WHAT IS TECH SALES: Definition & How Do You Break Into It?

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Technology sales is a remarkable industry that assists consumers in overcoming unique obstacles. Some technology companies may even sell their products and services to help other businesses become more efficient. If you’re interested in a career in technology sales, you should be aware of the primary responsibilities and benefits of the field. In this article, we define technology sales, list the common duties of a technology salesperson, and discuss the necessary skills to advance in the area.

What Is Tech Sales  

Tech sales typically entail marketing SaaS to other enterprises. In contrast to retail or insurance, the emphasis in tech sales is on assisting customers in resolving problems, rather than simply promoting a product, to encourage them to make a purchase. Sales teams cultivate buyer relationships and emphasize the long-term value of subscription-based tech products. Tech sales involve establishing relationships with various stakeholders in a company. Companies frequently utilize sales methodologies that prioritize assisting the representative in generating value for the purchaser and expediting the transaction. Tech salespeople specialize in selling various products and services, including computers, servers, operating systems, and cloud computing. Individuals aspiring to work in this profession may represent a company from the three general categories of tech sales: hardware, software, and software as a service (SaaS).

Technological advancements are occurring daily, resulting in the release of new products. Technology encompasses various areas, including cybersecurity, 5G, the Internet of Things, big data, the cloud, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and machine learning. These innovations hold significant potential for generating value for consumers and the economy, yet they are complex. These products require sales representatives to effectively convey their worth to the market.

After addressing the industry and job specifics, we will proceed to the enjoyable aspect. The technology sales industry is highly profitable in terms of compensation. An entry-level Sales Development Representative (SDR) in the technology industry has the potential to earn a six-figure salary upon achieving their sales quota. Moreover, the salary increases exponentially as one progresses up the hierarchy. Account executives can earn up to $250,000 annually, while it is not uncommon for Vice Presidents of Sales to earn over a million dollars per year. Sales compensation is determined by various factors, including quota attainment history, job title, technical proficiency, and size of the generated business.

How to Get Into Tech Sales 

Transitioning to a tech sales position from another field can be challenging due to the various requirements such as consulting skills, sales strategies, communication skills, and other responsibilities involved in the selling process. To secure a tech sales role without extensive experience, technical expertise, or a prestigious technology degree, specific measures can be taken.

#1. Utilize Your Sales Expertise.

In the realm of tech sales, the emphasis is primarily on promoting novel products to businesses, thereby diminishing the significance of comprehending each product’s technical intricacies in the hiring managers’ eyes. Product details can be addressed at a later time. Currently, the most significant attribute to emphasize is your sales expertise. Success in tech sales requires salesmanship and many individuals who break into this field do so by gaining experience in a less profitable sales sector. Demonstrating qualities such as being indisputable, persistent, convincing, and efficient can outweigh other factors in the eyes of a competent hiring manager. Employers prefer successful sellers over those with experience but no success.

It is advisable to express gratitude by sending a note of appreciation subsequent to a job interview. Be prepared with a response for any situation. Use direct storytelling to promote yourself as a candidate rather than relying on indirect methods.

#2. Approach It as a Prospecting Activity.

Breaking into tech sales is akin to prospecting for a sale. To optimize your job search, it is advisable to be selective and purposeful in applying for tech sales positions. Select the most feasible employment opportunities that align with your qualifications. Initiate contact with a customized salutation and demonstrate your suitability for the position, whether by means of a cover letter, a referral, or a direct request. The process may require a significant amount of time. Significant effort will likely be required. These salesmanship demonstrations can yield significant benefits later in one’s career.

#3. Invest in certifications.

If you lack concrete sales experience, there are still a number of ways to break into the technology sales industry. Motivating recruiting managers to hire you for a sales position is an excellent first step. You can discover a variety of free sales certifications online to gain a competitive edge in the job market. Having these certifications on a resume demonstrates to hiring managers that you are willing to put forth an effort, giving you more clout during the recruiting process. If you are interested in working for a specific company, you can view the work and education history of their tech sales representatives on LinkedIn. You may receive suggestions for courses or programs that will equip you with the skills they expect from tech salespeople. Even though training will not provide you with actual sales experience, it is an excellent way to familiarize yourself with sales strategies and techniques.

#4. Networking is Crucial for Professional Success.

Networking accounts for 70% of all modern-era hires. Certainly, Networking with companies is the optimal strategy for securing a role in technology sales. Ensure that your LinkedIn profile is current and presents a professional image. Subsequently, seek out individuals holding the tech sales position you desire and inquire about their daily routines. Attending this event provides an opportunity to acquire knowledge of tech sales processes and strategies directly from industry experts. Additionally, it facilitates networking with professionals from diverse tech organizations.

Tech Sales Career Path 

Traditional salespeople aim to determine if their product or service can address their client’s issues. However, technology sales differ somewhat from other types of sales. Sales technologists work with organizations that provide services through various technological platforms. A software company may provide organizational tools or cloud-based CRM software to manage client information. The primary focus of technology sales involves identifying customers’ challenges and determining the appropriate technological solutions to address them. Certain companies may require a new series of laptops. High-value accounts may require multiple technologies, such as sales trackers and automation tools, to enhance productivity and facilitate scalability.

#1. Sales Development Representative / Business Development Representative

The role of a sales development representative or business development representative is commonly regarded as the introductory position in the field of technology sales. The roles of SDRs or BDRs include qualifying inbound leads to assess their purchasing ability and generating outbound leads through cold calling or emailing. As an SDR or BDR, your role is to schedule meetings with potential customers who are prepared and capable of making a purchase. This enables the account executive to finalize the sale and achieve success as a team.

#2. Account Executive

The account executive is a proficient salesperson who bears the ultimate responsibility for finalizing transactions. The role of an Account Executive (AE) is to assist customers in the latter stages of the purchasing process by offering product demonstrations, providing information, and negotiating prices to facilitate the final transaction. This occupation is attractive to sales professionals who derive satisfaction from the excitement of closing deals and offers a lucrative compensation package commensurate with its demanding and cutthroat environment.

#3. Account Manager

An account manager or customer success manager fulfills the dual roles of sales and customer service. The Account Manager (AM) or Customer Success Manager (CSM) is accountable for post-sales customer engagement in SAAS software. Their primary objective is to facilitate customer adoption and usage of the software, thereby increasing the likelihood of software renewal and reducing the likelihood of churn. This occupation compensates salespersons who possess interpersonal abilities and a willingness to assist, albeit with occasional upselling. Compared to an account executive job, customer service roles are typically less stressful since job performance is solely based on ensuring the satisfaction of existing customers, rather than prospecting and persuading unfamiliar individuals to purchase unfamiliar products.

Tech Sales Company 

The desire for high earning potential is a prevalent motive for individuals pursuing a career in tech sales. However, other factors should be taken into account when selecting a profession. To aid in this decision-making process, we have compiled a list of the top tech sales companies to work for. Tech Sales Company offers instrumentation, controls, service, application assistance, and technical support if a product demonstration is desired.

#1. Asana

Asana is a commonly used tool for project collaboration among large teams. Chiefly, Asana is a SaaS B2B company that provides project management software through a subscription model. The software facilitates team collaboration, communication, task delegation, workflow creation, and task management. Furthermore, Asana received a rating of 4.8 out of 5.0 based on reviews from both current and former employees, according to Glassdoor. The CEO of Asana received a high approval rating of 98% from reviewers, while 97% of them would recommend the software as a workplace to their acquaintances. The company prioritizes offering a favorable work-life balance to its employees. The work culture is reputed to be conscientious and prioritizes ethical conduct. The remuneration is also attractive.

#2. Slack

Whether your team is virtual, in-house, or mixed, a faster communication tool is necessary than email. Slack is among the top-rated technology sales firms to work for in 2023. The organization provides a channel-based messaging platform. Slack is mainly designed for organizational communication and business purposes, although users who are familiar with Discord may observe some similarities. Salespeople can expect a good salary. Account executives can earn an annual salary of approximately $178,000. In addition to its services, Slack provides attractive benefits including a matching program for 401k, health insurance, and parental leave.

#3. Salesforce

Salesforce is a notable tech sales company that cannot be excluded from a list of the best. The company has been providing CRM software as a service to businesses for a considerable duration. Salesforce technology is utilized by both startups and large enterprises. Marc Benioff, Chairman, and Co-CEO, received the “most woke” business leader award at the Cheddar Awards, which reflects the company’s positive reputation and widespread popularity. Sales professionals can earn over $134,000 based on their job role. In addition to attractive salaries, the work environment is enjoyable and engaging. Sales professionals value utilizing software that is in demand and essential to customers.

#4. Google

Google offers a suite of cloud computing services through its SaaS cloud platform, known as Google Cloud Platform. This platform utilizes the infrastructure employed by Google for its consumer-facing products. Consider the daily utilized services, such as Google Search, Gmail, and YouTube. Field sales representatives can collaborate with Fortune 500 companies to expand their utilization of Google’s cloud storage. Sales career progression at Google offers high earning potential and promising opportunities.

#5. Workday

Workday provides a leading solution for human capital management and human resources. The software platform offers solutions for various aspects of HR, including payroll, onboarding, training, and financial management. The aforementioned tech company has been recognized by Glassdoor as a top workplace in 2022, 2021, 2016, and 2013. Workday has received a 4.3/5.0 satisfaction rating from over 2,000 past and current employees.

Tech Sales Certifications

Certifications are crucial for technical sales representatives in the job market as they indicate proficiency and comprehension in a particular field. Additionally, Certifications can enhance an employee’s credibility and facilitate successful deal-making by demonstrating their expertise to employers. Certifications offer recognition for dedication to learning and can enhance appeal to prospective employers. Certifications can enhance a technical sales representative’s competitiveness in the job market by demonstrating their qualifications to potential employers.

#1. Certified Professional Salesperson (CPS)

The CPS certification program acknowledges sales professionals who have attained a notable level of expertise in the sales industry. NASP, a non-profit organization committed to promoting the sales profession, awards the CPS designation. Certification necessitates fulfilling specific prerequisites, which comprise possessing a minimum of two years of sales expertise and successfully completing an examination that encompasses subjects such as customer service, communication, negotiation, and product knowledge. Specialization in certain industries or areas of expertise requires additional requirements. The certification process usually lasts from six months to one year. The cost of certification varies based on the type, typically falling within the range of $150-$500. To obtain CPS certification, registration with NASP and submission of an application, along with relevant documents and evidence of sales experience, is required.

#2. Certified Sales Professional (CSP)

The Certified Sales Professional (CSP) program acknowledges sales professionals who exhibit advanced knowledge and expertise in the sales industry. The National Association of Sales Professionals (NASP) administers it. The CSP certification process entails passing an examination that encompasses customer service, sales tactics, communication abilities, and product expertise. The examination is available both online and in person at multiple locations across the United States. Applicants must possess a minimum of two years of full-time experience in sales or related fields to be eligible for the exam.

#3. Certified Technology Sales Professional (CTSP)

The CTSP program is a certification initiative that explicitly aims to equip sales professionals with the necessary expertise and contrarily, proficiencies to effectively market technology products. CompTIA, a prominent IT certification provider, offers the certification. The CTSP program comprises an online course that encompasses product knowledge, sales strategies, customer service, and marketing. Successful completion of the certification requires passing quizzes and exams. The duration of the CTSP program varies from six to eight weeks, contingent on the amount of time allocated for studying and coursework completion.

Is Tech Sales a Good Job? 

Technology sales provide valuable exposure and expertise in contemporary technologies and practical tech solutions. Early access to the company’s software can be obtained through this method.

What Qualifications Do I Need for Tech Sales? 

Although formal education is not always a requirement, tech sales positions prioritize the ability of sales representatives to establish connections with customers and other teams. Tech sales representatives often possess diverse sales experience, including retail sales. Certain sales representatives hold a degree in business or a related discipline.

What Are Tech Sales Top Salary? 

Is tech sales a lucrative career path? The salary range for technology salespeople varies based on factors such as years of experience, market, and organization type, with an average range of $40,000-114,000, exclusive of commissions and bonuses.

Are Tech Sales High Paying?

The median annual salary for a novice technology sales representative is $78,509. Junior sales representatives usually receive a fixed salary and may also qualify for additional compensation in the form of commissions or bonuses.

Is Tech Sales Hard to Learn? 

Securing a favorable position in the field of technology sales may present challenges, but it is feasible. The technology sector requires proficient sales personnel to effectively convey the worth of their products to a consumer base inundated with alternatives. Fortunately, several companies offer training to suitable candidates.

Can an Introvert Do Tech Sales?

Introverts can indeed succeed as salespeople. Sales effectiveness is determined by acquired skills rather than personality traits.

Wrapping Up

The nature of a tech sales job is contingent upon one’s position and level of seniority, however, there are fundamental aspects that are generally applicable to sales positions universally. Tech sales positions typically entail prospecting for new sales opportunities and consulting with clients regarding their challenges and how your product can address them. Some individuals may engage in activities such as cold calling, reconnecting with previous leads, or identifying new leads through networking. Tech sales professionals may prioritize showcasing their organization’s offerings. Communication with clients particularly, can vary from informal conversations to formal product demonstrations or discussions on past ROI. Maintaining communication basically, with current clients and customers is a crucial aspect of various technology sales positions.

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