If you’re leaving the military or your spouse’s career influences your location and lifestyle, tech sales jobs offer variety, progression and a chance to implement transferable skills.
The tech industry’s rapid growth has created demand for tech specialists and salespeople. Tech sales involves understanding, finding and selling solutions that meet a customer’s specific needs – including computers, hardware, software or online services.
Military leavers’ intrinsic transferable skills equip them well for tech sales roles. Still, it’s wise to seek out appropriate retraining to expand your knowledge, and to know your options when it’s time to find your first tech sales job.
On Tuesday 25th July at 7pm via LinkedIn Live TechVets hosted a webinar to help veterans and forces family members to find out if a career in #tech sales could be for them.
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What is tech sales?
Technology sales is a field that connects consumers with innovative tech solutions and products. It involves identifying consumer needs, finding a solution that could help them, and showing them that it can meet their needs.
People who specialise in this type of sales work as tech salespeople and can sell various products and services, such as computers, servers, operating systems, or cloud computing. If you’re interested in working in this profession, you can represent a company from one of the three most common types of tech sales, including hardware, software, and SaaS (software as a service).
Hardware includes computers, monitors, peripherals, networking devices, switches, interfaces and storage devices. Hardware sales are competitive, as this mature section of the industry has evolved over many years.
Software is what moves the IT industry. Custom-designed programs that meet specific customer needs hold significant value, requiring salespeople to cultivate in-depth, evolving knowledge.
Software as a Service (SaaS) means solving specific problems with software, and is linked to the growth of cloud computing. Cloud solutions allow clients to access specific services online, overcoming hardware limitations with multifaceted business advantages – requiring knowledgeable sales and support staff.
Tech Sales Job Outlook
The tech industry is growing rapidly, and this growth is creating a demand for tech salespeople. According to the Department for International Trade, the UK is a global technology leader with one of the world’s largest technology ecosystems worth £469bn, including thousands of companies and start-ups operating in the industry.
There are many areas of IT that have been leading this race and creating more new jobs. One of the fastest-growing is the safety tech sector that focuses on developing and selling safety solutions. In recent years, the sector has observed a 30% increase in jobs and a 40% increase in revenues in the past year.
Salaries in Technology Sales
The salary of a tech salesperson can vary depending on experience, location, and the type of company they work for. In general, tech salespeople can earn a good salary and according to Indeed, the average salary for a tech salesperson in the UK is £36,356 per year.
Tech sales jobs leverage many transferable skills gained during military service – problem solving, reportage and communication. Alongside technical expertise, tech salespeople demonstrate great communication and analytical skills, supporting their relationship building, market analysis abilities and overall adaptability.
As your role progresses, you’ll be increasingly involved with creating bespoke solutions and explaining complex items to customers, driving sales through consumer data analysis, maintaining business relationships and providing performance reports.
Common Duties of a Technology Salesperson
Tech salespeople are often tech experts with excellent negotiation and analytical skills. Could you see yourself carrying out these tasks?
- Building and maintaining relationships with business and corporate clients
- Constantly updating their knowledge about the newest trends in tech solutions
- Analyzing customer behavior to define client needs
- Designing and putting together technology packages
- Using consumer data to create product promotions or deals
- Preparing sales invoices and contracts
- Staying in touch with existing clients to increase customer satisfaction rates
- Working towards maintaining the company’s good reputation
- Explaining complex hardware or software concepts to clients
- Traveling regularly to attend client meetings
- Reporting to managers about sales numbers
What do I need to know?
While you don’t need a degree to get into tech sales, retraining and building your knowledge are important to establish and develop IT careers after military service.
Tech evolves rapidly, so you need to be aware of current trends and solutions. Becoming a tech generalist helps improve your familiarity with tech products and services, letting you serve customers better as you gain knowledge.
Be proactive and formulate a list of product/service topics to bolster your tech sales knowledge. Set goals for areas like product knowledge, managing objections or hesitation, pitching and closing sales, and other elements that will support your intended role.
What are some of the advantages of working in technology sales?
- The opportunity to work with cutting-edge technology
- The potential to earn a high salary
- The ability to build relationships with clients
- The challenge of finding and closing deals
- The satisfaction of helping clients solve their problems
Is a tech sales job for me? Do you have these key skills?
- Excellent communication skills
- Strong analytical skills
- The ability to build relationships with clients
- The ability to close deals
- The ability to learn new technologies quickly
Hardware and Software – While much IT training explains hardware and software basics, this knowledge is often learned on the job and through personal initiative. Make lists of customers you’ll potentially serve and research solutions that will meet their needs.
SaaS – Often included within B2B sales training, SaaS sales training deals with software sold as a subscription model.
With the sheer range of online and in-person IT training providers now available, do your research before committing to a specific course. TechVets provides members with FREE specialist tech training courses and you may find the Google courses set you up in good stead for a tech sales job. They’ll help you avoid overpriced, irrelevant training courses and stick to a career plan.
TechVets’ network of ex-military tech experts can also provide a significant amount of advice and support through its Discord community.
If you’re still serving, ask the Career Transition Partnership and your Resettlement Officer about available funded courses. Find out how many ELCs you have, and which courses they could be used against.
How to find tech sales jobs
The importance of networking can’t be overstated. 7 in 10 people find their jobs through their networks – because over 50% of jobs aren’t advertised, it’s crucial to access ‘hidden’ jobs by reaching out to people you know and have worked with.
Aside from jobs boards on sites like Reed and Indeed, social media communities – e.g. LinkedIn – regularly offer job opportunities and connections. Identify potential employers, then contact employees via their social pages for advice.
Multinational companies like Microsoft, Amazon, Deloitte and Barclays run military talent programs, supporting job opportunities for veterans and their spouses with coaching and mentoring.
Salesforce Military’s Trailhead Military self-paced, virtual program helps veterans find tech careers with free training, certifications and career opportunities. Trailhead supports military spouses and is available to those currently serving and reservists.
Companies like TechVets and Trident Search host and support military-to-tech events and networking opportunities. Tech fairs like the International Cyber Expo provide veteran-centric opportunities – events like Cyber Scotland Connect support specific regions.
Military job recruiters can advise on tech sales roles, help you communicate your skills to employers and make valuable introductions – contact organisations like TechVets and the Forces Employment Charity, for expert support in planning, organising and embarking on a successful tech sales career.
You can find more insights at the link below, and if you’re a veteran, service-leaver, reservist, or spouse, find your place in the TechVets’ community right here.