A Career in Tech Sales and Consulting
I stumbled into technology in the 80s after being in middle management and a stint as a stockbroker. I didn't attend college and had no formal technology training.
Here are some of the jobs that I have had over my 35 years in technology:
- Sales support - assisted Sales Manager with customers, ordering, customer service
- Sales representative - Sold software, hardware, and services to corporations and government agencies
- Small business owner - Sell, support, and train on software and hardware solutions that we represent as a reseller.
- Consultant - Records Management inventory, retention schedules, compliance
- Consultant - Solution selecting, proof of concepts, installation, integration, support
- Consultant - Data extraction, document capture
- Consultant - Business process automation
- Startup founder - Created a tech-only site using a SAAS product
I attend many events and love to learn about new solutions and innovations. Recently I have participated in some conferences and webinars that talk about how to get into tech or security. The one topic that I see missing from many of these webinars/conversations is careers in sales and consulting.
Here is my Sales and Consulting journey. I hope that it fuels some ideas.
I started working at a Computerland corporate entity in the 80s. I worked as a support person to an outside sales manager. He allowed me to work directly with customers and learn the sales process.
I eventually became a sales representative and it was clear that I found my niche. I was good at working with customers and prospects, and my listening and consulting skills begin to flourish.
I spent four years working at this company. Document Imaging tools were just beginning to come out in the market. One solution that we started to sell was LaserFiche.
When I moved back to my hometown, I started my own company as a VAR (Value added reseller), and the LaserFiche solution was the first product we represented.
As I learned about new solutions and innovations, I would take them on as a product.
Getting hands-on experience with these different solutions and implementing them at customer sites is how I learned. I watched what my customers did and learned something new every day.
I have never stopped staying engaged and learning. When I wanted to build my tech-only site, I hunkered down and started reading, doing research, taking trials of software tools. Even as a non-developer, I was able to find the technology tools and build my site.
In my experience, customers do not want just a salesperson. They want to work with those who understand their needs and can see the big picture. I am not an expert in network management, security, systems applications, but I know enough to understand their relations and dependencies on each other.
Having technical sales skills can take you in many directions. If you work for a company, your end-users are your customers. You will need to have strong relationships with other departments and sell them on the technology initiatives that the company has. Or you can go my route, selling solutions to companies.
The great thing about technology is that there are many opportunities if one doesn't rule it out because they don't think they have the skills or technical acumen or the idea of being in sales is not appealing.
Here is a link to Microsoft's Technical Sales pages. Read stories about employees in Technical Sales and their accomplishments at Microsoft.
The average Enterprise Software Sales salary in the United States is $95,058 as of March 29, 2021, but the salary range typically falls between $86,858 and $102,982.
Thank you for reading. Wishing you much success in your career.