Tech Sales: the best decision I ever made for my career

If you don't know what you want to do with your career. I'm here to tell you it's okay. I was in the same place. I still am somedays.

But one thing is for sure, going into tech sales was the best decision I ever made for my career. Let's explore why.

But before we go in to "why tech sales?", let's first understand what it is.

We've all been brainwashed. To everyone outside of the tech industry, you're told that genius coders build amazing tech that the world loves. But there's one critical piece missing to the story.

Who convinces the world to use this amazing tech?

Enter sales people.

Sales people find potential customers → listen to the problems they are facing → share how their product can fix those problems → ultimately convincing them to pay for it.

Coders build amazing tech. Sales people prove people want it.

So let's get back to understanding why you should consider tech sales.

1. You want to work at a tech company, but you can't code or don't have relevant work experience.

This was me.

I was fascinated by what was happening at tech companies vs what I experienced growing up in Michigan. They took over industries in years, not decades (👋 Facebook). They brought crazy ideas to life (👋 Airbnb & Uber). They looked like they treated their employees right (✌️ banking).

But I was majoring in Finance at Michigan State University. How the hell would I convince a tech startup to hire me? Every non-coding entry role I saw required multiple years of work experience (Finance, Recruiting, Marketing)...

Then I landed on something called a Business/Sales Development Representative (BDR/SDR). No work experience required.

A BDR identifies potential customers → convinces potential customer via email/LinkedIn/phone to explore the opportunity → takes the initial call to share how the product can solve the problem → passes the opportunity to an Account Executive (more on this role below) if the potential customer wants to explore further.

So if you want to work for a tech company, but are worried you are non-technical and have no work experience...

Fear not, tech sales is for you!

2. You want a lot of potential career options.

Being a BDR is a 12 - 18 month role. After that, you can go in one of many directions, based on what you care about:

If you want to learn how to sell and make a ton of money 💰:

Become an Account Executive (AE). An AE finishes what a BDR starts. After a BDR attracts a potential customer's interest, an AE does the selling to get them to paying customer. If you're motivated by money, go down this route to make ~$130K as an entry-level AE.

If you want to become more technical:

Become a Support Engineer (SE). A support engineer answers questions customers have when using the product. Through this process, they learn the ins and outs of the product. Leading to a path of more technical work, i.e. leading technical integrations with potential customers.

If you want to mentor and help others grow:

Become a Business Development Manager. The manager teaches BDR's the fundamentals of sales, provides emotional support when things aren't going well, and holds you accountable to your quota. If you find joy in helping those around you grow, this is the role for you.

If you want to build a network in tech to get connected to a diverse set of interesting opportunities outside of sales:

This is the path I took. I saw the BDR role as a chance to break into tech startups so I could meet interesting people. I ended up becoming the first hire for Suleman Ali's new startup, after he already sold a few successful tech companies.

3. Your personality aligns well with tech sales (curiosity, active listening, clear communication, accountable).

There's this misconception that people in sales are douchebags. Let's dispel that myth.

Yes, there are some sales cultures that are pushy, not customer friendly, and give you that feel of an old boys club.

But, there are plenty of examples of much healthier sales cultures. When I was a BDR, my Manager, Emerald Maravilla, and our Head of Sales, Zeeshan Yoonas embodied that.

Here's what they looked for and championed in BDR's:

  1. A desire to learn more about the tech underpinning our product
  2. Actively listen to what problems a potential customer is dealing with
  3. Being able to clearly communicate how our product can solve it
  4. Having accountability to get enough potential customers to talk to an AE, which means achieving your goal (your quota)

So let's recap...

If any point below resonates with you, you should pursue a career in tech sales..

  • You want to work at a tech company, but you can't code or don't have relevant work experience
  • You want a lot of potential career options after being a BDR for 12 - 18 months
  • You personality makes you a natural fit for tech sales

Interested in how to get into tech sales?

Read my next post here. On average, people will get interviews for 2% of the companies they apply to. This post introduces you to the strategy that gets my students interviews at 60% of the companies they apply to.

Want help applying these strategies so you join the best tech sales teams, who pay top dollar? Claim your free consultation here to see how we can do the same for you!