Technical Applications 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 help cus­tomers find solu­tions to their man­u­fac­tur­ing chal­lenges. Report­ing to the Busi­ness Devel­op­ment Direc­tor, this posi­tion is meant for engi­neer­ing grad­u­ates who want to apply their tech­ni­cal skills to the real-world chal­lenges our cus­tomers face. After being trained on our prod­ucts and their appli­ca­tions, as a Sales Engi­neer, inter­na­tion­al trav­el will be approx­i­mate­ly 20–35% of your time. Be sure to read to the end of the descrip­tion to be sure you don’t miss an impor­tant detail.

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 grasp and explain tech­ni­cal con­cepts (Tech­ni­cal Sales Pre­sen­ter) and the abil­i­ty to man­age mul­ti­ple projects simul­ta­ne­ous­ly (Project Man­age­ment). 

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 to old-fash­ioned sales pitch­es, and the term “Appli­ca­tions Engi­neer” bet­ter describes the work you’ll be doing than sales. Though the title will be “Sales Engi­neer”, this title refers more to your abil­i­ty to close sales based on your tech­ni­cal knowl­edge and cus­tomer sup­port. There will be lit­tle (if any) prospect­ing, and 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.

You will be suc­cess­ful in this posi­tion if you love div­ing into the tech­ni­cal details of our many prod­ucts and help­ing cus­tomers under­stand how to select and use the right prod­ucts for their appli­ca­tions. 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 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, semi­con­duc­tor, 5G, hydro­gen- & eMo­bil­i­ty indus­tries, look­ing to define the next gen­er­a­tion elec­tric vehi­cles, bat­ter­ies, iPhone- & Galaxy-parts and major infra­struc­ture redesigns. Our cus­tomers will rely on you to rec­om­mend and sup­port projects with epox­ies, alloys, adhe­sives, ther­mal inter­face mate­ri­als, con­duc­tive plas­tics 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.

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 three activ­i­ties:

1. Sales Sup­port Engi­neer (about 45% 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). You will be respon­si­ble to help cus­tomers (and cus­tomer ser­vice) to select prod­ucts as well as the appli­ca­tion meth­ods to use them suc­cess­ful­ly.

Exam­ples of activ­i­ties:

  • Research and rec­om­mend prod­ucts for cus­tomers’ appli­ca­tions
  • Sup­port cus­tomer projects and pro­grams with sam­ples, data and test results
  • Put togeth­er Pow­er­Point and sales pre­sen­ta­tions high­light­ing prod­uct fea­tures and appli­ca­tions
  • Send emails to cus­tomers with prod­uct and appli­ca­tion data

2. Account Man­age­ment (about 30% of your time)

Since the sales cycle is long (approx. 2 years), you will be respon­si­ble for approx. 60 — 80 projects big and small all at var­i­ous stages of devel­op­ment. You will need to pri­or­i­tize the most impor­tant ones on a week­ly basis to make sure each has a sta­tus and next action items to keep the projects mov­ing for­ward. 

Exam­ples of activ­i­ties:

  • Update CRM to include cur­rent sta­tus and “Next Action Items” for Inside Sales Admin­is­tra­tion
  • Call cus­tomers to make sure they have what they need to move for­ward
  • Call sup­pli­ers to update them on cur­rent projects and inform them of any­thing you need from them 
  • Send month­ly sum­ma­ry reports to sup­pli­ers and review sta­tus and next action item

3. Out­side Sales Engi­neer (about 25% of your time)

About 4–5 days per month you will trav­el to cus­tomers to give demos, make pre­sen­ta­tions and gen­er­al­ly fol­low-up on projects and ini­ti­ate new ones. You will have face-to-face meet­ings with the engi­neers, pur­chasers and project man­agers who use our prod­ucts and expect tech­ni­cal sup­port and fol­low-up.

Exam­ples of activ­i­ties:

  • Arrange meet­ings with cus­tomers to review exist­ing and ini­ti­ate new projects
  • Line tri­als of our prod­ucts where you will be test­ing along­side the engi­neers
  • Meet­ing with pur­chas­ing man­agers to dis­cuss our prod­uct offer­ings
  • Gen­er­al­ly main­tain a rela­tion­ship with the cus­tomers by being avail­able and sup­port­ive

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. Curi­ous – We want a per­son who is curi­ous and hun­gry. You will be real­ly suc­cess­ful if you love to dive into the prod­ucts and appli­ca­tions your cus­tomers are work­ing on to under­stand what prob­lems they are try­ing to solve.
  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. You will learn and train on the job. If the activ­i­ties described sound just the kind of work you want to do, but you don’t yet have the expe­ri­ence to do it you are encour­aged to apply. Train­ing and coach­ing will be pro­vid­ed. 
  • 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?

There are very few hard skills that are required, but the ide­al can­di­date would be one who:

  • Has a tech­ni­cal degree or equiv­a­lent expe­ri­ence in Engi­neer­ing, or Bach­e­lor of Sci­ence
  • Is com­fort­able and con­fi­dent when pre­sent­ing his/her work to oth­ers
  • Has a pro­fes­sion­al-lev­el of writ­ten and spo­ken Eng­lish (at least 7/10)
  • Has a driver’s license (to be able to rent cars to vis­it cus­tomers)
  • 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
  • Is very com­put­er lit­er­ate, and knows their way around Microsoft Word, Excel and Pow­er­point
  • Is a Google pow­er-user, for­ev­er ask­ing Google ques­tions for answers he/she doesn’t know 
  • Is opti­mistic, ener­getic and loves to smile
  • 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 will give you a head’s start:

  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 sales or cus­tomer ser­vice expe­ri­ence: Whether it’s the wai­t­er­ing job that got you through school or a part-time job help­ing cus­tomers, it’s help­ful to be com­fort­able help­ing oth­ers.
  3. Project man­age­ment expe­ri­ence: You will need to man­age mul­ti­ple projects simul­ta­ne­ous­ly. This means report­ing inter­nal­ly as well as exter­nal­ly to both cus­tomers and sup­pli­ers. Strong project man­age­ment skills will help you enor­mous­ly.
  4. Pre­sen­ta­tion skills: You will be pre­sent­ing all the time, be it inter­nal­ly or to cus­tomers or sup­pli­ers. If you are com­fort­able in front of a pub­lic audi­ence you will be able to use those skills here.

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 Com­mit­tee 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.