If you want to know how to break into tech sales with no experience, you’ve come to the right place. For someone with previous technical experience, this may seem like an easier transition than for someone without.
Though all tech careers are not created equal, there’s a perceived unified understanding among techies of all backgrounds of how to utilize technology to address business problems.
We share a foundation rooted in how to problem solve, how to think critically and how to be creative and innovative. This strong foundation transcends the specific tech roles and industries.
With that being said, you can absolutely break into tech sales or any technical role with zero experience by acquiring those foundational skills required to successfully do the job.
I had the extreme pleasure of interviewing Hosanna Hali, a tech sales professional who shared how she got her start in tech sales.
Tell me a little bit about yourself and what you do for a living.
28, London, studied at Cardiff University and now work as Sales Engineer at a Cloud Security company.
~Sales engineers are responsible for demonstrating the functionality of a technical solution. They have in-depth knowledge of the features, specs, and capabilities of a product and have the ability to design a solution based on the specific needs of the customer.
How did you break into tech sales?
I started my career in tech sales after studying Business for my first degree and doing a conversion degree in Computer Science. I got my first job in tech sales through the grad program at Microsoft.
What’s the biggest misconception about tech sales?
That you need to do hard sales to succeed, when it’s actually more consultative sales where you advise your customers and get paid on how much of your products they use.
Below are a few common roles in tech sales:
Account Executive – The Account Executive is responsible for bringing in new business and maintaining the relationship with existing customers. They’re usually the first line of contact to the customer to ultimately close a deal.
Account Manager – The Account Manager focuses on client retention. In most cases, they are responsible for existing accounts and finding ways to upsell based on customer needs.
Customer Success Manager – The customer success manager is a support role. They are responsible for troubleshooting and providing valuable resources to new clients.
In my experience, the client success manager was the point of contact after the sale and adopting the product. The Account Manager was the escalation person if additional products were needed to support the solution. Both roles are post sale, while Account Executives and Sales Engineers are pre-sales.
There are some cases where sales engineers support post sales engagements where demonstrations are required for upsells or in conjunction with the support team for troubleshooting.
What advice would you give someone looking to break into tech sales with zero experience?
Try to use as much of your transferable skills as possible, you would have built the right skills from other experiences that you can bring to the job.
Think of things like communication, team work and collaboration. Also try to learn an in demand technology and one you’re interested in selling.
If you could start over and choose a different career, what would it be and why?
Rich housewife so I can have a soft life.
This is felt on a spiritual level. Because being a rich housewife living an extremely soft life is definitely the end goal.
Besides money, what motivates you everyday?
Are you dating or married? If yes, how do you manage work-life balance?
I’m married and I’m very strict with my work hours, I only work the hours I am paid.
What’s your 5 year goal and how do you plan to reach it?
To be promoted to senior in my role and I plan to reach it by focusing on strengthening my skills and training.
What hobbies do you enjoy?
Eating, Pilates, reading, traveling a lot and spending time with family and friends