How to Break Into Tech Sales (3 Steps)

Are you looking to transition into tech sales? SDRs are entry-level jobs with an OTE (base salary + commission) of $50-70k. Within 1-2 years, successful SDRs promote to AE. The typical compensation of an AE is an OTE of $90-120k. Most tech salespeople work remotely, meaning more time with friends and family. Now is the time to begin. As of 2020, the average experience required to become an SDR is 1.2 years. Here are 3 steps to start your career in tech sales.

1) Think about what makes you fit in/stand out

Any background can be a fit for tech sales. Watch others tell their sales stories, then think about a time where you can relate to it. Think about it—sports and video games have scoreboards, winners, and missions. Hospitality requires communication skills and resilience.

For those who have sales experience, look back on how you got into sales and how you succeeded. Gather your metrics. High-performance numbers are crucial for a first impression. How did your duties integrate into tech sales?

Once you have your compelling stories stacked up, it’s time to explore.

2) Find 10 companies you want to work for

Make an ideal company profile, including the industry, pay, and product-market fit.

  • When you need an overall view of the company, Crunchbase is there for you. Large companies tend to invest more in training programs. You’ll rise in the ranks much faster in a startup.
  • RepVue provides data about compensation and quota attainment. Checking the difference between quota attainment and OTE can give you an idea of how competitive the job will be.
  • Read your target company’s G2 reviews. Maybe their competitor fits you better. The pain
    points are all right there.

Salespeople from Slack groups and LinkedIn can provide you with inside information about your target company, including why they are hiring SDRs, development opportunities, and culture.

3) Learn your target company’s sales process

In tech sales, companies empower their buyers to self-educate and come to their conclusions about the product. The resources you used to research your 10 target companies also apply to self-educating yourself about the company products.

Salespeople are wordsmiths. Check out email templates and call templates. How do those templates relate to your writing at work?

of a typical SDR day contains cold calling. Live cold calls can be found on YouTube. Once you get the hang of it, you can reach out to salespeople to learn how they cold call.

Learn about their tech stack: Sales engagement platforms, CRMs, and lead generation. SDRs use those software tools daily.

Sure tech sales is a lucrative career: flexibility + compensation + variety. You can show up the door as the best salesperson. Execution is what gets your foot in the door. But before that, these 3 steps will help you plan out your journey to becoming an SDR. Being an SDR is about knowing how to present yourself, finding the best targets, and learning about the other person’s problems.