This guide is all about how to get into tech sales. The reason: $5 trillion–how much the global technology market is valued today. This means a massive availability of tech sales jobs and attractive income options.
The largest tech market on the global world stage is the United States. Before we delve into how tech sales as a career is making a massive wave in the global technology industry, let’s first delve into it.
What is Tech Sales?
Tech sales involves offering technology to customers to help them solve a specific issue or challenge. The products sold by tech companies vary depending on the customers they seek to target. Some companies may offer specialized computer software, while others might offer a variety of computer hardware.
Regardless of the details, the critical aspect to consider in a customer-facing role is to educate and connect potential customers with what they need – and apply your expertise to close the deal. Here’s a quick look at what a tech sales professional does:
- Find potential customers and create a sales relationship with them.
- Understand the client’s requirement and recommend the right software or hardware product.
- Answer product-related questions.
- Craft presentations to demonstrate the product features and draw up product reports and proposals.
- Negotiate the pricing and service agreements with clients.
- Follow up with clients to receive product feedback.
- Communicate customer feedback with executive management and development teams.
The last few years have seen many financial corporations investing in fintech companies – mainly to stay ahead of the curve in a digital world. In 2019 alone, the global financial technology mergers and acquisitions jumped to $97.3 billion. These numbers have paved a broader way for increasing fintech sales jobs.
So, what exactly does a tech salesperson do? What does a regular day look like for a tech sales rep? What is the career trajectory of a tech sales role? How much can you make by being a tech sales professional? Let’s dig in for an in-depth understanding.
How to Get Into Tech Sales?
Crafting effective sale strategies for tech products is centered around offering the best solutions to clients while keeping their requirements in mind.
Tech sales professionals must have solid product knowledge and the ability to explain complex product features cohesively. Possessing a robust business sense is another critical factor that impacts the performance of a tech sales rep. Here is a quick look at the skills you, a tech sales professional, are equipped with:
- Thorough Product Knowledge
Being well-versed with the technical side of a product is paramount for effectively communicating the product’s benefits, uses, and features with potential clients.
- Interpersonal Skills
The sale of tech products hinges on the relationship a tech sales rep creates with potential clients. The ability to build trust and deliver what is promised is the deciding factor as far as closing the deal is concerned.
- Strong Business Acumen
Technology implementations require heavy financial investments. To acquire buy-in from executives, tech sales professionals must know how to contextualize product benefits and tailor-made design solutions that help close the deal.
- After-Sales Support and Client Success Management
Closing the deal is never the end of the job for tech sales professionals but rather the beginning. The bigger challenge always lies in building a long-term business relationship with the client.
A college degree is not mandatory for a successful tech sales career. However, it is critical to know certain soft skills and technical skills. For individuals who lack a background in sales, several professional and easily accessible learning options like bootcamps and certifications are available. Comprehensive bootcamps, for instance, make aspiring tech sales learners job-ready by supplying them with the latest skills that most employers look for.
Their curriculum includes using sales tools–databases, CRMs, forecasting technologies, and business intelligence software–combined with other non-technical skills to make them job-ready. Either a background in sales or an in-depth knowledge of tech sales skills opens up vast employment opportunities.
What The Tech Sales Job Description Looks Like
The salary of a tech sales rep varies based on the products they sell, their experience, and their employment location. The national average salary for a sales professional, according to Indeed, is $60,421. Additionally, sales reps receive a commission for the sales they make, which, in some cases, can add $12,000 to their income. Here’s how much tech sales professionals make based on their designations:
- Entry-level professionals make $48,000 as a base salary and $75,000 with commissions.
- Mid-level professionals make $62,000 as a base salary and $116,000 with commissions.
- Senior-level professionals make $95,000 as a base salary and $126,000 with commissions.
The top companies for a thriving tech sales career include:
- Palo Alto Networks
- Red Hat
- Google Cloud
- Thomson Reuters
The highest paying cities for tech sales jobs in 2022 include:
- New York
- Washington DC
- San Francisco
- Los Angeles
What Does A Tech Sales Professional Do?
A tech sales profession is directly associated with generating new and increased sales revenue. Several responsibilities are packed between point A (planning) and point B (closing the deal). A few of them include using business development tools, in-depth territory planning, and collaborative sales activities. Here’s are the three essential products a technology sales professional is tasked with selling:
- Software Products
- Hardware Products
- Tech and IT Services
By understanding the prospective client’s initiatives, pain points, and challenges and suggesting effective solutions, a tech sales wizard’s regular workday is filled with important tasks that include:
- Leading the sales opportunities: this includes identifying the right clients and creating the right strategies to pitch the company’s products.
- Work on sales cycle: this includes handling the entire sales pipeline – from outbound lead generation to servicing existing clients.
- Team up with BDRs (Business Development Representatives), account execs, and product specialists: this role includes working collaboratively with other sales team members to sets goals, create partnerships, and strategize ways to handle different markets.
- Collaborate with support teams and oversee territory partnerships: this requires excellent interpersonal and communication skills to secure potential clients while effectively servicing existing clients.
- Construct business relationships: this includes creating and maintaining valuable business relationships with existing clients and a thriving client base.
- Travel for sales meets: From pitching the product to clients to closing valuable deals, meetings are critical for a sales rep’s role.
Tech Sales Reps Career Path
Tech sales reps are usually up-to-date with the ins and outs of their company’s sales pipeline. That said, every sales representative doesn’t need to monitor and take responsibility for the entire sales process. Here are a few positions within the tech sales umbrella you can choose to prepare for:
- SDR or Sales Development Representative
Associated with outbound sales prospecting, SDR is an entry-level role that includes: generating leads, qualifying them, and finally moving them through the sales pipeline. SDR tech sales reps use cold outreach methods to approach new clients, including email, phone calls, and LinkedIn messages. Their average salary is $48,556 (without commissions).
- Outside Sales Rep
Outside sales reps are responsible for building relationships with markets that haven’t been tapped before. Their average salary is $57,696 (without commissions).
- Account executive
An account exec’s role is to seek new clients and close deals with the final leads. Their average salary is $59,268 (without commissions).
- Account Manager
Once the deal is done, it’s time for the account manager to step. They provide the right customer service, ensure upselling on existing accounts, and handle the renewal of contracts. Their salary is 58,670 (without commissions).
- Sales Manager
Sales Managers are high-performing sales professionals who oversee sales teams. Their average salary is $68,587 (without commissions).
- Sales Engineer
Tech sales requires the right knowledge of the tech you’re selling – especially when it comes to Software as a Service (SaaS). A sales engineer goes to client meetings with the sales teams to answer complex technical questions. Their average salary is $94,002 (without commissions).
- Vice President of Sales
The VP of sales takes care of the entire company’s tech sales. They set sales goals and draw up sales strategies to achieve them. Their salary is $139,875 (without commissions).
Tech Sales Growth
Having a sales track record that speaks for itself can work wonders for kickstarting a successful tech sales career. The determining factor for your career growth mainly lies in closing deals and boosting your employer’s sales. Aside from being “the star of closing deals,” being a great team player is essential for a successful tech sales career path.
Combining collaborative selling and constructing a loyal customer base is often the best recipe for meeting your sales goals. With the tech industry growing ceaselessly with each passing day, it’s also critical to stay updated with the latest development in the sales tech arena.