News and advice for software sales professionals and employers.

Your Path to Tech Sales: A Guide for Career Changers

Breaking into sales demands an approach tailored to your experience level.


Are you considering a shift into sales, especially in the tech industry, but unsure where to start? Whether you’re fresh out of college or transitioning from a long-standing career, breaking into sales requires strategic planning tailored to your experience level. Let’s dive into two distinct groups and their paths towards securing their first sales role.


If you’re new to the workforce with 0 to 2 years of experience and eyeing a sales position, consider roles like Sales Development Representative (SDR) or Business Development Representative (BDR). These roles focus on prospecting and qualifying leads, with a primary goal of setting up meetings for account executives. You’ll learn the ropes of sales from the ground up, preparing you for more comprehensive sales responsibilities down the line.


In the tech sales world, starting as an SDR or BDR is typically the norm. Expect to spend around 12 to 18 months (sometimes more) in this role before progressing to full-cycle sales. Certain industries like copier sales or telecom sales might offer direct entry into full-cycle sales, but transitioning into software sales later may still require foundational experience in entry-level roles.


For those with 10 to 20 years of experience in a different field, transitioning into sales presents unique challenges. One significant hurdle is compensation; moving into sales often means starting at an entry-level salary despite extensive professional experience.


“Align your background with your sales focus for a successful transition.”


To ease this transition, leverage your background by targeting sales roles related to your prior industry. For example, if you’re an accountant, consider companies selling accounting software or services to accounting firms. Similarly, lawyers can explore roles in legal software sales or selling to the legal industry. Aligning your sales focus with your expertise facilitates a smoother transition and boosts your credibility in the new role.


Regardless of experience level, successful entry into sales requires understanding and readiness for the demands of the job. Prospecting, building relationships, and meeting sales quotas are core aspects of any sales role. Embrace these challenges early on to thrive in your new career path.


Moreover, after gaining a couple of years of sales experience, transitioning into different sales sectors becomes more feasible. Leverage your newly acquired sales skills to explore diverse industries and opportunities.


If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out by phone or email. Happy job hunting!