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Tech Sales: Building Income That Changes Your Life

Spending 10 years in software sales has taught me a lot about working smarter and harder. My life was lining up to run a construction company. Building custom homes and getting into the commercial aspect of HVAC and Building Erection. A young 23 year old with a wife and a baby on the way, lower level wages couldn’t scale fast enough to support a growing family and overhead expenses. In a time where job markets are volatile and income is being looked at more seriously, I never thought I would be eligible to land a job in an industry that has proven to change my life. Traveling across the US I speak with many people, including Uber drivers. One thing that is amazing is everyone has heard of the tech space and the lucrative opportunity of technology sales, yet no one feels qualified to pursue an opportunity in Tech. I am an attestation that a college degree or a coding background isn't necessary to become successful in tech sales. Running an opportunity in tech still takes work, dedication, time, energy, worry, effort, and all the other things that go into finding a new career. However, putting all your chips in on a tech opportunity will never fail you, let me repeat that, a tech career will NEVER fail you. I am biased towards sales opportunities, but I will touch on that in another post. There is tech that surrounds every area of interest. Construction, Music, Coaching, Sports, Retail, the list goes on. It’s important that you keep those ideals of what you love and what your internal compass aligns to as you search for tech career opportunities. As you keep up with my blog, I will point out companies that highlight different areas of life that may align with your morals and principles. For now, I want to give you a few diverse ways you can find opportunities in the tech space regardless of your qualification, and how those opportunities might change the trajectory of your family's financial situation.

  1. Started from the bottom now we're here. Shoutout Drake

For those who are relationship minded and aren’t afraid of getting people interested in conversation, find a BDR (business development rep) job opportunity. Titles may vary like Enterprise Development Representative, Director of Business Development, etc. I think you get the picture. All the names mean the same thing. Go find business! Set up the call, have a coffee, get them to a webinar. Your role is to create interest! Companies are willing to pay you to find those who are interested in what they have to sell. You don’t have to sell the technology you just have to build relationships and trust. Companies like Conga, Zoom, Nice, Edify, Amazon all are looking for people willing to be a business development representative. Meaning you’re willing to make the phone call get thousands of No's for a dozen yesses. Starting pay ranges between $45,000 to $65,000 a year. Now that doesn’t seem like very much, however, many of these job opportunities come with sign on bonuses or high commission opportunities. Sign on bonuses can range between $5,000 and $25,000 and on top of that you could make a one time payout or even a residual commission between 1% and 3% on the leads that convert. So at a lower end, your first year in a new career could be $65,000+ commission averaging between $5,000 and $15,000 your first year. Already beating the median household income of the United States in 2022 (assuming you hit targets and earn your commission)

2. Getting paid to make friends.

If you have relevant industry experience, try and land an account management role. Many companies need individuals with industry know how and relationship skills to retain the clients that they have already sold to. This means they need the client to continue to renew their existing agreements. These agreements and the value they hold are commissionable opportunities. Many roles start at $60,000 a year but could pay out as high as $125,000 a year. Skills that would land you higher base salaries would include past experience in management, consulting, entrepreneurial ventures that were successful, or detailed and in-depth insight of the industry you are pursuing. Commission on renewed agreements could pay out as little as $1,500 per renewal but also as high as $20,000 depending on the contract terms and value of the contract. This role may require you to travel a little bit more, but who doesn’t love visiting different cities around the U.S. trying mom and Pop sandwich shops, and getting to know some of your favorite craft beers.

3. Coffee is for Closers

Many startup companies under eight years old are hiring aggressively right now for account executives with some business intelligence, tenacity, and overall ability to learn and adapt. Before you decide selling as a traditional sales rep is the best fit for you, I would recommend you also look at the leadership who is interviewing you, as well as the trajectory of the sales organization that you’re looking to join. I’ll add another post on some great questions you can ask around those topics later. Being an account executive, whether you are inside sales or outside sales, is an opportunity to build one on one relationships with clients who will follow you through your career and buy from you multiple times so long as you can conduct good business as a good person with goodwill and honest intentions. Account Executive position's starting pay is like the account manager role $65,000 a year or so. However, a salary can range as high as $125,000 a year but most common is around $100,000 a year. Some companies do offer sign on bonuses or even stock which can be very lucrative if the company is on the right path to taking their product public. But don’t let stock fool you! A dollar in the hand now is worth more than a dollar in your hand later. Sign-on bonuses can range and vary from position to position but the real opportunity is in commission. I would highly recommend finding companies that do not have a cap on commission. Most commission plans are half base salary and half commission making up a total on target earning calculation (OTE), basically you can 2X your base salary. If you hit your sales targets, this is where the game changes.

If you had asked me 10 years ago why I got into sales, I would have told you money. Now, money has become an indicator of my skills. I am more excited about learning and developing skills in modern technology opportunities. I have built the confidence that my sales skills will never allow me to return to swinging a hammer or working in the blizzards of Utah winters. I haven’t missed a birthday, anniversaries, family get together, holiday, or sick day for anyone in my family. Don’t get me wrong. The money opportunity is big in any industry if you focus on watering the grass where you stand, but if your interest is somewhere else, and you’re looking for a career change that is not physically taxing with all the upside, my friend, I implore you to explore sales opportunities in the tech space.

Real life examples: between the ages of 20 and 23 my income working construction never surpassed $52,000 a year. I took a leap with the technology company and a cut in my income to $38,000 a year that was 2013 from 2013 to 2014, my income went from $38,000 a year to $65,000 a year 2014 to 2015 I went from $65,000 a year to $80,000 a year 2015 to 2016 I went from $80,000 a year to $97,000 a year 2016 to 2017 I went from $97,000 a year to $115,000 a year 2017 to 2018 I went from $117,000 a year to $152,000 a year. I will never regret my decision to move into sales. If you are going to make this move, be willing to learn the business inside and out, left to right up and down you can then present your company to anyone who needs your services and immediately build rapport and confidence in everyone you speak with. Relationships are where sales happen.

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