What Is Tech Sale? Its Kinds, Qualifications, Pros & Cons
Tech sales often entail providing other companies with software as a service. Since IT goods are often subscription-based, sales teams develop connections and focus on assisting customers in understanding a product’s long-term worth.
Software as a service is generally sold to other firms as part of tech sales. In contrast to retail or insurance, tech sales place a greater emphasis on assisting a client in resolving a problem to encourage them to make a purchase.
Additionally, as the majority of software is offered as a subscription, there is an increased focus on assisting the customer in deriving long-term value from the product.
It’s often a more difficult transaction that requires establishing connections with many corporate stakeholders.
Companies often depend on sales tactics that emphasize assisting the rep in creating value for the customer and urgency for the contract to aid with that.
Opportunities in sales have increased along with the growth of the IT sector. Over 80,000 sales positions have been advertised on Built In’s website since the year 2022 began. It’s a profitable career to enter, with an average pay of $84,390.
What Do Technology Salespeople Do?
The day-to-day of a tech sales job varies depending on the position you occupy and your degree of seniority, but there are several fundamentals that are true for all sales professions.
Finding new sales possibilities and conversing with customers about the problems they are facing and how your solution might solve them are frequent duties of tech sales positions.
This may seem to some as cold phoning potential customers, getting in touch with previous leads, or finding new leads via networking.
Others in the tech sales industry could concentrate on showcasing the goods or services of their employer.
This might take the shape of a casual talk with a client, a formal demonstration of how a product works, or a discussion of the ROI it has previously provided to clients.
In many IT sales positions, following up with current clients and customers is also crucial. That can include setting up brief phone calls or video chats for check-ins or sending fast emails.
Using data to create targets and report on KPIs is a requirement for many top IT sales jobs.
That can also include obtaining consumer testimonials and comments in order to emphasize the influence of the company’s goods and assist others in the organization in understanding how the business is doing financially.
Tech sales roles need the ability to report and present pertinent sales data to other teams.
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Tech Sales Has What Kind Of Jobs Available?
A sales development representative or business development representative, people often begin their career in tech sales.
These jobs include making cold calls to potential clients, sending emails, and assisting clients who inquire about products.
To qualify clients and schedule a meeting for the account executive are the objectives.
Account executives do many of the same outreach duties as an SDR and BDR in addition to conducting product demonstrations and closing transactions.
Then there are the account managers and customer success managers who work with current clients and make an effort to upsell them on new services and products.
The sales manager and sales director are two examples of senior tech sales professionals. Sales managers supervise and instruct their personnel.
In addition to training, they are in charge of developing product prices, sales budgets, and quotas based on sales data.
To develop and carry out plans for the sales force, sales directors collaborate closely with sales managers.
They often assist with onboarding, training, and defining goals and objectives for the team.
The position of sales operations manager may be of interest to those seeking to enter the more technical and data-driven side of sales. This job uses data-driven insights to guide the procedures of the sales team.
A sales operations manager’s duties may also involve gathering information for a customer relationship management platform, assessing conversion rates, and reviewing sales strategies.
The vice president of sales is the most important position in a sales team. The vice president of sales is in charge of managing the whole sales force, from creating new sales tactics to onboarding new clients or agents.
In order to create objectives, VPs often deliver sales data to important stakeholders inside the firm. They also collaborate closely with the finance departments.
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What Qualifications Are Required In Tech Sales?
Josh Jordan was often advised that sales were an art form that you either have or didn’t when he began his sales career in the late 2000s.
He did well in his first sales position working for a serial entrepreneur, but his tech sales position soon became difficult.
He soon discovered that success in one sales position does not always transfer to another. To address difficulties for clients, it is necessary to grasp tools, talents, and sales processes.
The two most crucial abilities tech managers seek in a candidate are universal, even if there are distinctions between tech sales and other sectors. These abilities are communication and listening.
Customers will grasp the value of a product if there is clear communication and the capacity to communicate the product’s narrative.
Because salespeople must meet and comprehend customer demands, active listening is crucial.
Some software companies additionally check to determine whether a candidate can fit into the tech sales culture and understand contemporary sales tactics. This may include enterprise sales, gap selling, and solution selling.
The Best Tech Sales Skills
- Narrative and interaction.
- Recognizing and paying attention to consumer demands.
- Establishing connections.
- Knowledge of a CRM.
- Managing time and tasks.
- Knowledge of sales techniques.
- The capacity to spot novel possibilities
Even for entry-level positions, many computer businesses may list openings that call for previous software sales expertise.
Talented representatives from different sectors are put off from applying because of this obstacle, according to Jordan.
The evidence that you can do the job better than the majority of the other candidates is what they actually want, he said.
The ability to operate systems like Salesforce and Outreach, comprehend how to listen and communicate effectively, and demonstrate aptitude for approaches like relationship selling, according to Jordan, may all play a role in the recruiting process.
Maintaining current with the newest trends and sales strategies requires continuing your professional growth in sales.
Tech sales workers may network, attend lectures and training sessions, and test out new products at conferences hosted by the sector.
Additionally, there are many books and podcasts available for sales professionals to assist them to advance their knowledge and talents.
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Can You Begin A Career In Tech Sales Without A College Degree?
You may enter the IT sales industry via a few different routes. A bachelor’s degree may open up more managerial prospects, better-paid jobs, or easier career mobility. Business and marketing degrees are two that IT salespeople often possess.
However, earning a bachelor’s degree isn’t necessary to work in tech sales, and some organizations don’t.
Numerous sales boot camps and courses are available, and they may help you break into new positions.
Some training programs are designed for complete teams or for managers who want to switch up sales tactics to increase income.
Sales Bootcamp instructs participants on the creation of a sales funnel, the use of a CRM, communication and sales skills, technical product presentations, and coaching approaches.
Since many boot camps are available online and some of them assist alumni in finding employment once they finish, they are perfect for people who want flexibility.
Advice On Breaking Into Tech Sales
It’s not always simple to get a position in tech sales, and it may be particularly difficult to break in when coming from other sectors. However, candidates may increase their chances of getting an interview and winning a job by adhering to a few tried-and-true guidelines.
5 Pointers For Entering Tech Sales
- Connect with other IT vendors to learn about the market. Learn more about the books and sales techniques they suggest.
- Look for mentors that are prepared to assist you throughout the interview process.
Think of the recruiting organization and manager as prospects.
- Investigate their personnel, offering, and objective; utilize this knowledge to frame inquiries and demonstrate your communication abilities.
- Take the company’s multi-threaded approach. This protects you from being turned down due to a lack of experience.
- Look for original methods to share your narrative and demonstrate your abilities. In order to stand out, send the hiring manager a video message or audio clip.
Sharing Information With Other Tech Sales Specialists
It didn’t take Gebrewold long to realize that tech sales have their own lingo and principles after joining LinkedIn in June 2020.
He understood that he would need to be accepted as a member of the tech selling group if he wanted to work in technology.
Thankfully, he discovered that it was a community that welcomed outsiders eager to learn and join the group.
He joined sales groups like RevGenius to learn more about the field and participated in conversations in the comments sections of sales postings that drew his interest.
He would contact the representative who had presented a topic he was interested in to see if they would be open to a Zoom meeting to discuss it. Most of the time, they complied.
He took advantage of such chances to inquire about the frameworks and techniques they found effective. He then purchased and read the related sales literature.
Over time, he got knowledgeable about a range of sales approaches and picked up crucial tech sales vocabularies like average recurring revenue, mutual plans, and embedding/iFraming.
He was able to think and speak like a tech sales representative by the time he applied to Klue.
A candidate’s chances of getting into tech sales may be significantly impacted by mentorship ties in addition to schooling, according to Gebrewold.
Expanding mentoring possibilities is now a vital component of the Sales for the Culture sales group he later co-founded for Black salespeople. Gebrewold often asked his mentors for advice on how to prepare for each interview.
A mentor had warned him that the sales motion he was accustomed to using at his previous position in talent recruiting would be different from what Klue utilized, so he would need to deviate from the script to meet the manager’s demands during the interview.
He also asked several of his contacts whether they would speak well about him to Klue. He was able to get the job in large part thanks to their remarks to the recruiting manager.
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Showcase Your Ability To Listen & Communicate
Tech sales are all about comprehending a customer’s issue and point of view, understanding how you can help them solve it, and then elaborating on the value of your solution.
Even if a person is unfamiliar with gap selling, Jordan said, they still have a chance of getting the job if they can demonstrate their ability to communicate and listen.
The easiest method to demonstrate these abilities in an interview is to do some prospect-like research into the business.
Jordan advised brushing up on the personnel, the product, and the company’s objective. Prior to the interview, learn the name of the recruiting manager. Research the position, and read the most current corporate news.
Explain how you fit into the company’s vision and how you can assist resolve a difficulty pertinent to the position you’re seeking during the interview, Jordan said.
Ask essential questions, such as how the introduction of a new product or a fundraising round would affect the team’s expansion.
When a candidate is able to accomplish that, it demonstrates to the management that they possess the fundamental abilities required to be successful in sales.
“That requires work. It demonstrates to me their hunger and willingness to study, said Jordan. They showed that they cared about our company’s objective, myself, and my team by taking the time to complete the research. They are distinguished by that.
No matter how skillfully a candidate presents their qualifications, the experience requirement must still be surmounted.
One of Gebrewold’s main obstacles, when he applied to Klue, was this. To fill its available positions for account executives, the organization was only searching for five-year IT sales veterans.
He understood that if he desired one of those positions, he would need to instill doubt in the manager’s mind about that criteria due to his abilities.
Gebrewold began by deepening his connections inside Klue. He made his first LinkedIn connection with a former HR manager, who introduced him to the senior account executive at the company.
Then he sent her a message requesting a connection. She gave him information about working at Klue and presented him to the director of sales and the director of human resources.
Then he emailed the sales director a report he believed would interest him and a video message that gave a glimpse into Gebrewold’s past. In addition, he said he would follow up following his first interview. This proved to be quite important.
He subsequently discovered that during the first interview, the HR director had decided against recommending him for the post.
He suited the culture, but she advised that they search for someone with greater expertise. However, Gebrewold’s passion in the first video captured the manager’s attention, and his second video message only served to heighten it.
I did little things like giving a bit of my story, weaving in the moral, making a reference to the beginning story, and then, to make myself stand out, I did something humorous at the end.
Gebrewold remarked, “I’m delighted to assist you’ll fully out-compete your competition. I split a crayon in half, [the name of] one of our competitors. What sales director isn’t thinking, “I want to meet that man,” I don’t know.
Each of those actions protected Gebrewold from being disqualified from the process due to a lack of expertise and made him stand out in the sales director’s eyes.
According to Gebrewold, “You are in a sales process just like any other, and you need to promote yourself against your rivals.” So practice delivering succinct stories that demonstrate your identity.
Advantages Of A Career In Technology Sales
Work-from-home options, high average earnings and earning potential, and career mobility are just a few advantages of working in IT sales.
The assumption that you must physically be there in the workplace to close a deal is fading as more and more businesses provide remote work options or hybrid models.
Both salespeople and businesses profit from remote selling since it gives them more freedom and saves money on office and travel costs.
In 2022, the average income for a technical sales representative in the US will be roughly $84,000, or about 40% more than the national average.
When choosing a job, salary is a crucial consideration, and individuals in tech sales have the chance to earn basic wages as well as incentives or commissions from the transactions they complete.
Working in IT sales also provides prospects for professional progression. Since sales and marketing professions are the second most in demand, there are often plenty of unfilled sales opportunities in technology.
Although the majority of IT salespeople begin as representatives, most businesses have a well-defined career path that workers may follow.
A sales representative who moves from account manager to AE to sales manager might serve as an illustration of this.
The Drawbacks Of A Tech Sales Career
A career in IT sales has drawbacks, just like any other profession. One drawback is that if your expertise has mostly been in other areas, it might be challenging to adapt to the business.
In contrast to more conventional sales sectors, the IT industry has a unique sales procedure. Reps in industries like retail or insurance often work with customers who are at the very bottom of the sales funnel.
According to Jordan, the consumer has already made up their mind, hence the primary deciding factor is whether or not the representative is likable.
When it comes to digital sales, where customers have more options and transactions are trickier, this success isn’t necessarily transferable.
The way sales personnel are treated in the IT startup sector might potentially be problematic. Some applicants from regions continue to value the “coffee is for closers” mentality.
They may believe that their ability to sell sawdust to a timber mill is a strength, but recruiting supervisors at software businesses will immediately pass them by.
The pressure to reach targets is one of the biggest drawbacks of IT sales. Tech firms depend more heavily than other sectors on customers renewing their subscriptions, despite the fact that this is prevalent in most sales industries.
For sales representatives and account managers, maintaining continuing relationships with customers is both a difficulty and a need for success.