I'm considering a switch to sales engineering after building my career as a software engineer. I'd like to understand:
Loaded questions. I'm a Software Engineer turned Services Consultant turned Sales Engineer turned Sales Engineering Director turned VP of Sales. There is also a Product Management path for life after sales engineering. Businesses value the fact that you have worked on numerous environments and solved different types of challenges across many enterprises. This opens up opportunities as CIO's strategy consultant, product strategist etc.. That should answer your last question.
The comp varies by company and domain. In general, you get a base that might be lesser or around the same as what you are used to but have unlimited upside on the commissions.
In terms of skills, Sales Engineering is one field that really lacks in preping technical folks with the necessary skills. I've mentored numerous engineers who have gone on to do great things. Always open to chatting if you need to understand your gaps.
Just wanted to chime in, even though I've never been a sales engineer(Karthik is the expert.) I've just talked to a sales or solutions engineers in the past about their job.