You probably know Springboard for Cyber Security, Data Science, Software Engineering, and Design bootcamps, but they’ve recently launched the Tech Sales Career Track for career changers looking to get into tech but without learning to code. Springboard Learning Designer, Dalia Abbas, shares what you’ll learn in the tech sales curriculum and why it’s a perfect time to pivot into the exciting world of tech sales. Plus, Dalia’s advice for how to get the most out of the online tech sales bootcamp experience, especially if you’re studying and working full-time.
Springboard is now offering a $1000 scholarship for the Tech Sales Career Track to Course Report's community. Apply to the course and use the code CRTECHSALES at the time of enrollment for $1000 off.
Meet the Expert: Dalia Abbas, Learning Designer at Springboard
Why did Springboard decide to offer a Tech Sales Career Track?
A common misconception is that there aren’t many non-technical opportunities in the tech industry, but tech sales is a way to help students work for exciting tech companies without a technical background. Springboard’s Tech Sales Career Track is a path to an amazing career in tech for a much broader and more diverse set of students, not just those who have existing technical backgrounds in coding, scripting, or programming.
Why is tech sales a good career path in 2022?
Software as a service (SaaS) companies are hiring at such a rapid pace. Currently, there are more jobs than there are people to fill them! There’s also long-term career growth in tech sales. It's a career path that you can start in an entry-level role, such as sales development representative (SDR) or business development representative (BDR), and quickly grow into mid- and senior-level roles, like a business associate, business development associate, a sales development specialist, or an account executive.
Tech sales is a pathway for other highly in-demand skills. By getting into tech sales, you can start to develop, build, and hone communication skills, and use those in whatever career you move into after.
Do you need to know how to code to get into tech sales?
Coding or knowledge of programming language can be an asset in any field, even a non-tech-related field, but you do not need to know how to code to get into tech sales. As far as prerequisites go, there are no real technical proficiencies required.
What can Springboard students expect to learn from the Tech Sales Career Track curriculum?
The Tech Sales Career Track is 12 weeks (150 hours). We've partnered with Winning By Design, an organization that is a huge player in the sales training industry, and we built everything custom-made in collaboration with them. We've put together great video content that walks students through major concepts they'll need to know. We also built live learning sessions that will happen on a weekly basis to give students the opportunity to practice specific skills to enable them to be successful on the job.
We're providing students with written content that will build on the “rinse-and-repeat” approach. For example, we present an idea through videos and live learning sessions and allow them to build on those ideas. Students then have something to continue building on as they're learning and perfect some of those specific frameworks.
With tech sales there are a lot of specific skills that you'll need to be successful and students need the opportunity to practice all of those skills, such as applying research to cold email outreach, leaving a voice message, and diagnosing a qualification call. We think that this approach of live learning sessions, custom content, and assessment-based learning (to ensure students perfect these skills) will put our students in a position where they're job-ready by the end of it.
What types of tech sales roles does this bootcamp prepare students for?
Entry-level roles students can expect to apply for are:
For students coming in with a bit more experience and credentials, this course could prepare them for an inside/outside sales role or even an account executive role.
What kinds of tech sales salaries can bootcamp students expect after graduation?
Salaries for tech sales roles can get quite high because there's so much opportunity for growth in this industry, at the entry-level and beyond! We look at the market, talk to hiring managers, and focus on salaries when building a career track course because we want to create these opportunities for students.
The average tech sales starting compensation (salary + commission) with less than one year of experience is just over $71,000. The average total compensation for tech sales director roles is about $242,000!
How is the teaching style in the Tech Sales bootcamp different from the Software Engineering bootcamp at Springboard?
The core differentiator between the Tech Sales bootcamp and the Software Engineering bootcamp is that we provide students with the opportunity to develop communication skills they need to succeed through these live learning sessions.
At Springboard, we know that quick feedback is important for any learning experience. With our Software Engineering track, students get feedback after they've had the opportunity to do some discovery learning, some programming, and to submit their assignments. With the Tech Sales track, students go through the curriculum, they learn what they need to do, then they attend the weekly session to see an expert model a skill or technique (such as a pitch to a prospect). Then Tech Sales students get the opportunity to hear other students experiment, pitch, and receive feedback. By the time a student gets to the assessment, they've had the text, video, modeling, and social engagement. When it comes to the assessment, that's a student’s opportunity to perfect the skill so that when they do get to the job interview, if someone asks them to pitch to a prospect, it isn't their first time seeing that. They'll have the experience to know what's a good or bad pitch.
Who are the instructors for the Tech Sales Bootcamp?
The human touch is critical at Springboard, and one way we provide that in most of our courses is through mentors. With the Tech Sales Career Track, we emphasize the human approach in a different way, and that's with the weekly teaching sessions aimed at getting students to practice the specific skills of pitching, emailing, and cold calling. The reason we took this approach instead of mentorship is because the Tech Sales Bootcamp instructor is an industry expert with many years experience and an understanding of adult learning. We know that students will benefit not only from having an industry expert in the room, but also having their peers in these sessions alongside them for feedback.
Is there an ideal student for the Tech Sales Bootcamp?
For the Tech Sales Bootcamp, we are looking for students who have a strong work ethic, excellent communication skills, a strong ability to conduct research, and some other soft skills, such as being able to talk to new people. As a sales representative, sometimes you'll have to schedule calls ahead of time or conduct unscheduled calls, and with that, the secret sauce is a competitive spirit. People who have that "hunter" mentality tend to do really well in tech sales.
Is this course appropriate for beginners?
In general, entry-level sales roles across industries and companies are consistent as far as role requirements go. We've determined that taking a beginner and putting them through this course should be the opportunity they need to get them that first tech sales role. We can train students that are fresh out of college or coming from non-tech backgrounds like retail, food/hospitality, military, or government/non-profit.
What’s the difference between going into tech sales compared to a hard skills-focused career path like software engineering or data science?
The biggest difference is the opportunity to get a new role and salary boost quickly, and there's a lower barrier to entry. Our Software Engineering and Cyber Security tracks take 6-9 months to complete, while the Tech Sales track is only three months long. If you're someone who's looking to pivot quickly, especially given how hot the industry is right now, this is the career path to choose.
What can Tech Sales Bootcamp applicants expect from the admissions process?
There’s no pre-work or prerequisites to get into the Tech Sales Career Track. For most Springboard courses, we have a skills survey that evaluates baseline skills and we have a fit interview with an Admissions Director that determines that the student has met all admissions requirements and can meet the requirements we use to determine eligibility for tuition reimbursement. A huge part of the Springboard experience is that Job Guarantee.
What kinds of career support can Springboard’s Tech Sales students expect?
At Springboard, we provide students with all the basics on finding a job: how to put together a killer resume, how to effectively carry out a job search, and how to ace an interview. Plus, we put our students through mock interviews. They're given training on what to expect during the interview process, then go through a whole simulated interview process. They get feedback from an industry expert and are given pointers on how to do better for the real thing. At Springboard, we also show students how to build their own professional network.
What is your advice for a working adult who is trying to balance the part-time Tech Sales Bootcamp with their full-time job?
Successful adults who have jobs balance the load by setting up routines for themselves. If we recommend setting aside 10-15 hours a week for this course, those students map out how many hours and what days they can commit to that.
For example: Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, after an hour's rest from work, a student commits to three hours of work into their Springboard program. The key is that they stick with that schedule. We've seen that students who stick to those routines and goals are the ones that tend to finish on time. Set up a routine, set a schedule, and make use of Springboard's support. We have so many resources available to students such as our Slack community and TA support.
Other successful students are those who connect with the greater Springboard community and get together with other students. They help each other learn concepts and give each other pointers on the job search.
For our readers who are beginners, what online resources or meetups do you recommend for aspiring tech SDRs?
When students go through the tech sales skills assessment we give them a list of a few resources that might help them get a taste of the career path. Here are some resources:
A big part of succeeding in sales also has to do with strength in written and verbal communications, so we also inform students it isn’t a bad idea to brush up on those skills as well. Here are some resources that help with that:
What are your tips for career changers on how to get the most out of the Tech Sales Career Track?
Students I've seen who are very successful in our courses are ones who have a spirit of self-learning. When they don't understand something, when they need further elaboration, they create learning opportunities for themselves. One student I'm particularly impressed with was a cyber security student who was recently an AP Spanish teacher with no technical background. She impressed us with how much she applied herself in the course. She got membership in informal communities outside Springboard, like Women in Cybersecurity and Girls Who Code, which supplemented her experience so much more. Her attitude toward learning something new was to go all in on the experience.
Another piece of advice I give students is to look for things to supplement what they're doing to help build their professional network. Building your professional network is something that will benefit you professionally, socially, and financially.
Find out more and read Springboard reviews on Course Report. This article was produced by the Course Report team in partnership with Springboard.
Jess Feldman is the Content Manager at Course Report. As a lifelong learner, Jess is passionate about education — She loves learning and sharing insights about tech bootcamps and career changes with the Course Report community. Jess received a M.F.A. in Writing from the University of New Hampshire and lives in southern Maine.
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