How-to Guide: Get Your First Job in Tech Sales

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July 7, 2022
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min read

Breaking into the tech industry doesn’t require a degree in computer science or engineering. And there’s no secret passcode or magical gateway that only opens for certain people with certain qualifications (even if it feels that way). 

Here’s the truth. The tech industry has one of the biggest opportunities for career growth and is ripe with potential for job seekers with a variety of skillsets. 

If you’re searching for a fulfilling career in tech with little experience, tech sales is the perfect entryway. Keep reading to learn all you need to know about how to get your first job in tech sales.

Why Get a Job in Tech Sales?

Tech sales representatives, as they’re often called, are the people who help put the latest products and software into the hands of businesses and consumers. From selling laptops to SaaS to consulting services, you’ll work with a variety of people to build strong relationships and show how the product you’re selling will meet their needs. 

And, with a position in tech sales, you’ll be on the frontlines of some of the latest and most innovative tech advancements. 

We’d also be remiss not to mention that tech sales can be quite a lucrative career. According to Payscale, the average salary of a technical sales representative is $67,716 with opportunities to increase. 

If you want to help people, advance in your career, and talk about groundbreaking products and software, look no further than a job in tech sales. 

A Step-By-Step Guide to Get Into Tech Sales

Now for the game plan. One of the biggest mistakes we see people make as they search for a new job is to go into it without a clear plan and strategy. Mindlessly searching through Google and other career sites and saving jobs on a whim won’t be what gets you in the door to a tech sales job. Follow our recommendations (and try our one-of-a-kind tools like the Job Application Tracker) and you’ll be fielding interview requests in no time at all. 

Identify Your Strengths. No, Really. 

Like you, we’ve been through the wringer of self-assessments and personality quizzes to help us identify our strengths. But here’s the thing: they work. Identifying and leaning into your core strengths can help you build confidence and stand out among your peers. 

If you have sales experience, use engaging stories and examples from your past position to demonstrate how you’ll become an invaluable tech sales representative. 

If you don’t have any sales experience, don’t worry. What strengths do you have that you can emphasize as translating well into a career in tech sales? If you’re engaging, a fantastic communicator, or can think fast on your feet, speak about ways you can use those skills to build customer relationships and close deals. 

Any background can be a sales background, it’s all about how you communicate your strengths and experiences. Your strengths are what make you unique, which is what recruiters and hiring managers will be on the lookout for as they search for a new representative. 

Not sure what your strengths are? Our Work Styles Quiz can help you discover your professional strengths and understand core aspects of your work personality. You’ll find valuable insights into what positions align with your strengths and learn what tasks may come easier to you and what may take more effort. 

Hone Your Skills with an Online Certificate or Bootcamp 

As you’re perusing job boards and descriptions, you may find that there are one or two skills you wish you had in your back pocket before applying. That’s where bootcamps and online certifications come in. 

Bootcamps are fast, intense learning experiences that provide all you need to know about a skill or industry. They take time and effort on your part to complete but the ability to put it on your resume can be well worth the wait. 

Online certificates are similar in content but are often slower-paced and spread out over a longer period of time. Certificates can be a good choice if you’re not sure about the course content or are balancing other responsibilities like a full-time job.

An option we love for SaaS sales specifically: Aspireship*, an online training program designed as a bridge to advance you to a new step in your career, whether you're just starting out or are pivoting from another industry or job type. Their SaaS Sales Foundations course is designed to teach you how to be successful in SaaS sales—ideal for SaaS SDRs, BDRs, Account Executives and Account Managers.

Adding a bootcamp, online certificate, or training program like Aspireship to your repertoire shows you’re motivated to enter the profession and aren’t afraid to commit to learning all you need to know about the industry to be successful. 

*This is an affiliate link, which means Teal may earn a commission for purchases made through this link. We only recommend products, resources, and programs that we believe in and trust, and will disclose if any content on our site is sponsored.

Rework Your Resume to Highlight Sales-Related Achievements

Each resume you submit to a position should include keywords from the job description that highlight how your experiences fit what the recruiter is looking for. 

Remember, a resume is also often your first interaction with a recruiter. Think of your resume less like a list of your past positions and more like a tool that will allow you to stand out. If there’s a line that doesn’t relate to the position you’re applying for or you can’t tie into sales, take it out. 

Tip: Use action verbs for resume and highlight your successes and achievements rather than day-to-day job duties.

If you’re struggling to keep track of all your applications and resume versions, our Job Application Tracker can help you better organize your tech sales job search (and then some). A robust job searching platform, a user-friendly view of applications at each stage of the process, and a tool that highlights both hard and soft skills in job descriptions for you to include in your resume are just a few of the time-saving benefits of using our Job Application Tracker. 

Network, Network, and Network Some More

It’s true. Networking can be the key to securing your first job in tech sales. Beyond meeting people in your future industry, networking also gives you insight into what companies are looking for in prospective employees. 

Use LinkedIn to search for people with your ideal job title as well as people who work for your dream organizations. Ask to connect and follow up with a message about setting up a Zoom meeting to learn more about their role, career path, and what it’s like to work in tech sales. The more people you meet, the more you’ll learn about the ins and outs of tech sales, and the more doors will open. 

Networking can be an intimidating process but it’s one of the most beneficial ways to make connections in the tech industry and gives you a chance to practice your relationship-building skills. 

Prepare for the Interview

When you get to the interview stage of your job search, you’ll want to perform in-depth research into the organization. As a tech sales representative, it will be your job to know everything about the product or software you’re selling. Apply these same skills to learn everything possible about the position and organization you’re interviewing for. 

An interview for a tech sales position also functions as an audition for how you will interact with customers. Confidence is key to acing sales interviews. Let your personality shine as well, because odds are they’re not looking for another person to spout off technological information (though an important skill nonetheless). A hiring manager wants to see how you stand out from your fellow applicants and what interpersonal skills you bring to the table. 

There are countless opportunities for a career in tech sales that will provide excellent benefits, align with your values, and be a fulfilling step in your career. Stay positive (and organized) as you begin your job search for your first position in tech sales.

Frequently Asked Questions

What skills are essential for a beginner to start a career in tech sales?

For beginners, essential skills in tech sales include strong communication and interpersonal abilities, a basic understanding of sales principles, a customer-centric mindset, and a willingness to learn about the tech products or services being sold. Familiarity with CRM software and sales automation tools can also be advantageous.

How can I demonstrate my potential in tech sales during an interview without prior experience?

Highlight transferable skills such as problem-solving, adaptability, and teamwork from your previous experiences. Show enthusiasm for technology and sales, and express your eagerness to learn. Research the company's products and sales strategies to discuss how you can contribute to their goals.

Are there specific certifications or courses that can improve my chances of getting hired in tech sales?

Yes, obtaining certifications in sales methodologies like SPIN Selling or Challenger Sales can be beneficial. Additionally, courses on CRM platforms like Salesforce or HubSpot can demonstrate technical proficiency and commitment to the field. Networking through industry events and online communities can also enhance your visibility to potential employers.

Meghan Gallagher

Meghan is a social impact content writer and strategist. She empowers people to achieve career growth with person-first storytelling and engaging advice.

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