How to Get Started in Tech Sales: A Simple Guide
July 12th, 2023
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Learning how to get started in tech sales could be one of the most lucrative steps you take in your career path. Not only is the sales landscape a high-octane and ever-growing environment, but the technology industry is expanding at an incredible rate.
In fact, the number of technology startups has increased by almost 50% in the last decade, and new innovative companies are emerging into the space all the time.
If you have a growth mindset, an excellent ability to build relationships with prospects, and an interest in technology, deciding to start a career in tech sales could be an excellent idea. Here’s what you need to know to dive in.
Getting your First Sales Job: What is Tech Sales?
A career in sales can span many different environments. Sales roles cover everything from prospecting to relationship building, and of course, selling both products and services.
In the tech industry, a sales position can be an excellent way to branch into a high-paying and rapidly growing environment, without the need for a degree, or extensive coding or programming knowledge. A job in tech sales will often involve using various skills to sell a tech-focused product or service.
You might be involved with:
- Service sales: Tech sales professionals might sell consulting, troubleshooting, engineering, or analytical services to companies that don’t have their own dedicated IT team. In this role, you’ll work with account executives to help them access the support they need.
- Hardware sales: In the hardware industry, you can start a career selling everything from laptops and desktop computers to specialist servers, phones, accessories like webcams or microphones and more.
- Software sales: Software sales in the tech industry involve selling various on-premise, and software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions, such as CRM software, marketing and email automation apps, CMS platforms and more.
When you work in tech sales, your focus will be on finding ways to solve customer problems and help clients achieve their goals with the right technology. You might offer a wide range of different tech products and services to suit different needs.
The key to success in this industry will often involve learning how to build relationships with your customers throughout the sales process, so you can convert everyday customers into dedicated consumers with the best possible lifetime value.
How to Get Started in Tech Sales: Quick Steps
Figuring out how to get started in sales in any industry can seem complex. There aren’t really any traditional degrees that cover the art of selling. However, you can develop your sales experience, and your knowledge of the tech industry in a variety of ways.
Your career path will generally include developing a series of hard and soft skills, from technical knowledge of the solutions you sell, to communication and problem-solving skills.
Here are some key steps you’ll need to take.
Step 1: Build your sales experience
Any career in sales relies heavily on experience. You’ll need to learn how to connect with potential customers, find leads for your company, and convert prospects into paying customers. You can develop a lot of the transferrable skills you need for sales in various different roles.
The communication skills you built in a customer service role will be valuable here. You can also strengthen your negotiation skills by working with clients in different industries. It’s also worth looking for ways to learn from the wider sales community.
Join groups and forums online that will help you to connect with other members of a sales team and learn from their experience.
Step 2: Earn useful certifications
Even if you don’t have a lot of concrete sales experience to work with, you can still boost your chances of getting your first sales job with the right certifications. There are plenty of free and paid certifications available online, that can teach you crucial cold calling, prospecting, and other skills.
Having these certifications on your resume shows your hiring manager that you’re committed to developing your knowledge. Plus, it can help you to outshine other potential candidates.
Formal training might not give you hands-on experience, but it can provide you with behind-the-scenes knowledge. Pay attention to the job descriptions posted by tech companies for an insight into the kind of certifications they might value.
Step 3: Develop your network
Who you know is definitely as important as what you know when you’re starting a career in tech sales. In fact, network connections are responsible for around 70% of all hires in today’s digital world.
Set up your LinkedIn profile to highlight your tech and sales related skills, and join groups and forums where you can interact with other professionals. You could even consider reaching out to a sales manager or expert in the tech companies you want to work for.
This will give you access to a mentor who could help you to open the door to entry-level positions when you’re ready to apply for a role.
Step 4: Get to know the industry
While a strong knowledge of sales, and an excellent network is important for any sales career, you will need some specific knowledge to ensure you can thrive in the tech landscape. Decide what kind of technology you want to get involved with, and learn as much as you can about the space.
You can read news articles, guides, and blog posts online, watch videos on YouTube, and even follow podcasts for behind-the-scenes insights. Pay attention to major trends and events happening in the industry, and make a list of the companies you want to follow and learn from.
Not only will this process help you to gain a better insight into the industry, but it could also teach you some of the key jargon and terminology you’ll need to know in your tech sales role.
Step 5: Search for the right companies
Finally, it’s important to think carefully about the companies you apply to work with when you’re just getting started in the tech sales industry. Just like you need to qualify leads in sales to ensure they’re suitable for your business, you also need to qualify the companies you want to work with.
Think about the kind of priorities that matter most to you when you’re starting your job search. Consider the type of tech you want to work with, the bonuses and benefits offered by the business, and the amount of training and support they can provide.
Once you’ve developed a good knowledge of the kind of organizations that might be suitable for you, make sure you tailor each job application you send out to the specific business. Adjust your cover letter, resume, and interview techniques based on what you know about the brand.
Getting Started in Tech Sales
Even an entry-level career in tech sales can pay huge dividends to the right professionals. It’s an opportunity to get your foot in the door of one of the fastest-growing industries, and boost your chances of a significant income in the years to come.
The tech sales landscape provides plenty of opportunities for advancement, and you’ll get to work with a wide variety of other professionals and clients.
Remember, you’ll need to be committed to constantly learning and enhancing your skills. Joining a platform like the Hard Skill Exchange can be an excellent way to find new employment opportunities, expand your knowledge, and develop your network.
Start your new career path on the Hard Skill Exchange today.
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