How to Get Into Tech Sales

How to get into tech sales as an SDR, BDR or AE.

If you’ve never held a tech sales job but are ready to make the transition to become a tech sales professional for the first time, you probably have some questions.

How do I get a tech sales job without any tech sales experience? How will I stand out? What should I expect in a tech sales interview? Do I need to enroll in a tech sales bootcamp?

These are all very common questions, but don’t worry, there are literally thousands of people who were once in your shoes, but now have a successful tech sales career.

You don’t need to pay thousands for a tech sales bootcamp

With a little online research, you’ll probably come across a handful of tech sales bootcamps that want to convince you that it’s necessary to spend thousands of dollars on tuition, sign an income share agreement or a deferred tuition agreement in order to get the education you need to successfully land a tech sales job.

If you’re truly self-motivated, coachable and possess interpersonal skills, you can get all the education you need through low-cost on-demand programs like SaaS Sales Foundations from Aspireship to land tech sales interviews, secure a job and perform successfully once you’re in the role.

Can I get hired in tech sales without experience?

It can be uncomfortable knowing that hiring managers are looking for candidates with industry experience, don’t let it discourage you. There are tons of success stories out there from people who have transitioned into the field from other industries or job types.

You can get hired in tech sales if you are prepared for interviews, demonstrate your capability and stand out as a creative and dynamic tech sales professional.

What should I expect from a tech sales interview?

Tech sales interviews typically include 3-4 rounds of interviews. These r and a live role play or take home project to assess your capability to do the job. 

The role play is by far the trickiest part of interviewing for a tech sales job. A role play is essentially a mock sales call, where you pretend to sell the company’s product (or sometimes, a made up product) to a prospect, who is typically played by one of the hiring managers. Role plays are very difficult to fake if you don’t know what you’re doing. An effective tactic for hiring managers to weed out candidates who are progressing through the interview process.

Click here to learn more about role plays and how to prepare for them.

Tech Sales Interview Questions

While interview questions will vary, here are some of the most common.

  • Why do you want to work here? 
  • Tell me what you understand about our company.
  • Tell me why you want to be an SDR (or AE)
  • Pretend I am a prospect. Describe our product to me. 
  • If we hired you, how would you structure your typical day?

Also see: 26 Sales Interview Questions (and How to Answer Them Like a Boss!)

Most candidates don’t believe this, but half of the battle is showing that you actually WANT the job! Playing hard to get doesn’t work as well as some people think it does.

Types of tech sales jobs and compensation

If you’ve done some poking around the internet, you may have heard a thing or two about tech sales jobs and what they pay. Maybe you even heard about reps making $1M per year! But don’t get ahead of yourself.

If you don’t have prior sales experience, the first step in your sales career in the tech industry will likely be as a Sales Development Representative (SDR) or Business Development Representative (BDR). Typical SDR compensation consists of $50k-$60k base pay + $15k-$30k in commission, for on-target earnings (OTE) of $65k-$90k.

Account Executive
If you already have prior sales experience, but you’re going after your first job as a tech sales rep, you may be able to land a job as an Account Executive, where you’ll run the full sales cycle, including closing deals. Technology sales has its own challenges and nuances, but it’s still a B2B sales position. If you already have B2B sales experience, you will likely have transferrable skills that will help you succeed in this next step of your sales career.

Here is a more detailed breakdown of the main types of tech sales jobs and what they pay.


The world of technology sales has its own terminology. You’ll do yourself a big favor by familiarizing yourself with key terms before you interview. 

Here are a few to know:

This stands for annual recurring revenue. Companies use this term when they describe the total revenue the company will generate this year. 

This stands for annual contract value or average contract value. Companies use this to describe what an individual customer pays the company over a 1 year period. In SaaS, an ACV under $10,000 per year is typically an “SMB” customer. $10,000-$50,000 is typically a “mid-market” customer. $50,000 is typically considered an “enterprise” customer. If you’re new to tech sales, you’ll likely be selling products or services with an ACV that’s less than $10,000.

The rate at which customers cancel their use of the product, and is expressed as a monthly or annual percentage. A company with low churn is considered healthy, while a company with high churn is considered unhealthy and may not last.

Product-market fit
This term describes when a software company has built a product that people want. No product-market fit = low sales and high churn. That’s not a combination anyone wants!

Sales cycle
The length of time it takes to go from initial meeting with a prospect to closing a sale. A low ACV product typically has a short sales cycle (days / weeks). A high ACV product typically has a long sales cycle (months / years).

Tech stack
This refers to the software tools the company uses to improve efficiency. It can include tools to gather data or contact information about prospects (e.g. ZoomInfo), email sequencing and automation (e.g. Outreach, Salesloft, Apollo), sales email assistants (e.g. Lavender), software to send personalized videos (e.g. BombBomb, Vidyard), CRMs (e.g. Salesforce, Hubspot), etc. 

What is Tech Sales vs SaaS Sales vs Software Sales?

It’s all a version of the same thing. Let’s break it down.

Tech Sales – You might think of tech sales as the umbrella that encompasses SaaS sales, software sales and any type of tech sales role, such as selling a technology device.

SaaS Sales – SaaS stands for software-as-a-service, a term that describes renting software instead of purchasing permanent access t. SaaS has become the standard in the software industry, where companies provide access to software and ongoing support to businesses in exchange for a monthly or annual subscription fee. A subscription business model is not required in order for something to be considered SaaS.

Software sales – Technically speaking, software sales could refer to selling software that is not SaaS, but it rarely exists anymore. For all intents and purposes, SaaS sales and software sales are the same thing. If you hear someone say they are in software sales, they are almost certainly selling SaaS.

Learning the “Tech Stack”

Learning how to use software is simple. Don’t let it intimidate you.

When asked, “Have you used [insert name of software the company uses] before?”, the best way to answer is to express confidence that you can pick it up quickly, have used similar types of software in other situations and have studied up on how they function through self-help resources online. There is no reason this question should get you disqualified from the role. It is 100% within your control.

To prep, check out the Tech Stack video library or search for specific software tools on YouTube to get familiar.

Which sales skills are required in the tech industry?

Most hiring managers agree that great tech sales reps possess curiosity, resilience, confidence and humility.

Technology sales is consultative, which means you’ll need to learn how to follow a proven sales process, ask great questions, handle objections and dig deep to understand the problem your prospective clients are trying to solve.

Your role as a technology sales professional is to help potential customers quantify and solve pressing issues impacting their business. Your job is not to sell them a bunch of bells and whistles. This is why consultative sales skills are in such demand in the tech industry.

Tech sales alternatives

Sales isn’t for everyone, and it’s most certainly not the only way to build a meaningful career in tech without learning to code. If you’re looking for an alternative path into the tech industry, consider a career in customer success.

Customer Success Managers can earn great money by proactively helping clients achieve their short and long-term goals. While it is not considered a sales role, there are aspects of customer success that involve selling. A Customer Success Manager existto ensure that the customer reaches their objectives and continues spending money with the company.

If you’re interested in learning more about what a career as a Customer Success Manager or Customer Success Associate can offer you, check out Customer Success Foundations.

The bottom line for how to get into tech sales?

Technology sales can be a lucrative career path and is rewarding in many other ways. The most successful salespeople invest in their personal and professional development, and never stop learning.

You can make it happen for yourself, regardless of your background, but don’t expect an easy road. Whether you have prior sales experience or are just beginning your sales career, landing a job in the industry is competitive.

For those who are ready to put in the work, combat challenges and rise above the rest, tech sales is filled with potential. 

Are you ready to jumpstart your tech sales career?  

Create your free Aspireship account to start learning today!

 Learn more about SaaS Sales Foundations, our flagship tech sales course.

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