how to get a tech sales job in 2018

How to Get a Sales Job at a Hot Tech Company in a Ridiculously Short Amount of Time

Wanna land a tech sales job in a ridiculously short amount of time?

We’re about to teach you how to do it in 2018. Buckle up.

How To Get a Tech Sales Job… FAST

  1. Be Insanely Specific About Your Goals
  2. Build a List of Hot Tech Companies
  3. Copy Their Sales Job Descriptions To Find Keywords That Matter
  4. Update and Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile
  5. Make Sure Your LinkedIn Profile Matches With Your Resume
  6. Reach Out / Engage With Members Of Your Network
  7. Make Alliances With Recruiters
  8. Role Play Your Interview
  9. Book the Phone Interview
  10. Convert to an In-Person Interview
  11. Ace the Interview
  12. Negotiate Your Offer

Follow this step by step guide, and you will succeed. I promise.

Don’t just start doing stuff out of order. Read this guide at least twice, then execute one step at a time.

Even if you have no experience, it doesn’t matter. Follow these steps and you will land in glory.

#1: Be Insanely Specific About Your Goals

Most people define a job title they want (e.g. investment banker) then look to see who was hiring.

Now go and do the complete opposite. Define the kind of company you want first, then identify the position you can add the most value.

You will ABSOLUTELY get better results with a more targeted approach, trust me.

Think about location too. Many hot tech companies (especially in SaaS) are located in San Francisco.

Other emerging hubs are booming too though – like Austin, San Diego, Denver, Boston and New York.

What do you want?

#2: Build a List of Hot Tech Companies (Use a Virtual Assistant, Optional)

Build a list of all the possible companies that you think may be a good fit. You can do this yourself or hire someone on ODesk or eLance to do it for you.

I worked with a woman named Jane who lives in Costa Rica (she does great work).

This is the job description I sent her:

Hey Jane –

I could use your assistance to research available job positions at local tech companies.

Can you build a spreadsheet and find job positions available for “Sales Development Representative” and “Account Executive”.

– find local address closest to san francisco: on above websites or foursquare.com
– find employee count and capital raised here: first on crunchbase.com or then angel.co
– find sales role: on their home website under jobs or careers

Can you send this back to me as soon as possible? Like later today?

Use that to get you started!

Business Insider also has a solid list of tech companies who are hiring right now.

#3: Copy Their Sales Job Descriptions To Find Keywords That Matter

Pick your top 3 target companies.

Then copy and paste the text of their job descriptions into this word cloud generator tool.

Wordsift-screenshot-how-to-get-a-sales-job

You’ll be able to find highly recurring keywords aka keywords that matter to your future employer.

Then use these keywords to update your LinkedIn profile and resume.

For more keywords to brush up on, check out this sales glossary of 260 terms.

#4: Update Your LinkedIn Profile

LinkedIn is all about story telling and highlighting your best self.

Present your story in a way that illustrates how all your past experiences have led up to the very moment you apply for a company.

Use the keywords from your word cloud above.

This will make your skills and experience more closely aligned with their job descriptions.

Plus, your profile is more likely to appear in recruiter searches.

Whatever you do, don’t be deceptive! It will come back to haunt you.

#5: Make Sure Your LinkedIn Profile Matches With Your Resume

Nowadays, most tech companies see your LinkedIn profile before your resume anyway.

Make sure you remain consistent across both channels.

Layout and design is important too. Many employers will disqualify you based on this alone (if you bomb it).

I’m serious. Choose a simple design for your resume. Somethings easy to read and understand. You can find plenty of quality resume templates at Creative Market.

#6: Reach Out / Engage With Members Of Your Network

Opportunities can be hidden in unlikely places. And you don’t want to leave any stones un-turned when you’re hunting for your dream job.

Steps one through five are all preparation steps before you can being outbound

But now, it’s time to send out a short 3-5 sentence email to your personal network.

Explain the type of company you want to join and your desired role. It’s hard for people to help if they don’t know exactly what you want.

Also, email your entire network on LinkedIn. You can easily export their contact info into a csv file (complete how-to instructions here). Then email each contact directly or in bulk.

#7: Make Alliances With Recruiters

I think recruiters are great. They are your second channel of warm introductions.

They help you prepare for interviews, they make introductions, and even schedule interviews for you.

A good recruiter should feel like a sidekick.

Here in San Francisco, you can refer to Rainmakers for new opportunities.

Just be honest and transparent when working with a recruiter.

Just tell them about the other opportunities you are pursuing.

That way you avoid any overlap or redundant outreach.

#8: Role Play Interview Over and Over

I’m so awkward during interview role plays. I don’t know why.  But, there is one thing I can do about it. And so can you.

Practice. Practice. Practice.

Get comfortable telling your own story.

Role play phone interviews and in-person interviews with yourself first. Then with recruiters.

Trust me. This exercise will pay off.

#9: Book the Phone Interview

By now, your network and your recruiters will begin feeding you opportunities.

It certainly helps to supplement this activity with some direct outreach of your own. Especially to any high priority companies where you don’t have a warm intro.

As the opportunities flow in, start to schedule those phone interviews. Typically, I will schedule no more than 3 interviews per day.

#10: Convert the Phone Interview to an In-Person

Remember to tell a story. Here’s the basic story framework:

  1. Setting
  2. Complication
  3. Turning Point
  4. Resolution

When they ask you sales interview questions, think through all your own personal experiences.

Then choose one experience each time to best represent the full range of your skills and abilities.

These stories should come more naturally once you complete steps one through ten here.

At the end, always ask for next steps. I wouldn’t get too caught up in “closing” people.

Just let them know you’re fired up about the opportunity and want to take next steps with them. And next steps are to meet in-person for an interview.

#11: Ace the In-Person Interview

Always wear a suit and tie.

That’s what you you’ve been told, right?

Well, I don’t recommend it for hot tech companies. A jacket is a nice touch, but nothing more is needed.

Remember, most people in tech love flannels and tee shirts. I advise you to dress slightly above your audience, but still look like you are part of the team.

When you sit down, pull out two copies of your resume and one copy of your cheat sheet. Casually, place them on top of the binder resting in front of you.

Engage with them, tell them your story and always ask for next steps.

#12: Receive and Negotiate Your Offer

You want to love where you work. And they want you to love it too!

So, gather as many job offers as you can. Until, you find the right one. Then negotiate that one offer to close.

Traditionally, there isn’t too much negotiating for junior roles. But as I understand it, the more valuable you become to an organization the more leverage you will have.

Conclusion

This takes work. I went non-stop for three weeks straight. I was booking 2-3 interviews per day.

And I’m confident, if you follow these steps above, you will find your dream sales job at a hot tech company too.

how to get a tech sales job with no experience

How To Get A Tech Sales Job In 2018 (Even With No Experience)

So you want to get a job in tech sales? Good, because you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll explain how to go about getting a tech sales job, even if you lack experience. 

Step 1: Build A Tech Oriented Sales Resume

First things first. Just like any other job, you want to start with a solid resume. 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 2: 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 3: 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 4: 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.

Prospecting

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?

Engaging

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?

Discovery

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.

Closing

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 5: 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 6: 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!

network

Networking for Salespeople – Part II

This blog post is actually a continuation of a previous blog post on how you can improve your networking abilities. If you haven’t already read the first part of this series, check it out here.

Now for those who are caught up or just want to get into the nitty gritty of ways you can use body language and tonality to further improve your networking game, read on!

 

 

Dean Park is a seasoned tech sales professional that’s been involved with a wide range of organizations from startups to enterprise businesses. Dean is also a sales mentor at GrowthX Academy in San Francisco.

Get high paying sales jobs at Rainmakers!