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If you’re thinking of a career change, you’re not alone. Transitioning to a new career can be rewarding and lucrative in equal measure. And it’s more common than you’d expect. A study conducted by Indeed showed that almost 50% of employees say they’ve made a total career change, and almost 90% report feeling happier in their new roles. 

With solid earnings and endless opportunities for growth on offer, there’s never been a better time to consider starting a career in tech sales. In this article, we’ll discuss what a career in tech sales looks like and tips to succeed in the role. 

 

What is tech sales really about?

Tech sales involves selling software as a service (SaaS) solutions to other businesses. That could be anything from CRM software to sales prospecting software. This might sound like any other sales job, but there’s a distinct difference. Unlike retail sales, tech sales places a lot more focus on helping the customer

Instead of focusing on product promotion, tech sales advisors work with customers to find solutions to their workflow problems with technology solutions. This could be in the form of hardware, software, or (most commonly) software service subscriptions. 

It’s much less about cold call culture and much more about nurturing long-term customer relationships. Because of this focus on subscription-based sales, there’s less emphasis on short-term sales. Instead, tech sales is about ensuring that customers derive long-term value from the software solutions being sold to them.

 

What is a tech sales job like? 

Inside and outside tech sales involves building long-term relationships with multiple stakeholders within a company. It’s a role that allows you to connect with people and build strong relationships while learning more about the company and technologies you represent. Sales reps use a variety of sales methodologies that focus on generating value for the buyer. 

Methodologies like:

  • Solution selling: works by recommending specific products and services that will solve the individual concerns of the customer. 
  • Gap selling: works by identifying a problem, presenting a desired future state and then bridging the gap with a potential solution. 
 

Tech sales job description examples

Most often, people start a career in tech sales as a sales development or business development representative. Development reps reach out to customers to qualify leads, for example, and sales reps might reach out to a software development company to talk about a new open-source app store A/B testing tool. 

The aim is to get leads to book a meeting with the account executive. The account executive then provides more in-depth information and runs product demonstrations with the intention of closing deals. 

Once a customer is on-board, an account manager will continue to nurture that client and upsell additional services to them. 

You don’t necessarily need prior sales records to be considered for a job in tech sales. Instead, it’s more important that you can demonstrate the core soft skills, aptitudes and qualities that sales teams want. 

This includes qualities like:

  • Empathy: you must be able to build relationships based on trust and understanding. 
  • Adaptability: tech changes fast, and sales reps need to stay one step ahead.
  • Curiosity: you’ll need to be passionate and know everything about your product.  
  • Resilience: sales is full of rejection, so a “no” from a customer can’t get you down.
  • Moldability: tech companies will want to coach you, so you must be willing to learn. 
 

Why consider a tech sales career?

There are many reasons why people consider transitioning to a tech sales career. Tech sales is a booming industry with ample opportunity for career development. Let’s explore some of these reasons in more detail below. 

1. High demand

The tech industry continues to experience remarkable growth. Companies are always on the hunt for people to fill customer-facing sales roles. Sales jobs are almost always available, and this isn’t set to change any time soon. 

2. High pay 

Tech sales jobs pay well. Even entry-level sales reps can earn a competitive salary. The median salary for a technical sales representative in the US is $64,226, and the top 86% of people in this role make $351,232.

3. Career growth

There are heaps of opportunities for advancement in the sector. Tech sales offers employees the opportunity to work their way up into higher management positions where they can develop new skills and earn competitive salaries. 

 

How to transition and start your career in tech sales

Ready to make the move into tech sales? Career transitions can feel daunting, but finding a job in tech sales is eminently achievable with the right preparation. These tips are designed to help you navigate the transition like a pro and find your dream tech sales career. 

1. Plan ahead

Before hitting the job boards, it’s important to do some prep and planning. This is your opportunity to learn more about the field. Educate yourself about the tech sales process and tech sales technology, and do some all-important networking. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.  

Seek out online communities, sales associations and events that can help you gain insight and experience in your new industry. Then you’ll have a competitive edge and the confidence to ace those interviews when the time comes.

2. Do some homework before reaching out to new employers

You don’t necessarily need sales experience to get a tech sales job, but doing some homework won’t hurt. Many excellent online courses, books and podcasts will help you get some training before reaching out to potential new employers and ease the learning curve once you change to a tech sales role. 

3. Channel your existing sales experience 

If you’ve already got some sales experience, now’s the time to monopolize on that. Remember that having sales experience doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have worked in sales before. 

Many jobs require skills that will be transferable to sales. Identify these skills and emphasize them when speaking with potential employers. 

4. Find the right fit 

When you start seeking job opportunities, ensure that you’re seeking jobs that’ll be a good fit for your personal interests and aptitudes. 

Tech sales is a very broad sector, so it’s worth taking some time to research companies that you’ll actually want to work for. Consider things like product, target market, working culture and opportunities for progression. 

 

Make the transition 

Ready for a career change? Changing to a career in tech sales can be hugely rewarding. Tech sales jobs are abundant, well paid and offers tremendous personal and professional growth opportunities. So, what are you waiting for? 


This article is part of the Crunchbase Community Contributor Series. The author is an expert in their field and we are honored to feature and promote their contribution on the Crunchbase blog.

Please note that the author is not employed by Crunchbase and the opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect official views or opinions of Crunchbase, Inc.


  • Originally published August 12, 2022