June 20, 2010
June 20, 2010
June 23, 2010
15.406.1 - 15.406.9
Development of an Engineering Sales Program with Industry Dr. Dave Sly, Dan Bumblauskas, Dr. Frank Peters
Iowa State University recently established a program in technical sales for engineers. To develop the program, faculty and administrators reached out to an industrial advisory committee comprised of organizations with a vested interest in the program; the organizations that hire students from the College of Engineering for career tracks in technical sales and marketing.
The instructor used a combination of various sales techniques and strategies, from established technical sales programs to frame the syllabus for the course. A detailed course structure, with an associated lesson plan will be presented. A review was conducted of peer institutions with similar technical sales engineering programs included the University of Florida, and Penn State Erie - The Behrend College.
Keywords: technical sales, sales engineering, industry collaboration
Description of the Innovation
The Iowa State University College of Engineering (COE) received a corporate gift from Trane corp. to establish an engineering sales program within the college. The original gift proposal initiated a review of sales and marketing positions for engineers, sales engineering programs at other universities, and a literature and industry review of sales engineering curriculum. These activities were performed by a committee established within the Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering department (IMSE).
Review of Sales and Marketing Positions for Engineers The committee conducted a review of sales and marketing postings within the COE, on the number of advertised positions that had Sales or Marketing in their title or description, as well as the number of graduates with Sales or Marketing in their job title. It was interesting to find that while nearly 15% of job postings indicated Sales or Marketing functions, that only around 1% of post-graduation job titles included Sales or Marketing. This difference is attributed, in part, to the fact that many students are not reporting their job title to career services, and also that it is likely that a sales or marketing position within engineering, may neglect to include the terms Sales or Marketing directly within the job title (i.e. Applications Engineer, Support Engineer, Field Services Engineer, etc.)
Based upon Engineering Career Services (ECS) statistics: ≠ 66 grads that have marketing and sales in their job title out of approx. 7000 grads (over 10 years fall 97 -07) 15 percent of jobs postings have marketing or sales in their description; 61 sales, 39 marketing (100) out of 594 postings in Nov. 26, 2007
Companies that were hiring engineers for these positions included those in the following industries. ≠ Consulting ≠ Industrial Tooling, Machines, Automation, Manufacturing ≠ Industrial/Agricultural Equipment (graders, tractors, etc) ≠ Transportation ≠ Systems Integrators ≠ IT Services (Technology) ≠ Industrial Chemicals and Supplies ≠ Energy/Utilities ≠ Contractors and HVAC Suppliers
The Industrial Engineering committee reviewed the companies that were hiring COE graduates for sales and marketing positions. Prior ISU graduates at these companies, or companies in similar industries, were asked to participate on an engineering sales advisory board which would assist in developing the curriculum for the course. The industry advisory board, selected by the committee, included representatives from the following companies: ≠ ABB (Industrial Automation) ≠ JB Hunt (Transportation & Logistics) ≠ Caterpillar (Industrial Equipment) ≠ JS Kruger Consulting (Construction) ≠ Genesys Systems (Systems Integrator) ≠ Lincoln Electric (Industrial Equipment) ≠ Hercules (Industrial Chemicals) ≠ Trane (HVAC) ≠ IBM -retired (IT Services)
Sly, D., & Bumblauskas, D., & Peters, F. (2010, June), Development Of A Sales Engineering Program By Collaborating With Industry Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. https://peer.asee.org/16208
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