When I was first starting out in my career, I had no idea what I wanted to do. But, after a lot of soul searching (and some great advice from mentors), I realized that software sales was the perfect fit for me. Now, if you’re considering a software sales career path, you might be wondering if this is the right job for you.
Read on to know the signs if a software sales career path is worth pursuing.
Software Sales Career Path
As the tech industry continues to grow, so do the opportunities for software sales. These jobs offer good stability and the potential for high earnings.
The computer industry is projected to grow by 13% over the next 10 years, according to federal government statistics.
Software companies need skilled individuals to sell their products, and this should lead to more opportunities for aspiring tech sales reps.
There are many possible career paths in software sales. One path might involve working as an inside sales representative for a software company, responsible for selling the company’s products to customers.
Another path might involve working as an account manager, responsible for managing relationships with software customers. There are many other possible positions in software sales, including sales engineer, sales operations manager, and sales director.
The specific career path that you take will depend on your skills, interests, and goals.
What Is SaaS?
Instead of purchasing and hosting your own server, a Software as a Service (SaaS) solution allows you to access your software application from a secure remote server.
SaaS is software that is stored and accessed through the cloud. This ranges from education software to customer relationship management to e-government.
SaaS solutions are great because they require little maintenance, and they can be scaled up or scaled down depending on your business needs.
These cloud-based business tools can help you see the big picture and forecast more accurately.
Why Become a SaaS Salesperson?
The SaaS industry is growing rapidly, and it’s a great place to get started in sales.
As a whole, it’s one of the highest-paying jobs out there.
As of 2019, the average salary for tech sales reps was $103,900, which is 3 times more than the average American’s annual salary. The BLS predicts that by 2029, there will be 25% more job openings in this field.
If you’re looking to start a career in a stable industry, consider getting into tech. Software and computer hardware sales are expected to see 25% growth between 2019 and 2029.
Because new software solutions are coming out all the time, the need for skilled salespeople who sell SaaS is only increasing.
Wondering if a career as a salesperson in software as a service is right for you? Here are 3 signs that it might be.
1. You Like Helping People.
All jobs in the sales process are about building a relationship, but in software as a service (SaaS), the sales career is about demonstrating that you will take care of your prospect as they implement the system that may be the biggest investment they’ve made.
Whether they’re a government agency looking to update their online license renewals or a business in need of a full supply chain solution, it’s important to understand their needs.
When you take time to understand the needs and concerns of your customers’ teams, you build trust. This is essential if you want your sales process to be successful. If you build enough credibility and rapport with the customer, they will be much more likely to want to work with you again.
If you want to help your customers’ businesses grow, then focus on getting these elements into place.
I believe strongly in the power of technology and its ability to improve people’s lives. Helping others grow their companies, create new jobs and achieve business success is incredibly rewarding.
2. You Are Never Tired of Learning.
If you want to have a successful career in technology sales, you must be always learning. This will not only make you more interesting during Zoom calls with clients, but it will also help you better understand your products and prospects.
The prerequisite for a SaaS salesperson is, of course, a degree. But, what I want to talk about is learning about the product and your prospect.
No matter what size the prospect is, you need to do your research. You should be doing the standard prospecting research that you would do for any lead, but you’ll also need to dig a little deeper with internet searches.
By knowing your software inside and out, you’ll be able to provide your prospects with valuable insight.
As your first contact with a company, being able to effectively communicate with potential clients is essential. Being able to explain complex concepts in simple terms will help to strengthen relationships, and increase your value as a salesperson.
You need to be able to learn quickly and adapt to change to be successful in SaaS sales.
If you want to succeed in tech, you need to love to learn. While getting a degree can help you land a job, it’s what you do every day that will take you further in your career.
3. Routine Bores You.
As a customer relationship manager, I oversee all customer interactions and the software installation teams.
I’m often found zipping into meetings with new prospective clients, having coffee with existing customers, training my team of implementation specialists, or filming new episodes of my Shark Tank-style TV show, “Shark Bites.”
The SaaS industry is constantly changing, and to stay ahead of the curve, businesses need to offer their customers more customized solutions and diversify their offerings. This is where our team comes in. We’re always on the lookout for new ways to help our customers.
When working globally, it’s essential to be open-minded and receptive to new ideas. Your colleagues will have different perspectives, and these can shape your own ideas.
When we acquired another company, we hired some of their best employees who brought with them a lot of knowledge about the product. This helped my salespeople, who learned from them and adapted their approach to selling. Having a range of perspectives and backgrounds on a team is extremely valuable.
Working with a tech startup means working with a diverse group of people who are constantly changing and growing. This keeps me on my toes and constantly learning.
What’s Next for You?
Businesses need technology salespeople more than ever. If 2017 has told us one thing, it’s that companies need to be flexible to survive the unpredictability of social and economic conditions.
As a sales professional, I make sure businesses have the tools they need to adapt to the ever-changing landscape of business.
My job as an IT consultant is to help people, and that keeps me interested.
If you’re a self-starter, a people person, and like to learn new things, a SaaS sales job may be right for you.
Types of SaaS Sales Roles
Just like a variety of flavors in a box of girl scout cookies, there are many different types of jobs in the sales industry.
While a role might fit your skill set perfectly, it might not align with your long-term goals or personality.
Instead of learning on the job which types of jobs you like and dislike, use this guide to familiarize yourself with the different types of positions available. You’ll then be able to determine which one is right for you.
Sales Development Rep (SDR)
SDRs are the first point of contact between a company and a prospect. They research, prospect, and qualify for new sales opportunities.
Depending on your role, that could mean contacting and qualifying potential candidates, responding to requests for information, following up with people who download content from your site, networking with contacts on social networking sites, and more.
This is a great entry-level position that doesn’t require a ton of experience. Plus, there are clear opportunities for advancement.
Account Executive (AE)
After spending 6-18 months in an SDR position, most candidates are ready to move on to an Account Executive (AE). As an AE, you are now responsible for running product demonstrations, making customer-facing pitches, identifying and responding to purchasing objections, crafting custom value statements, getting the customer to commit to a purchase, and negotiating the final deal.
A Sales Engineer (SE) is a technically minded person who accompanies a sales rep on customer visits. Their job is to answer any questions about a product or service that the customer may have.
The earning potential for engineering salespeople is quite high. They can earn just as much as their software engineering counterparts, and because they contribute to the bottom line, some employers offer commissions on top of their base salary. This can mean a lot of money for the company, which can result in promotions or pay raises.
Because a Sales Engineer isn’t in a direct selling role, some companies don’t pay commissions on the deals they close.
People skills are crucial for sales engineers and they can often make successful account managers and managers.
Experienced sales engineers, because of their technical expertise and sales experience, may go on to be great executives, including CTOs, CROs, or CEOs.
Because the tech industry is growing so exponentially, the salary for a career in software as a service (SaaS) is certain to increase. In any case, a technology-based job offers plenty of challenges, ongoing training, and growth potential.
Vice President of Sales
A VP of Sales should contribute to the growth of the overall company, as well as help strategize the sales team.
You should strategically hire talent that strengthens your workforce and aids in attracting other top candidates.
As the VP of Sales, you’ll be in charge of team strategy and expansion into new markets. You should be able to sell the tactics your team will need to get there and help your sales organization scale.
Ultimately, your goal is to help your sales team—and your company—grow.
Because this position requires a 10+ year track record of success and 10+ years of management experience, the pay is also higher.
Glassdoor reports that the average base pay for a VP of Sales is $152,114. This position also has the potential to earn six digits of additional compensation.
Good luck in your job search! A software sales career path can be very rewarding, with unlimited earning potential and a great sense of fulfillment. Plus, you’ll have a lot of autonomy to set your own schedule and goals.
Get started today.
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