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How to Get Into Tech Sales and Stand Out?

job search Jul 10, 2024

Read Time: 10 Minutes

If you love the idea of working with cutting-edge products and helping businesses solve problems, then tech sales might be the perfect career path for you. It's a great field with lots of opportunities. Plus, the earning potential is immense.

But what if you don't have experience or education? Do you even stand a chance of getting hired by tech companies?

The short answer is yes. You can break into tech sales without relevant experience and schooling. If you want to learn how, follow the steps we will outline in this article. 

You'll also learn about the different job roles you can get into below.

Understanding Tech Sales

As its name suggests, tech sales involve the sale of technology products or services to businesses of all sizes. These can range from software, hardware, and cloud computing solutions.

As a tech sales representative, your job is to understand the needs of your clients and match them with the right tech solutions.

Tech sales is different from other sales jobs in retail or insurance, for example. Rather than promoting a product, you focus on solving the issues of your clients to encourage them to make a purchase.

This is why you must have technical knowledge to understand the products or services you're selling. You need to know how they work, what problems they solve, and why they're better than competitors to succeed in the role.

The Tech Sales Process

The tech sales process usually follows these steps:

 

  • Prospecting: The first step involves finding potential clients who might need the company's product or service.
  • Qualifying: Next, a tech sales professional should review the qualifications of prospects. They must ensure these clients have the need, budget, and authority to buy.
  • Presenting: A tech sales rep must demonstrate how the product or service solves the customer's problem.
  • Handling objections: Tech sales reps work closely with the product development and customer support teams to address any concerns the client may have.
  • Closing: Software sales professionals must finalize the sale and get the contract signed by the client.
  • Follow-up: A tech sales rep must keep communication lines open in case issues arise. They should also regularly look for additional sales opportunities.

 

Key Skills for Tech Sales

Different tech sales roles have distinct requirements. However, candidates with the following skills often succeed in the tech sales industry:

  • Communication skills: Tech companies want someone with strong communication and listening skills. This candidate should be able to explain complex products in simple terms, tell a convincing story to sell the product, and grasp the client's needs.
  • Technical knowledge: Technology sales professionals must understand the product they're selling. They should also know how to use CRM systems.
  • Problem-solving skills: Tech sales experts should be able to find solutions for client's problems.
  • Sales acumen: A candidate with solid sales experience and knowledge of the sales process usually stands out. They can close deals and meet quotas effectively.
  • Relationship building: A tech sales professional must maintain strong relationships with clients to build loyalty and reduce customer churn.

Why Choose a Career in the Tech Sales Industry?

After understanding what tech sales involve, you might wonder why you should choose this career path. The tech sales industry offers many benefits that make it an attractive option for job seekers, such as:

High Pay

The potential for high earnings is among the reasons why many choose to make a career pivot into tech sales.

Tech sales positions offer a highly competitive base salary and extra pay, such as commissions and cash bonuses. For example, the average annual salary for a technical sales representative in the US is around $99,000 to $178,000. Top performers with solid experience can make much more money per year.

Earning high pay can offer many benefits. First, it can significantly improve your quality of life. Second, it can give you peace of mind, as you'll be financially stable and secure.

Remote Work Opportunities

Many tech sales jobs allow for remote work. They give you the freedom to work from any location. This flexibility can lead to a better work-life balance.

Working remotely can also make you more productive. That's because you can create a work environment or schedule that suits your needs.

Plus, remote work means you don't have to commute to the office. You can save both valuable time and money.

Career Advancement

The tech sales industry offers numerous opportunities for career advancement.

Although most people start as tech sales reps, they can quickly move up the ranks with consistent performance and skill development.

Roles such as account executive, sales manager, and even director of sales are within reach because most tech companies value talent and performance.

Networking Opportunities

Lastly, working in technology sales provides excellent networking opportunities.

It's a great way to expand your sales and technical knowledge. By attending conferences or joining professional groups, you can stay up to date with industry insights and trends.

Networking is also a great way to find mentorship and guidance. This helps you improve your skills and advance your sales career faster.

What Are the Challenges in Tech Sales Jobs?

While a tech sales career offers many rewards, it also comes with its share of challenges. Let's look at some of the most common obstacles a job in tech sales may face:

High-Pressure Culture

A job in tech sales is known for its high-pressure environment.

You must meet demanding sales targets and quotas, which can lead to stress and burnout.

You should also know that selling technology isn't the same as marketing a retail product. You may think that the ability to sell appliances is an attribute. However, selling tech products requires a different set of skills and knowledge.

Technological Changes

Technology is always changing, with new products, updates, and innovations coming out regularly.

You must constantly keep up with all these changes, which can be very challenging. For example, you may need to spend a lot of time learning something new, even outside of work hours.

That said, adapting to technological changes can also be exciting for some, as it keeps the job dynamic.

What Are the Different Types of Tech Sales Positions?

The tech sales field offers different roles, each with unique responsibilities and opportunities. Besides a tech sales rep, you can also consider the following positions:

Sales/Business Development Representative

A sales/business development representative (SDR/BDR) is one of the most common entry-level roles in tech sales. 

It focuses on generating new business opportunities by finding and qualifying potential customers and laying the groundwork for successful sales engagements.

Key responsibilities:

  • SDRs/BDRs find potential clients through research and outreach.
  • Once they find potential clients, SDRs/BDRs assess their suitability based on needs, budget, and decision-making authority.
  • They arrange meetings or product demonstrations between qualified leads and the sales team.
  • SDRs/BDRs update the customer relationship management system with detailed notes on interactions and progress with leads. 

Technology Sales Engineer

A technology sales engineer (SE) supports the sales team by explaining how technical products work and solve a client's problem. This role combines technical expertise with sales skills. It is ideal for someone with a strong technical background who enjoys interacting with clients.

Key responsibilities:

  • A tech sales engineer helps the sales team present technical product details.
  • Sales engineers engage with clients to understand their needs and customize solutions based on their requirements.
  • SEs explain how the product or service works to solve a business problem.
  • SEs also address technical questions from clients.

Account Executive

An account executive (AE) is responsible for managing relationships with clients and persuading leads to purchase the company's products or services. They work closely with SEs, who provide technical support during the sales process.

Key responsibilities:

  • An account executive builds and maintains relationships with existing clients and prospects.
  • An AE presents sales proposals and product demos to customers.
  • AEs must negotiate contract pricing, terms, and conditions.
  • AEs should close deals and achieve sales targets.

Account Manager

An account manager (AM) is similar to an AE. However, they focus on managing customer accounts and relationships on a daily basis. This means keeping clients happy and satisfied after the AE closes the sales deal.

They work to understand client needs and provide solutions that help them achieve their goals.

Key responsibilities:

  • An account manager in tech sales manages client accounts and relationships.
  • Account managers provide ongoing support and communication to ensure client satisfaction.
  • Account managers should address issues or concerns a customer may have about the product.
  • AMs must also identify opportunities to upsell or cross-sell products.

Sales Executive

A technical sales executive is mainly responsible for finding new clients and presenting the technical features of a product. They work closely with internal sales teams to drive sales and maintain strong client relationships.

Key responsibilities:

  • A sales executive must find and contact potential new customers.
  • A sales executive presents tech products and services to prospective clients who may be interested.
  • Technical sales executives demonstrate the product's technical features and explain how they solve a client's needs.
  • They must meet sales targets and goals.

 

How to Get Into Tech Sales? 4 Proven Methods to Kickstart Your Career

After covering the benefits, challenges, and available positions in tech sales, let’s discuss how you can get started in this exciting field. Here are four proven methods to help kickstart your career in tech sales.

1. Research the Tech Industry

As previously mentioned, you can break into tech sales without years of direct experience and education. However, you need to know where to start. And that usually involves extensive research into the industry.

You can begin by learning about different tech companies and their products. Search websites like TechCrunch, The Wall Street Journal, and Forbes Tech to find businesses that align with your interests, values, and goals.

You can also connect with tech sales influencers on LinkedIn or X (formerly Twitter). By simply following their posts, you can gain real-world insights and tips.

Beyond the digital space, you can participate in industry events to learn from experts. Attending seminars and conferences is also a great way to network your way to job opportunities.

2. Develop Relevant Skills

Most tech employers are looking for someone with strong communication and sales skills. So, if you want to break into tech sales, you need to master both soft and hard skills.

Start by assessing your current skills and finding areas for improvement.

Since communication is a top skill, you must practice clear and persuasive speaking. To improve, consider joining a local Toastmasters club or taking online courses.

You should also study various tech sales methodologies like SPIN Selling, Solution Selling, or the MEDDIC program. Then, practice what you learned through internships or entry-level jobs as a sales representative.

It's also best to learn about the tech products you want to sell. You can take online courses or connect with key people in the industry to understand different technologies.

Investing time in developing your skills will make you a strong candidate for tech sales positions.

3. Obtain Certifications

Having relevant certifications can set you apart from other candidates and increase your chances of landing a job.

You can obtain the following certifications to demonstrate your skills and knowledge in tech sales:

  • Certified Technical Sales Professional (CTSP)
  • Certified Sales Operations Professional (CSOP)
  • Certified Inside Sales Professional (CISP)
  • HubSpot Inbound Sales Certification

4. Network with Other Tech Sales Professionals

Networking is a powerful tool in any job search. Building relationships with professionals in the tech sales field can lead to job opportunities, mentorship, and valuable advice.

You can use different networking strategies to get into tech sales.

First, you can reach out to professionals in your desired field. Use LinkedIn to connect with the right people who can help you in your journey.

You can also attend industry events, such as conferences, webinars, and trade shows. Don't be afraid to strike up conversations and introduce yourself to professionals. However, avoid focusing too much on yourself. You must provide them with value to earn their time and advice.

Lastly, keep in touch with your new connection. For example, you can engage in their posts or content on LinkedIn. You can also share the results of the action you took based on their advice. Doing this makes the person more likely to support you when you have a request.

How to Prepare for a Tech Sales Job and Stand Out?

Here’s how you can get ready and shine as a top candidate for tech sales jobs.

Create a Strong Resume and Online Profile

Your resume and online profile are your first impressions. You should build a strong CV and LinkedIn profile to stand out.

To create a strong resume, highlight your skills and experiences relevant to the tech sales job. You can also include keywords from the job description to pass through applicant tracking systems (ATS). Don't forget to use numbers to show your success. 

For example, use words like "increased sales by 20% in six months."

As for your LinkedIn profile, choose an appropriate banner and profile picture. You should also craft a professional tagline that includes your target job title. 

Then, showcase your achievements and skills by adding relevant certifications or linking to presentations. Finally, ask your network to endorse your abilities to improve your profile's credibility.

Tailor Your Cover Letter

Having a tailored cover letter can make a big difference in your job application. This is your chance to show your enthusiasm and explain why you’re a great fit for the tech sales job.

When writing a cover letter, you must address the hiring manager by name. Mention the company and specific role you're applying for. 

Next, express your excitement about the opportunity and why you’re passionate about tech sales. Then, highlight your skills and experiences that match the job requirements.

Keep your cover letter clear and direct to the point. It should be no more than one page.

Prepare for Tech Sales Interviews

Once you get a job interview opportunity, you must prepare thoroughly.

First, research the company's culture, products, and services. You should be ready to explain why you want to work there.

Also, prepare answers for common tech sales interview questions. Conduct mock interviews with a friend, colleague, or mentor. Practice is the key to improving your confidence and performance.

You must also show a strong understanding of the tech industry. So, prepare to demonstrate your knowledge and skills through role-playing scenarios or product presentations.

Lastly, you must be ready with questions to ask in a tech job interview. Asking thoughtful questions shows your interest in the role and company.

Let Better Career Help You Land Your Dream Job in Tech Sales

Need further help in getting into tech sales and securing your dream job? Here's how Better Career can assist you:

  • Job Accelerator Program: Follow our step-by-step guide to land a tech sales job quickly and efficiently. Say goodbye to the frustration and guesswork of a typical job search.
  • 1-on-1 Career Coaching: Work closely with experienced career coaches to start or advance your career in the B2B tech industry. We'll customize the program to meet your unique goals and needs.
  • B2B Tech Job Board: Connect directly with key people at hiring companies through our curated job board for B2B tech positions. This includes direct LinkedIn profiles and posts for each listing.

Haven't found what you're looking for? Fill out our contact form, and we'll get in touch with you soon!

FAQs About How to Get Into Tech Sales

 

How to get a tech sales job with no experience?

You can break into the tech sales industry by gaining relevant skills through online courses and certifications. You can also network with industry professionals and attend industry events to get job opportunities.

Which qualifications do you need for tech sales?

While a degree in computer science or business helps, having a college education is not always required. Instead, focus on developing key skills such as communication, technical knowledge, and sales techniques. You can also obtain relevant certifications to boost your profile. A strong understanding of the products and practical experience are usually more important for tech companies.

How can I stand out in a tech sales interview?

In order to become a standout candidate, you must research the company and its products thoroughly. Practice common tech sales interview questions and scenarios. Then, showcase your sales achievements, technical knowledge, problem-solving skills, and relationship-building abilities. Finally, you can ask thoughtful questions about the role and the company.

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