In tech sales, you’ll specialize in promoting, demonstrating, supporting, and (most importantly) selling software and tools. Technical sales is how software companies generate new customers, revenue, and gather feedback to improve their products. Tech sales is a booming, competitive field with thousands of new professionals added to the pool each month. As long as you’re willing to compete, tech sales might be the most accessible way to enter the tech field without learning how to code.
Technical sales as an industry is quite competitive. With sales bootcamps like SV Academy getting over 1,000 applications per week to fill 100 slots per month, you will need to be prepared to compete. Educational requirements vary depending on the product you are selling. For tech sales, a bachelor’s degree is not a prerequisite but it is almost always preferred. You’ll definitely want to brush up on basic knowledge of computer programming and the industry you’ll be entering.
Most technical sales positions expect you to have experience before applying for the job. Experience can be gained through internships if you’re still in college or a tech sales bootcamp. Some companies offer training programs for beginner sales representatives or a 1 year probationary contract that involves an onboarding training program and a ramp-up period.
Sales bootcamps last between 3-13 weeks and cost anywhere from free to $10,000. Free bootcamps like SV Academy typically stay afloat with funding from companies who want to hire their graduates. Some bootcamps will even pay their students or graduates if they do a fellowship at a participating company. Check out Course Report's 2021 List of the 7 Best Tech Sales Bootcamps!
The opportunities for upward mobility in these fast-paced tech sales jobs are unlike any other if you have the chops! Some jobs may require a degree, others might want a background in sales, and some simply require you to prove your skills during phone screenings and interviews.
Here are some common tech sales jobs:
Those in tech sales jobs are expected to promote and sell their company’s product by demonstrating how it works and why it is the best product for a customer. As a tech sales professional, you will most likely start working in sales development, acting as a liaison between sales managers and clients. Distinguishing between business development and sales development is important. Sales is how revenue is generated within a chosen market segment while business development is finding a fit between the product and a segment of the market.
A Sales Development Representative (SDR) cold emails and cold calls potential clients. They work with other teams within their company to learn, promote, and improve the product. A good SDR will use tools like SalesForce and other CRM software to manage their leads pipeline. An SDR will work with their sales manager or team lead as a liaison for clients, to effectively sell the product, and to understand how the product is the most useful tool for their customers. A strong SDR will also examine similar products in the field to understand how their product is different from rival companies. Some SDRs might also gather information on how the product could be improved and what new products should be offered.
Here’s what real technical sales professionals say about their jobs:
|Sales Job||Average Salary|
|Sales Development Representative (SDR)||$44,000 – $57,000|
|Customer Success Manager||$68,000|
Tech sales representatives will need to know some software and have a basic understanding of computer programming. More importantly, they will need to have the appropriate soft skills to sell a product convincingly and convert as many clients as possible.
You do not need to know how to code to work in technical sales. However, you will need to be able to grasp technical concepts of how a product functions, be able to demonstrate those functions, and how it might work better for your clients. Basic knowledge of coding will help you give your customers a deeper understanding of your product or service. With coding skills, you will likely end up doing technical support once you’ve been promoted from an entry-level sales position.
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