graph of this job vacan­cy has very impor­tant infor­ma­tion. Be sure you read it twice before apply­ing.

Skills not required, but that get bonus points (any of them count):

The job we have in mind may not require these skills, but they sure come in handy around here.

  1. An Engi­neer­ing Degree: You do not need to be an engi­neer, but our prod­ucts are by nature tech­ni­cal, so you will need to be able to grasp the con­cepts. If you want to learn, we’re able to teach.
  2. Any pre­vi­ous sales/service expe­ri­ence: Have you ever been a wait­er, a front desk clerk or oth­er­wise had a job that put you direct­ly in front of a cus­tomer?
  3. Love mar­ket research: There is always so much to learn in our indus­try. If you love to dig into the details and then can sum­ma­rize what you’ve learned in Pow­er­Point or sim­i­lar, we can use that too

WHY WORK FOR CAPLINQ?

  1. Col­lab­o­rate with out­stand­ing peo­ple: We hire only the best. Our stan­dards are high and our employ­ees enjoy work­ing along­side oth­er high achiev­ers.
  2. Make an imme­di­ate impact: New employ­ees can expect to be giv­en real respon­si­bil­i­ty for the growth of the com­pa­ny. You are empow­ered to per­form as soon as you join the team!
  3. Gain well round­ed expe­ri­ence: CAPLINQ offers a diverse and dynam­ic envi­ron­ment where you will get the chance to work direct­ly with exec­u­tives and devel­op exper­tise across mul­ti­ple areas of the busi­ness.
  4. A work hard, play hard men­tal­i­ty: CAPLINQ places high val­ue on work hard and play hard. We have beer o’clock on Fri­days, a sum­mer BBQ, Christ­mas din­ner and Social Comit­tee events to cel­e­brate the hard work eth­ic the team has for the com­pa­ny.

There is no need to send your CV unless it looks awe­some and you want to impress us with how it looks. Oth­er­wise, we will use your LinkedIn pro­file (bet­ter make sure it is com­plete!). 

Instead, can­di­dates wish­ing to apply are request­ed to send an email to hr@caplinq.com that includes:

  • A link to your LinkedIn pro­file (not a CV)
  • A one-page, per­son­al cov­er let­ter

Let me repeat that last part in a dif­fer­ent way… We are look­ing for peo­ple who stand out from the crowd with a well-writ­ten, enthu­si­as­tic one-page let­ter telling us why this posi­tion speaks to you and what you could bring to the team.

If all you do is send a CV (we told you not to), and no cov­er let­ter your appli­ca­tion will be dis­card­ed with­out even being read.

To apply for this job email your details to hr@caplinq.com

About Chris Perabo

Chris is an energetic and enthusiastic engineer and entrepreneur. He is always interested in taking highly technical subjects and distilling these to their essence so that even the layman can understand. He loves to get into the technical details of an issue and then understand how it can be useful for specific customers and applications. Chris is currently the Director of Business Development at CAPLINQ.