HOW TO GET INTO TECH SALES: The Ultimate Guide

HOW TO GET INTO TECH SALES
Photo by Mikael Blomkvist

If you enjoy competition, can persuade, and are passionate about technology, a career in tech sales may be ideal for you.
However, because this is a highly competitive area, breaking into it is not as simple as applying for tech sales employment. Many people want to work in the top positions, therefore you must figure out how to distinguish yourself from the crowd.
But, before you start sending your resume to every tech business out there, you should first learn how to become a competitive candidate for tech sales positions. This article provides the groundwork for a successful career in technology sales. It discusses what tech sales is, why positions in tech sales are so sought after, and some particular ways to get into tech sales.

What is Tech Sales?

The practice of connecting consumers with technology that answers their problems is known as tech sales. This encompasses software, hardware, and information technology services.
To be sure, this term is intentionally wide. This is because the type of technology you’ll market depends on the company you work for.

For example, one company may sell computer gear such as laptops and displays, while another may provide CRM software. Alternatively, they may sell a combination of technologies, such as computers with anti-virus software.

Tech firms typically specialize in one (or more) of the following areas:

  • Software. Software solutions can be sold as programs or as a subscription-based service (SaaS). CRMs, billing software, and project management software are a few examples.
  • Hardware. The actual devices or equipment that run the software, such as computers, phones, and tech accessories, are referred to as tech gear.
  • IT support. This entails offering firms security, consulting, or troubleshooting services.

Many tech salespeople have broad educational and professional backgrounds, including engineering, sales, and marketing. There is no singular path to becoming a tech sales rep, but these people typically have extensive technical expertise, great sales acumen, and strong interpersonal skills.

These abilities can be acquired through formal education, training, and related work experience. A bachelor’s degree isn’t required, but it can help you create a solid foundation in key fields including computer science, engineering, information technology, business administration, and marketing.

How To Get Into Tech Sales

#1. Work in Sales to Gain Experience

Employers in this industry value and frequently prefer applicants with hands-on, relevant experience in customer service and sales, which you can obtain through internships and entry-level sales or tech employment. The level of expertise required to qualify for tech sales rep roles varies depending on the function, organization, and industry.

#2. Discover More About the Industry

Tech sales representatives should have a thorough awareness of the tech sales business, including the unique problems and possibilities that come with selling tech products and services. A variety of online courses and boot camps offer in-depth training in tech sales, including product knowledge development, customer relationship management, and industry trends.

Bootcamps and courses can also help you learn how to discover sales leads, generate interest in your products and services, and convert leads into sales. The following are some online courses and boot camps to check into:

  • CourseCareers – Tech Sales Course: This self-paced course combines online learning, real-world projects, and customized coaching to provide participants with a comprehensive introduction to sales methodology, popular sales technologies, generating qualified leads, outreach, and interview preparation. This course lasts around three months and costs $499.
  • Elevate’s Sales Development Representative (SDR) Bootcamp: This is a comprehensive 10-week online curriculum that covers subjects such as sales messages, prospect research, industry-standard software systems, and closing sales. This program includes live training, one-on-one career coaching, and networking with industry professionals such as employers and recruiters. Elevate has numerous financing alternatives; however, precise price information must be obtained directly from Elevate.
  • Fuel Sales Academy – Sales Development Accelerator Bootcamp: The sales bootcamp program at Fuel Sales Academy provides participants with fundamental SDR abilities. This program offers online instructor-led coaching, training, and development of on-the-job sales experience. Students complete the boot camp, which is free of charge, in six to twelve weeks.

#3. Consider obtaining a Sales Certification.

Some technical sales representatives pursue certification to receive formal training and education on industry best practices, sales strategies, and upcoming technology. Certification can also demonstrate a commitment to professional development, giving you a leg up on other job prospects. A few certifications for aspiring and current tech salespeople are listed below.

  • Sandler Sales Certification: Sandler’s sales certification program provides comprehensive training to assist tech sales professionals at all stages of their careers in improving their effectiveness. Participants can advance through four levels of certification—bronze, silver, gold, and master—and get a certificate at each level. Sandler’s certification program costs vary depending on your qualifications. Please contact Sandler directly for pricing details.
  • Certified Professional Sales Person (CPSP®): The National Association of Sales Professionals’ sales curriculum is a six-week online training that provides you with a full understanding of the sales cycle. It discusses prospecting, rapport development, needs assessment, closing strategies, and account management. The course costs $695.
  • Certified Inside Sales Professional (CISP®): The CISP accreditation is a 10-module online program that takes approximately eight to twelve weeks to complete. Participants will master basic sales competencies such as prospecting, discovery, and qualification, needs assessment, closing tactics, and account management throughout this time. The training concludes with a final “live sales call” role-play exam. You must be an AA-ISP member to acquire accreditation, which costs $145. The cost of CISP accreditation is $875.

#4. Increase the Size of Your Network

A robust network of sales professionals and industry specialists is essential for a successful sales career. Through your network, you can learn about new technologies, sales methods, and career prospects.

Attending business events, trade exhibitions, and conferences, as well as joining social media groups and online forums, will help you start establishing your network. Through LinkedIn and other networks, you can access sales groups like Salesty and Sales and Marketing Alignment. Popular social networking networks include:

  • LinkedIn
  • Meetup
  • RevGenius
  • SalesHacker
  • SalesHood

Why Work In Tech Sales?

Working in tech sales has several advantages that make it an appealing career choice for many people. Here are some additional reasons to consider becoming a tech sales representative, in addition to a high-tech sales compensation.

#1. There are no technical requirements.

Contrary to popular assumption, a career in tech sales does not necessitate a high level of technical understanding such as computer programming or coding.
While a basic understanding of technology is beneficial, the most critical abilities for success in tech sales are communication, problem-solving, and relationship-building. As a result, it is ideal for entry-level workers and students.
Prior sales experience is preferred but not required for entry-level positions.

#2. High salary

The average compensation for a tech salesperson ranges from $71,513 to $92,173 or more, depending on expertise and area.
Furthermore, many tech sales professionals provide performance-based bonuses and commissions, which can greatly improve earning potential.

#3. Work from home

Many tech sales representatives work remotely, giving them the flexibility and freedom to work from anywhere (as long as they have access to a reliable internet connection).
Working from home allows you to eliminate commuting time, save money, and achieve a better work-life balance. Working from home can also help you build time management, communication, and self-discipline skills, all of which are highly regarded in the tech sales sector.

#4. There are numerous work options.

There are numerous intriguing job options in the tech sales field for college students. Companies need talented tech salespeople to promote and market new technologies and goods as they continue to invest in new technologies and products.
You’ll have plenty of options to leverage your communication skills and tech knowledge to establish a fantastic career in tech sales, whether you choose to work for a tech giant or a startup.
Because the business is expected to expand significantly, there is no better moment to begin investigating the world of technology sales.

#5. Career advancement

There are numerous prospects for career growth and progress in the technology sales business.
You can begin in an entry-level sales position and advance to become a sales manager, account executive, or sales director.

Because the technology business is perpetually evolving, there are always new items and technologies to market. This allows you to broaden your horizons and learn new talents. The sky is the limit in tech sales with hard work and determination!

Working in Tech Sales: Challenges

While working in tech sales has numerous advantages, it also has some drawbacks.

#1. High levels of stress

Working in technology sales may be stressful, especially when dealing with large clients and high-stakes transactions.
However, because it requires you to think on your feet and build your sales and communication abilities, this can be a tremendous opportunity for personal and professional growth. You can prosper in this dynamic and fascinating profession if you have the correct mindset and assistance.

#2. The learning curve

Entering the tech sales industry might be intimidating due to the steep learning curve. Keeping up with the newest industry trends and advances, on the other hand, is critical to remaining ahead of the curve.

Attend industry events and conferences, follow tech sales influencers on social media, and look for mentorship and training options to stay current.
Don’t be hesitant to ask questions or take on new challenges as they present themselves – the more you learn, the more useful you become as a tech sales professional.

#4. It is difficult to switch industries.

While a job in technology sales can be rewarding, it can also be difficult. Changing industries, for example, can be challenging if you’ve specialized in tech sales.
However, remaining current on industry trends and advances will assist in easing the transition if you decide to change careers in the future.

Attending industry conferences, networking with people from other industries, and pursuing extra education or training, for example, can all help you broaden your knowledge and skill set, making you more valuable to possible employers outside of tech sales.

#5. Getting Customers

Customer acquisition is a typical difficulty in tech sales, and cold calling can be scary for many people. However, it is a necessary ability to perfect to be successful in this industry.
Practice with friends or family members, or even in front of a mirror, is one technique to get better at cold calling. Another useful idea is to conduct preliminary research on your prospects before making the contact to customize your pitch and develop a connection.
Keep in mind that practice makes perfect. You will become more comfortable and confident in your sales technique as you gain experience.

Qualifications For a Career In Tech Sales

If you want to work in technology sales, a few critical skills and qualifications will help you get started.

#1. Soft Skills

Soft skills are critical for success in technology sales. Communication skills, problem-solving abilities, relationship-building abilities, and the capacity to perform well under pressure are examples of these.

#2. Hard Skills

While technical knowledge is not necessarily essential for tech sales, a basic understanding of technology is advantageous.
Strong sales skills in lead generation, prospecting, and closing deals are also important for success in this industry.

#3. Education

While a formal education is not always essential for a career in technology sales, having a degree in business, marketing, computer science, or a similar profession might be advantageous.

Career Paths In Tech Sales

You can pursue a career in tech sales in a variety of ways depending on your abilities and interests. This section will look at some of the most common career routes in the tech sales business, as well as the skills and certifications needed for each.

#1. Increased sales

Identifying and qualifying potential leads and passing them on to the sales team to seal the deal is what sales development is all about. For those new to tech sales, this can be an excellent entry-level career.

#2. Business expansion

Working with existing clients to explore new sales prospects and build long-term connections is part of business development. This business development representative (BDR) position often necessitates additional experience and superior sales abilities.

#3. Account management

Account management entails overseeing current client connections to maximize customer happiness and loyalty.
This position necessitates outstanding customer service skills as well as the ability to find upselling and cross-selling opportunities.

#4. Customer satisfaction management

Working closely with consumers to ensure they get the most out of their purchases is what customer success management entails.
This position necessitates strong communication skills as well as a grasp of client needs and expectations.

#5. Sales administration

Sales management is in charge of the entire sales process, from lead generation to transaction closure. This position necessitates excellent leadership abilities as well as an awareness of the sales process.

Conclusion

IT sales simply necessitates more technical knowledge, making it more difficult to break into than tech sales alone. Because IT salespeople provide further advice after the sale, they must completely understand how each product works and be able to demonstrate its use to others.

For highly technical positions, a background in electronics or software development is preferred. However, like with technology sales, there are methods to get your foot in the door without having this level of experience.

Internships and product demos can be excellent opportunities to learn about each product and demonstrate your desire to get a job in IT sales. Keep in mind that this area of work necessitates a natural affinity for technology. As a result, IT sales may not be the best career choice for you if you easily become agitated by technical issues.

References

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