Many people wonder how they can get a tech sales job without any experience. They want to break into the tech industry but don’t know where to start.
Perhaps you don’t have experience in sales. Perhaps you don’t have any experience in technology. Perhaps you don’t have a degree. The great news is that none of these will stop you from getting a tech sales job. We even help students get their first position in tech sales here at CourseCareers.
If you’re still on the fence about getting a job in tech sales, then hopefully this will convince you to take the leap. Here are 4 reasons you want to start your career in tech sales.
- Technology is the future. Every day more and more jobs become automated by technology. Industries are completely transformed as new innovations enter the market. If you aren’t the most technical person but want to be part of the future, then sales is your gateway into technology.
- Tons of Jobs. This is the most in-demand sales job to date. Every company is struggling to find people with the right skills to fill their positions because colleges don’t train people in technology sales. This makes you very rare and valuable.
- High Salary. Technology sales is known for being one of the best paying entry-level jobs outside of engineering. The average first-year pay is nearly $60,000 and there are many people making over $100,000 in the following years. It also isn’t uncommon to find top enterprise sales reps making over $500,000.
- Career Path. Technology sales has one of my most diverse career paths. You can work your way up the sales ladder climbing from an account executive all the way to the VP of sales. Salespeople have also been known to transition into all kinds of business roles such as human resources, marketing, customer success, etc. Sales is even the most popular background to set yourself up for entrepreneurship.
Tech Sales Careers Aren’t Taught in College
Companies have a difficult time finding qualified people to fill their entry-level positions since colleges don’t have a tech sales major. For most colleges, the closest relevant major would be business or communications.
This is a problem since even though these might be the most relevant majors, they are still very irrelevant to the actual job. There are no recent college graduates that are qualified to work in tech sales unless they have sales experience or educated themselves outside of college.
This makes people without a degree much more competitive since companies can’t hire people solely based on their degree.
You Don’t Need to Be a Very Technical Person to Work in Tech Sales
It’s reasonable for an outsider to assume you need to know all about technology if you want to be selling it, right? Wrong! Most entry-level tech salespeople don’t need to know more than the basics of how to use a computer and a few programs.
The role of a tech salesperson in most cases is to help business people solve their business problems. All the salesperson needs to know is how their technology will help solve their prospect’s problems.
They don’t need to understand what frameworks the technology was created in or how the cloud works. If you worked at a phone store selling Iphones, do you need to know how IOS was created and how the internal hardware works together? All you need to know to sell the phone is how it can be used to benefit the user. Tech sales is no different.
You Don’t Need Sales Experience to Get a Job in Tech Sales
Sales experience is the single most valuable thing companies look for when hiring entry-level salespeople. Even though it’s very valuable, it doesn’t mean you can’t get your foot in the door without it.
If you don’t have any sales experience, then you have a few options. You can get your foot in the door by working an entry-level position at a smaller company or startup. You can also get your foot in the door by doing an internship to prove yourself.
You just shouldn’t expect to get your first tech sales job at a Fortune 500 company if you never made a cold call before.
3 Steps to Getting Your First Tech Sales Job
Here are three steps you can follow to get your foot in the door with a tech sales job without experience. If you carefully follow these steps, then you should be able to get started in less than 3 months.
Step 1: Learn Online
Without any experience in sales and no way to learn it in college, you will need to educate yourself in everything tech sales. This can be done by reading books on tech sales, reading blogs, watching videos, talking to professionals, etc.
You will need to understand all of the important concepts of technology sales. The goal is to learn the minimum amount required for you to get your first job and do it effectively. The reason you want to start with the minimum is that any more education would be wasted if you choose not to continue your career in tech sales. Here CourseCareers we teach 4 main areas. Sales Basics – Sales Skills – Sales Process – Sales Technology.
Instead of trying to learn everything on your own, you could opt to go through an in-depth online course where you’re lead through all of these topics with guidance along the way. This is what we do at CourseCareers
Step 2: Apply to Internships
Once you learned all of the basics of tech sales that would allow you to effectively do your job, then the next step is to actually get your first job. Without sales experience, I highly recommend this first job is an internship.
This could prove to be slightly difficult since most companies only hire interns that are in college and during the summer. This makes it hard to find companies on job boards that are hiring interns throughout the year.
The way you overcome this is by using your sales skills to reach out to companies hiring entry-level tech salespeople and pitch them on the idea of hiring you as an intern. Here’s how:
- Build a list of prospective companies hiring entry-level tech salespeople by searching job boards
- Find the Director or VP of sales in charge of hiring new salespeople by searching LinkedIn
- Find the contact information for each of these people by using different programs such as hunter.io to guess their email.
- Reach out to these people through a sequence of calls, emails, & LinkedIn messages. Pitch them on why they should hire you as a sales intern. Reasons such as: Unlike a college intern, you can work as an intern full-time any time of the year and can be transitioned into a full-time employee immediately without having to wait to graduate. You can do things such as:
- Identify Ideal Companies
- Identify Correct Contacts & Org Structure
- Getting Contact Information
- Adding Data to CRM
- Updating CRM
- Identifying Triggers for Personalized Outreach
Step 3: Make it a Career
After you got your foot in the door with an internship, the next step is to turn that internship experience into a permanent position. The way you do this is by doing the best possible job you can during your 3-4 month internship.
You should do everything you can to impress your boss by making sure you not only finish your tasks at hand, but also ask for extra work when possible.
You will need to prove that you are willing to put in the work, do a good job, and fit in with the company culture (have others enjoy working with you). You should also strive to learn as much as possible during this internship to make the transition into a tech sales rep as seamless as possible.
You can do this by talking to people currently working in the role and learn what skills or knowledge you are lacking so you can improve. Don’t be afraid to ask for guidance from your superiors either.
Once you’ve done everything you can to set yourself up for success, then schedule a meeting to talk to your boss about transitioning into a full-time rep after your internship is over. Ask them questions such as: what is required for me to transition into a full-time rep? Do you have the budget to hire me? Is there anything you foresee that would prevent you from hiring me as a full-time rep? Is there anything else I can do to better prepare myself?
Congrats! You’re Now a Tech Sales Rep
After following these steps you are well on your way to moving up the sales ladder to an account executive making the big $$. If you want to learn more in-depth on how you can start your career in tech sales, then I highly suggest you go through our free introductory course on technology sales.