HOW TO BECOME
a Tech Salesperson
The technology industry is booming around the country, and there are countless positions available that need to be filled. Surprisingly, sales positions are some of the most difficult roles to fill in tech. And while the industry as a whole suffers from a skills shortage, sales should be one of the most enticing careers to have in tech.
Tech sales professionals are vital to the industry, and they’re well compensated for their work. As a tech salesperson, you’ll deal with clients from all backgrounds. Additionally, you’ll help people find the products they need to fit their needs.
Tech sales jobs are everywhere, and they offer a number of perks over traditional sales and customer service roles. These positions pay handsome salaries, in addition to commission and other traditional benefits of a sales job.
If you’re good with people and enjoy helping others solve problems, you could be a good fit for a technology sales career. In addition to good starting salaries and commission, tech sales offers good upward mobility and career options.
Here are some statistics supporting tech sales as a great career to transition to:
- According to Glassdoor, technology sales professionals earned a base salary of $67,542 per year.
- The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that sales positions will grow 5.2% overall. However, sales positions within the tech industry are likely to exceed that growth.
What Is Tech Sales?
Technology sales jobs are similar to any other kind of sales representative position. Instead of selling cars, tools, or heavy machinery, technology sales professionals sell high-tech products and services to individuals and companies. Tech sales professionals work for startups, mid-size tech companies, and even big tech giants like Apple, Google, Amazon, and Facebook.
What Do Tech Salespeople Do?
Technology sales professionals interact with people and businesses to help provide solutions to problems. These professionals speak with clients and help identify the problems that the company can solve with its products.
Tech sales doesn’t typically include stereotypical high-pressure sales process. Here’s a hypothetical scenario that many tech sales professionals run into with potential customers:
You may work for a credit card processor like Square, which helps small business accept payments. A typical day might be calling a small business prospect and explaining how having a Square Point-Of-Sale system will allow them to accept more payments compared to traditional cashier solutions. If the customer is interested, you may schedule a demo or a trial to have them test the product before they commit to a long term subscription contract.
A day in the life of a tech salesperson can vary widely, but the position itself is not unlike many other sales jobs. The primary difference is that tech salespeople work in one of the fastest growing (and profitable) fields around, using their sales skills to build relationships with clients.
Tech Sales Job Description
Technology sales professionals have a range of responsibilities. And while individual requirements vary between companies and positions, we compiled a list of general technology sales job descriptions and duties to help you get a better idea of what the job entails.
Learning the Product
Technology sales positions require representatives to thoroughly research the products they sell, and to know them in and out. Dealing with businesses can be stressful, and for good reason–most business owners have little tolerance for errors. As a tech sales rep, you’ll need to learn your products and demonstrate them adequately.
Follow-Ups and Customer Satisfaction
Long-term relationships are important in the world of technology sales. That means it’s the job of the tech salesperson to follow up with prospects and clients to ensure everything is working for them.
Working on a Team
Working with other members of the sales team is a valuable activity. Sometimes, multiple professionals work on the same project, especially for large clients. Being a team player means everyone wins, including the client.
Closing the Deal
As a salesperson, you’ll be required to perform the somewhat uncomfortable (for some) task of closing the deal. Turning a prospect into a client is the goal, and that requires some well-developed closing skills.
Networking is a huge part of technology sales, as deals often come in by word-of-mouth. When selling complex systems and technology products, building relationships with the right people can be extremely valuable. Making friends and speaking with prospects is a big part of the industry.
Demonstrating the Product
Product demonstrations are especially important in technology sales. You (the representative) are showing the client how your product will help them. But to do so, it’s important to ensure that the client understands what you’re talking about, and what you have to offer.
What Are the Required Skills for Tech Sales Careers?
A certain level of charisma is necessary in a technology sales position. Essentially, salespeople who get along with others, have a huge advantage. Building trust is essential to a good sales relationship, and a good personality can be very helpful.
Attention to Detail
Selling highly complex technology products isn’t easy. And as we mentioned earlier, it’s important to understand all the products you sell. As a result, a strong attention to detail can help you remember the facts when a customer needs them, and avoid overlooking an obvious solution to a client’s need.
Motivation and Drive
Like many other well-paying sales careers, technology sales is a field that requires personal motivation and drive. Long hours and stressful situations are common in the field, so it’s important to condition yourself with the skills to manage a tough schedule.
How Much Do Tech
Sales Professionals Make?
According to Glassdoor, the average base salary for technology sales professionals is $67,542. That’s impressive, especially when considering the added benefit of commission, which can be considerable. Plus, the average technology sales professional pockets an additional $10,000 to $30,000 in extra pay.
Additionally, some tech sales professionals make more. The top earners in the field take home over $80,000 before commission, and many make $100,000 or more after just a few years in the industry.
Technology Sales Manager
Technology salespeople can earn their way into a management role, where salaries average start around $80,000. Commission for sales manager positions is excellent, with the average professional earning an extra $20,000 in commission, and some earning more than $60,000 in extra pay. That’s up to $140,000 or more, depending on individual performance. Technology sales has the potential to be extremely lucrative, with comparatively little work experience or technical skill.
But keep in mind, a number of factors can influence technology sales salaries, chief among them are location, experience, and education. Below, we compiled a table of the average technology sales salaries in 15 large American metropolitan areas, which can give you a better idea of what to expect in your area.
|San Francisco, CA||$81,495|
|Los Angeles, CA||$72,724|
|New York, NY||$70,376|
How Can You Become a Tech
Despite the high salaries and good commission, technology sales isn’t actually the most difficult tech field to get into. Thanks to high demand, there are plenty of education options to get into the tech sales field.
People with previous sales experience may be able to find a job without additional education, though extensive training will be required. For people with limited sales experience, college and tech sales bootcamps offer a good path into the field.
Both college and bootcamps have their advantages and disadvantages. Nonetheless, how you perform in your job will likely mean more to the business than your specific educational background.
Plus, demand for qualified tech sales professionals is high. So high, in fact, that some sales bootcamps offer ‘fellowship’ programs that are completely free of charge and include a guaranteed job at the end. These programs are more common than ever, and offer a fast and direct route into a $50,000+ career.
Tech Sales Learning Paths
Tech Sales Bootcamps
Technology sales bootcamps are fast, intensive programs designed to place students in jobs as quickly as possible, but with as much industry knowledge as possible too. Many tech sales boot camps offer job guarantees, and some are tuition-free as long as students choose to work for a partner company for a certain amount of time. Most of these full-time offers are salaried at or near the national average.
College and university programs often lead students into high-paying technology sales careers. Business and marketing students are common in the field, and having a degree has some notable advantages. For one, career mobility is good, and the odds of earning a management position and increased salary are greater with a bachelor’s degree or higher.
Many tech sales professionals come from other sales backgrounds, including business and automotive. And while some professionals can transition easily into tech, many people recommend additional self-study or bootcamp enrollment to learn the complexities and nuances of the tech industry.
What Companies Are Hiring Tech Salespeople?
What does a tech salesperson do?
A tech salesperson represents a company and speaks with other executives to sell a product. This involves regularly reaching out to potential customers and selling large volumes of a product.
How much does a tech salesperson earn?
The starting salary for someone working in tech sales ranges anywhere from $60,000 to $80,000. This does not include commissions that can reach upwards of $20,000.
What skills are needed to work in tech sales?
Tech sales representatives must be able to understand a product quickly. They also need skills in networking, communication, and working with team.
How long does it take to complete a tech sales coding bootcamp?
Tech sales bootcamps can last anywhere from a few weeks to several months. Full-time students complete the program significantly faster than part-time students.