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How to get into tech sales and why you should

Learn the ins and outs of a career in tech sales, discover how to get into one, and decide if this line of work is right for you.

Are you looking for an exciting and lucrative career path in the tech industry? As a college student or recent graduate, you might be wondering about the various opportunities available in this field.

One area that's rapidly growing and in high demand is tech sales. According to the BLS, tech sales positions are projected to grow by 6% to 10% between 2018 and 2028. It might even exceed that if the tech sector continues to grow at a faster rate.

This article is geared toward college students interested in learning more about tech sales and how to pursue a career in this field. We'll provide valuable insights and tips for success in tech sales, including the skills and knowledge you need to succeed, the types of roles available, and how to land your dream job.

If you're interested in combining your passion for sales with cutting-edge technology, read on!

What is tech sales?

Tech sales is the process of selling tech products or services to customers. It involves building relationships with clients, understanding their needs, and recommending the best solutions to meet those needs.

In a rapidly evolving tech industry, a tech sales position offers a dynamic and exciting career path with high earning potential and growth opportunities.

IT sales vs. tech sales

While people often use IT sales and tech sales interchangeably, they are not the same. IT sales typically involve selling IT services (e.g., cloud computing, network security, and IT consulting).

Tech sales, on the other hand, encompasses a broader range of products and services (e.g., software, hardware, and digital products).

Hardware sales vs. software sales

Hardware sales involve selling physical technology products like computers, smartphones, and other electronic devices.

On the other hand, software sales involve selling software products like operating systems, productivity tools, and enterprise software solutions.

Why work in tech sales?

Working in tech sales offers a range of benefits that make it an attractive career choice for many people. In addition to a high-tech sales salary, here are more reasons to consider becoming a tech sales representative.

No technical skills needed

Contrary to popular belief, a career in tech sales does not require extensive technical knowledge like computer programming and coding skills.

While a basic understanding of technology is helpful, communication, problem-solving, and relationship-building are the most important skills for success in tech sales. This makes it perfect for entry-level professionals and students.

Prior sales experience is a plus but isn’t required for entry-level jobs.

High pay

Tech sales is a high-paying field, with the average salary ranging from $71,513 to $92,173 or more, depending on experience and location.

Additionally, many tech sales jobs offer bonuses and commissions based on performance, which can significantly increase earning potential.

Remote work

Many tech sales reps work remotely, providing flexibility and freedom to work from anywhere (as long as you can access a reliable internet connection).

Remote work lets you eliminate commuting time, save money, and have a better work-life balance. Plus, working remotely can help you develop time management, communication, and self-discipline skills, which are highly valued in the tech sales industry.

Many job opportunities

There are plenty of exciting job opportunities for college students in the tech sales industry. As companies continue to invest in new technologies and products, they need skilled tech salespeople to promote and sell those products.

Whether you're interested in working for a tech giant or a startup, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to use your communication skills and tech knowledge to make a great career in tech sales.

The industry is projected to grow rapidly, so there's no better time to start exploring the world of technology sales.

Career mobility

The tech sales industry has many opportunities for career growth and advancement.

You can start in an entry-level sales role and work your way up the ladder to become a sales manager, account executive, or sales director.

The tech industry is constantly evolving, so there are always new products and technologies to sell. This gives you the chance to explore different areas and develop new skills. With hard work and dedication, the sky's the limit in tech sales!

Challenges of working in tech sales

While working in tech sales has many benefits, some challenges come with the territory.

High pressure

Working in tech sales can be high pressure, especially when dealing with large clients and high-stakes deals.

However, this can also be a great opportunity for personal and professional growth, as it challenges you to think on your feet and develop your sales and communication skills. With the right mindset and support, you can thrive in this dynamic and exciting industry.

Learning curve

Entering the tech sales industry can be daunting since it involves a steep learning curve. However, keeping up with the latest industry trends and developments is key to staying ahead of the curve.

Stay current by attending industry events and conferences, following tech sales influencers on social media, and seeking mentorship and training opportunities.

Don't be afraid to ask questions and take on new challenges as they arise — the more you learn, the more valuable you become as a tech sales professional.

Hard to change industries

While a career in tech sales can be rewarding, it can also present challenges. For instance, changing industries once you’ve specialized in tech sales can be difficult.

However, staying up-to-date with the latest industry trends and developments can help make the transition easier if you decide to change career paths in the future.

For example, attending industry conferences, networking with professionals in different industries, and pursuing additional education or training can all help expand your knowledge and skill set, making you more marketable to potential employers outside of tech sales.

Finding customers

Finding customers is a common challenge in tech sales, and cold calling can be intimidating for many people. However, it's an essential skill to master for success in this industry.

One way to get better at cold calling is to practice with friends or family members or even in front of a mirror. Another helpful tip is to research your prospects before making the call so you can personalize your pitch and establish a connection.

Remember that practice makes perfect. With time and experience, you will become more comfortable and confident in your sales approach.

Tech sales career requirements

A few key skills and qualifications can help set you up for success if you're interested in pursuing a career in tech sales.

Soft skills

Soft skills are essential for success in tech sales. These include communication skills, problem-solving skills, relationship-building skills, and the ability to work well under pressure.

Hard skills

While technical knowledge is not always required for tech sales, having a basic understanding of technology can be helpful.

Additionally, strong sales skills in lead generation, prospecting, and closing deals can be critical to success in this field.


While a formal education is only sometimes required for a career in tech sales, having a degree in business, marketing, computer science, or a related field can be beneficial.

Tech sales career paths

When it comes to career paths in tech sales, you can go in various directions based on your skills and interests. In this section, we'll explore some of the most common career paths within the tech sales industry and the skills and qualifications required for each.

Sales development

Sales development involves identifying and qualifying potential leads and passing them to the sales team to close the deal. This can be a great entry-level position for people new to tech sales.

Business development

Business development involves working with existing clients to identify new sales opportunities and build long-term relationships. This business development representative (BDR) role typically requires more experience and a higher level of sales skills.

Account management

Account management involves managing existing client relationships and maximizing customer satisfaction and loyalty.

This role requires excellent customer service skills and the ability to identify opportunities for upselling and cross-selling.

Customer success management

Customer success management involves working closely with customers to ensure they get the most out of their purchases.

This role requires strong communication skills and an understanding of customer needs and expectations.

Sales management

Sales management oversees the entire sales process, from lead generation to closing the deal. This role requires strong leadership skills and an understanding of the sales process.

How to find a job in tech sales

Finding a job in tech sales requires a strong understanding of the tech industry and the skills employers seek. Let's explore all the ways you can find a great career in tech sales.

  • Network. Networking is one of the best ways to find a job in tech sales. Connecting with people in the industry can help you get your foot in the door and learn more about available positions. You could also use LinkedIn to build your professional network and connect with potential employers to find job opportunities.
  • Stay up-to-date. Staying up-to-date on the latest modern sales trends in tech sales can help you stand out from the competition. Reading industry blogs, attending webinars, and joining tech sales communities will help you stay informed.
  • Leverage your experience. If you have prior experience in sales, you can leverage that experience to find a job in tech sales. Showcasing your previous successes and highlighting the skills that transfer to tech sales can help you stand out from other candidates.
  • Consider certifications. Certifications can give you an edge in the tech sales job market. Look for certifications related to your specific area of expertise, such as cloud technology or software development.
  • Know the tools. Familiarity with the tools and technologies used in tech sales can be a major advantage. Learning about CRM software, analytics platforms, and other sales tools can help you stand out.
  • Build the perfect resume. Tailor your resume to the job you are applying for, and include any relevant sales or tech experience, certifications, or awards. Your resume should demonstrate your ability to understand customer needs and close deals.
  • Use Handshake to find tech companies. Handshake is an excellent platform for college students to find job opportunities in the tech sales industry. It allows you to connect with recruiters and hiring managers from top tech companies and receive tailored job recommendations based on your interests and skills. You can also use Handshake to build your professional network and showcase your sales abilities to potential employers.
  • Get advice from other tech sales professionals. Finally, don’t be afraid to ask other tech sales professionals for advice. Reach out to people in the industry and ask them for advice on how to land a job. You can also attend tech sales conferences and meetups to increase your knowledge and network with potential employers.

Explore current sales tech jobs with Handshake

Take the first step toward finding a great career in tech sales by exploring current sales tech jobs on Handshake. Sign up today to start connecting with employers and discovering your dream job.


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