2020 is around the corner and you want to get a new job in tech sales. Problem is, you’re not sure if you have the experience. Well, you’ve come to the right place.
In this article, we’ll explain how to go about getting a tech sales job in seven steps, even if you have limited experience.
Step 1: Basic Research
Making any important decision in life, like lookig for a new job, often begins with research. In order to wrap your head around the tech sales ecosystem, do some basic searches around tech sales stack examples, major players in the industry, what types of roles there are, and how you can move up the ranks over time. Be sure to also familiarize yourself with the terminology of any verticles you are particularly interested in, as you would not want to be caught off guard in a conversation with a possible recruiter down the line.
Step 2: Build A Tech Oriented Sales Resume
Your resume is a representation of you, so you want it to reflect on you in the best way possible and highlight your strengths. Even if you are competing against seasoned salespeople, you can get the most out of the experience you do have.
Think back to your past experiences and pull together a summary of the most relatable sales skills you can bring over into your new responsibilities as a sales representative in the tech industry.
Not sure what those relatable skills might be? No worries, we’re here to help you out.
For starters, if you have any sales experience at all from a previous job that’s absolutely a great place to start. Whether or not you’ve specifically sold technology, if you’ve gone about selling anything, much of the selling process remains the same.
You’ll still be uncovering as much information as you can about your prospective customer in order to learn what it is that they want or need and then tying the underlying reasons behind that desire back to your product or service.
What if you don’t have any previous sales experience?
Don’t worry, you can still find a way. At the end of the day, sales is simply the profession of persuasion. No matter what kind of work experience you have, you’ll almost certainly have had to do some kind of persuading.
Whether it was persuading your co-workers to jump on board with your new idea or even to go eat together at a particular restaurant, what you’ve been doing is persuading people. That said if you really can’t think of any situations where you’ve done some kind of persuading, well… perhaps you may want to reconsider a profession in sales.
Let’s move on. So now you’ve got your resume all built up and polished. What next? Getting interviews.
Step 3: Begin Your Job Search Process
There are many ways you can go about this. You can go directly to a company’s website to look for open positions if you have a specific one in mind, but more often than not you’re going to need some help with even identifying what companies you’d like to work for.
This is where platforms and recruiters can come in handy. If you do some searching online there are plenty of them, even ones dedicated specifically to tech sales, that you can leverage. Of course, we can help you too.
Step 4: Make Sure You Prepare For Your Interview FAR Ahead Of Time
There are a few things you’re going to want to do before you step foot into the room with your potential employer.
- Research about the company itself.
- Learn when they were founded.
- Learn their products and and unique value proposition.
- Discover what differentiate them from the other players in the market.
- Find any other details that seem important to be informed about.
- Recent news about and announcements from the company are always a plus.
Step 5: Learn Your Target Company’s Sales Process (And Picture Yourself In It)
Above all, you’ll want to really familiarize yourself with their sales process. After all, you are applying for a position in sales.
You need to understand the following things intimately:
- Who are your potential customers are and how will you find them?
- What tools or services will you be using?
- If you’re not sure, this can actually be a great question for you to ask during your interview.
- What are the tools and services the company is using today?
- Why did they choose to bring on those specific tools?
Questions to ask yourself:
- How are you going to reach out and get connected with your prospects?
- What’s the reasoning behind your strategy?
- Based on the company’s target industry, market and customer profiles – what methods do you think will be most effective? And why?
Here’s what you should do:
- Schedule a time to have a conversation with your prospect to learn more about them.
- What is their current situation?
- What problems are they dealing with?
- Based on what you uncover, think of the ways you can best articulate the ways in which your company’s products or services can alleviate those pains.
In technology sales, the step that usually comes after the discovery is the demo.
This is where you as the sales rep have the floor and opportunity to clearly illustrate to your prospect how their lives will be improved through the use of your product or service.
You do this by relating the benefits your company provides to the problems they voiced to you during the discovery part phase.
There may be a bit of back and forth after that in terms of negotiation and the need to deal with a procurement team but soon after the demo the final step you’ll want to end with is closing the deal.
This is when your prospect and the involved stakeholders have made the decision to move forward in doing business with your company and are willing to put pen to paper, or so to say.
Step 6: Revisit and Master Stages of the Sales Funnel
A great way to think of this process from a high level is to think of it much like a funnel.
In fact, the concept of a sales funnel is very prevalent in the world of technology sales and is something you’ll likely want to familiarize yourself with as well.
You can easily do a search for this term online and get a quick understanding of what it is and how it would work for a business. As a quick summary though, it’s the idea of taking a large number of leads, which you then refine into prospects based on some target criteria, and ultimately convert into customers by putting them through the sales process.
Awesome. So you’ve done your research and taken the time to understand what the sales process is and how it works. All that’s left for you to do now is nail the interview.
Step 7: Nail The Interview
There’s a ton of advice out there around the best ways to approach an interview but here are a few pointers to help you get started.
Be on time. In fact, show up a bit early so you have some time to spare. Trust me, having that little extra time before the interview to level-set and get your head straight can only bode well for you.
Next, keep in mind that most hiring managers are likely looking for 3 primary qualities.
Those are competency, character and the ability to learn.
Competency is simply a measure of whether or not you can do the job at hand. If given the opportunity, would you be someone the company can rely on to get things done effectively?
Character is important because let’s face it, whether you like it or not, co-workers are people we end up spending a lot of time with. As such your potential boss is probably looking to see if you’re someone he/she can stand having around and, more importantly, if you’re someone he/she can trust.
The last quality you want to make sure to convey to the person at the other side of the table is the ability to learn.
As a bonus, you may want to think about emotional intelligence too. This will help you to become more empathetic as a sales professional, something that employers definitely care about.
Sure, it’s great and all if you’re a good person who’s capable of doing the job at hand but, that’s not all that’s important in the work place. Change is imminent in all aspects of life and business is no different. Your boss is going to want to know that, should it become necessary, you’ll be someone who’s open to new ideas and willing to adapt to the changing circumstances rather than someone who is always stuck in their old ways.
Again there’s a ton more information out there on additional things you can do to do well on an interview but keep these things in mind and you should land your dream job in tech sales in no time. Now go out there and make it rain!