28 May 2018
Not so long ago, a career path meant that you choose your endeavor in your adolescence and just paved your way further. Nowadays, a career path is more often seen as something fluid, especially with technology making some jobs unnecessary and creating new ones - many are choosing to hop on the tech revolution train and start careers doing something that connects their previous experience to something modern, current and exciting. As a result, many sales professionals are making lucrative careers transferring to tech sales.
WHAT IS TECH SALES?
Maybe you’re a seasoned sales professional who feels their career has gone a little stale. It used to be more exciting and you want the thrill back, so you’re interested in branching out a little. You’ve heard about tech sales, but you’re not entirely sure what that means. So, what does tech sale entail?
TECH SALES: when tech solutions are sold to a company. Tech sales are a B2B (business to business) transaction.
Example: the company you work for is a tech company makes a photo editing program. If you sell that software to another company, say Apple, you’ve just made a TECH SALE. Congrats!
Don’t confuse it with a B2C (business to customer) transaction. Such sales include way less time and sweat because you just sold a photo editing program to a valley girl. Less hard, but good for you. You got 10 bucks.
When you’re working in tech sales, you’re doing business with company executives, since there’s usually big money involved, but also great risk. That’s why tech sales jobs usually pay a lot better than most sales jobs. We need more emphasis on “a lot”. Tech sales is also often a more difficult job, because of the risk involved in B2B transactions.
HOW TO START A TECH SALES CAREER PATH?
There are many appealing reasons why one may contemplate a career in tech sales. It’s new, exciting, pays better and often times, allows you more flexible hours since in some cases, you can work from home or at least you can design your own work patterns. Some days, you will be hardly working if at all, others, you’ll be working 18 hours a day.
Most tech solutions businesses won’t really care if you started working at 9 and stayed until 5 if you made the sale. In many cases, you would be paid in commission, and when big money is involved, your commission is usually quite high. Or maybe, you’ve just noticed the tech revolution happening before your eyes and you want to partake. Any case, we salute your interest.
But how do you start your career in tech sales? It’s not as hard as you might think and there is a growing number of opportunities.
This is the typical career path of someone in tech sales, although we must warn you to expect a lot of variation, since a lot of specialization in the field and different kinds of tech jobs. So:
You will first get a job as a SALES DEVELOPMENT REPRESENTATIVE.
How to get this job: If you’re transferring from a different field, we highly recommend you try to find something related to your previous expertise and also your fine skills. Say, you used to sell books - maybe try to find a job where you would perhaps work for a company that makes software related to e-readers. Did you use to sell guitars? Try finding a job at a business that makes guitar tuning apps.
Your job as an SDR will mean that you will manage the account relationship by providing strategic service and support to the assigned customer base.
Your job would usually entail qualifying inbound marketing leads and then forward them to Account Executives, for whom you’d also be setting meetings via cold-calling, emailing or even LinkedIn and LinkedIn alternatives.
Since you’ve been doing such a great job, someday you’d get promoted into ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE.
To get here you’d have different titles that all meant SDR but in a fancier, nuanced way.
Account executive is a really impressive sounding title! Your job is closing leads that you get and you’ll be held for sales quotas. Are you crushing those quotas? You get promoted again!
CUSTOMER SUCCESS MANAGER is your new thing. It sounds a bit like customer support, but it has nothing to do with it.
A customer success manager is a person whose job is to keep the customers they already have and how do you do that? By keeping that customer happy, and the customer is happy if they are getting success by using the product. That explains for the clumsy naming.
Since everyone you’ve been working with is making millions using your product, you have become a TEAM LEADER.
You climbed to the top! You are your sales team’s MVP. A team lead is usually in charge of a team of your company’s high achieving sales people and you’re held accountable for their quotas. You also probably give reports to the VP.
So there you go. That’s roughly speaking the career path of someone in tech sales.
IS TECH SALES HARD?
For someone who just graduated from college - it can be. But not necessarily excruciatingly hard, if this the right career for you!
But for someone who had a long career in sales and has grown a large local network, it probably isn’t that difficult.
That’s why we think tech sales is a great choice for seasoned sales professionals trying to make a switch from an old career that no longer excites them. Like any other job, if your well suited for it and you like it, it’s a pleasure and pleasure is never that hard. If you don’t enjoy the game, it’s going to be tedious. Tech sales are a best suited for individuals that are goal oriented, enjoy the chase and race and love the thrill of reaching or better yet exceeding a high quota.
For those who like the excitement of learning new things - since every software is different, for those who like to grab the future before it comes and make money off it, tech sales will be a satisfying, lucrative career.
HOW TO GET INTO TECH SALES?
This article is just one among many written to inform, to spark ideas, and to provoke new thinking, but also to offer exciting opportunities to experienced Senior IT Professionals based throughout the EMEA region.
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