Want to get into tech sales? Here’s how you do it...
Breaking into tech is not always easy, but it’s not impossible. While many believe that you need to have a technical background to be in tech, we’re here to tell you about a lesser known way to break into this industry.
And the cool part is that you can access it without any previous experience.
Yup, we are talking about tech sales. And don’t worry, it’s not the used car salesperson that you are used to thinking about when you think about sales. This is one of the faster growing job sectors in 2022.
What is Tech Sales?
Tech sales is generally seen as the sale of technology to other companies or customers. Most people often start their career in tech sales as a sales development representative or business development representative.
These professionals will prospect for new clients and respond to inbound leads when they’re purchasing new products. They identify and create new businesses in addition to providing support for inbound inquiries. The day to day also includes cold calling and sending emails with the goal of qualifying customers and booking a meeting for the account executive.
As the tech industry grows, there’s a huge demand for non technical roles to support the marketing, sales and support of the customers.
This is where the sales team comes into play. There is no shortage of sales jobs available now (despite all of the recent layoffs). We see the demand still being very high and the overall industry growing at an alarming rate.
We are also seeing that tech sales continue to be a financially lucrative career path. While the average salary for a tech sales representative will vary, we see that the average starting salary for a sales development rep to be about $75,000.
More than anything, because most tech companies are smaller, they offer a lot of opportunity for advancement and career growth.
Now, let's transition into how to get started with your tech sales career.
Updating Your Resume
Just like any profession, you need to prepare a stellar resume for your job search. Updating your resume to match the company and role is always a given, no matter which industry you are in.
However, in a tech sales job, you want to show transferable skills along with data driven successes.
Most recruiters expect that you won't have any experience, so come prepared to tell your story based on the research you’ve done and why you want to transition into a tech sales career.
If you feel like you need additional knowledge, you can always check out the different sales bootcamps and certifications around (some paid and some free). Working to complete one of these helps to signify that you are serious about breaking into tech and show a level of grit.
Job Search Process
Before you begin to submit your resume to companies, it’s important to know what type of companies you’d want to be a part of. You should be able to answer questions like these:
After you’ve gone through these questions, you should create a prospect list of companies you’d like to pitch. This way, you’ll be able to prioritize those you find the most attractive. The next step is to strategically reach out and network with these prospects without seeming desperate.
You’ll also want to make sure that your LinkedIn profile is up to date so that employees take you seriously. Most companies have a referral fee. That means that the employee will get a referral bonus if they introduce a candidate to the company and they get the job. This is why networking is so important.
Connect with employees on LinkedIn and join mutual group chats like on Twitter or mutual Slack groups (e.g Sales For The Culture,Vendition, SDReady, TenboundPlus)
When preparing for your interview, one of the most important things you can do is investigate the company’s upcoming projects. Therefore, you’ll be prepared to provide valuable insights to the company on what products they can utilize to ensure their project’s success.
At the basic level, be sure you know the CEO’s name. Furthermore, research relevant leadership teams and offer to reach out to them in order to provide relevant product information pertaining to their projects. If you’ve come prepared, you’re already off to an excellent start.
Find out what kind of person the company is looking for in terms of traits and values. Understanding the company’s core values is a great place to start. You can take this one step further by practicing sharing what those core values mean to you.
Nailing the Interview
Remember, you’re still applying for a sales position so showcase your skills during the interview. Stay calm and keep control of the narrative.
Teams love when you answer questions in a concise and articulate manner. Some managers value thoughtfulness, curiosity and grit. Teamwork is another major trait that is useful. Oftentimes these are asked about in behavioral interviews. These looks like; “tell me about a time when you. . .”.
Feel free to go on that company’s Glassdoor page and research some of the top questions asked during interviews. Practice, practice, practice.
More than anything, stay consistent with your search. Make a plan, seek out help, and learn as much as you can after each interview. Transitioning into tech won’t always be easy, but it can be worth it.
These are proven steps that we’ve seen work over the last 5 years. If you are interested in learning more about the industry or want to check out an SDR course, take a look here.
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