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It’s not uncommon to make over $70,000 in a tech sales position as your first job. However, making close to $1m is challenging but not impossible.
We’ve written about the incredible sums of money you can make as a salesperson in the enterprise-tech industry.
“Salesperson” is ranked as one of the most in-demand jobs worldwide on LinkedIn.
Whatever route you take, a career in the technology industry is fulfilling, fascinating, and full of opportunity.
And yet many people without a technical background never consider a career in tech.
Let us share a little secret: not only are there non-technical roles at tech companies – they make up the majority of the jobs out there!
What Are Direct Sales Software Companies?
When you think of sales, the first thing that springs to mind is the typical sleazy, pushy salesperson that pushes people into buying stuff they don’t need.
But nothing could be further from the truth.
Today, tech sales are all about getting to know your customer, building a relationship, and helping them solve their problems.
The new generation of tech sales professionals are intellectually curious, driven not exclusively by money, but out of a passion and a desire to solve meaningful problems.
If you’re looking for industry opportunities, you’ll struggle to find more options than a career in tech sales.
The industry spans various sectors, including computer software, IT, BioTech, EdTech, FoodTech, GreenTech, Fintech, CleanTech, etc.
Once you have the soft skills to sell technical products and work with clients, you can transfer these sales skills into any technology sector.
Furthermore, the industry almost reached $4.29 trillion in 2020, has global opportunities, and thousands of tech start-ups every year in the U.S. alone.
Fulfilling, Interesting Work
Eventually, everyone wants more out of their job than just good money. Having a job that interests and stimulates you is key. A career in tech sales can be fascinating.
You get to meet and work with smart people, solve meaningful, interesting challenges and develop skills that can be useful for a lifetime.
It doesn’t matter what job you decide to pursue – you’ll need excellent communication skills to succeed and work with people.
For example, a tech sales career offers employees the chance to grow their communication skills. You’ll sell products and services to businesses and customers.
In turn, you’ll learn how to communicate with people.
Where you choose to work determines how much you’ll make as a software sales representative.
According to ZipRecruiter’s data, software sales reps in San Mateo, CA, earn the highest salaries at $77,433/year.
Tech capitals like San Francisco, Austin, and NYC often offer the highest earning potential.
What Do Salespeople Do?
Salespeople are the engine of the world economy. You can design, build, service, and support the product. Without them, there are zero products.
But if you don’t have the salespeople to promote the product’s benefits and value – you’ll never see the product on the market.
Salespeople can build their careers on their ideal lifestyles and individual interests. Salespeople can also improve the world by promoting products that add value to people’s lives.
If you’re an independent, strategic, confident, motivated, and knowledgeable individual, you’ll succeed in a sales career.
Many of the world’s best business leaders have tremendous negotiation skills. It’s a skill that you’ll learn in tech sales, and it’s a skill that you can transfer to any industry or role.
Moreover, if you start your own business, these skills will prove invaluable.
Average Base Salary In Tech Sales
Few careers in today’s society allow someone an opportunity to make $1m in a given year. Software sales are one of the few exceptions.
Nearly anyone can start down a software sales path without specialized education or exceptional natural abilities.
Tech sales is one of the most financially lucrative career paths in tech, especially because of the high commissions paid if you hit your quotas.
Salaries vary greatly depending on your city and company.
The average sales salary in the United States is $54,550 per year, which will grow with experience and commission.
In addition, you’ll also get heaps of prizes, trips, rewards, and annual bonuses.
There’s a reason, however, for the high pay. It’s a tough life, where you can be on the road a lot, and your job is only as secure as your last quarter.
But for those who have the knack for it, it’s a great living, even if you aren’t among that vaunted top 10% of sellers, according to job-hunting site Glassdoor.
The USA represents 33% of the world’s technology market.
The pandemic caused 76% of companies to create long-term IT changes within their business, providing enormous opportunities for people in tech sales.
Plus, if you’re a new graduate, you can enjoy excellent salaries in a tech sales career.
Tech sales offer a competitive starting salary and the opportunity to truly learn about the business world.
The average salary in technology sales is $76,000 per year, which will increase as you grow into your career.
It’s possible to get to six figures as a graduate within three years, and if you work for some of the biggest technology companies, it’s possible to make seven figures per year.
To close deal sizes that justify seven-figure commission checks, your firm needs to be delivering value worthy of new transactions greater than $1m/year.
Your firm should provide a solution that is differentiated, proven to be successful for other firms, and solve big expensive problems for the customer.
The secret behind these incomes is the margin. The massive margins attained by direct-sales software companies encourage aggressive compensation models. The math is simple.
If tech sales reps earn 300% of their $2m quotas, it will deliver at least $3m in extra profit for their firm. There is plenty of room for commission pay-outs in this model.
Making $1m as a sales rep is an extremely rare feat.
At a large firm like Salesforce or Microsoft, fewer than 0.2% of the sales team achieve this milestone each year. Even more rare are the people who hit this milestone more than once.
Because of commission, the more you put into this job, the more money you make.
The beautiful thing about working in software sales is that your skill, and effort at least partially determine your pay, and time invested.
This self-determination is often not found in other jobs where you’re confined to earning your base salary no matter how hard and smart you work.
Once you have enough sales experience as a software sales rep, you can also take advantage of this particular career’s potential.
Overall, at top-paying enterprise software companies like Oracle, SAP, HP, Microsoft, and IBM, the “top 20 percenters” — the 20% of salespeople in the company who consistently sell the most — make $250,000 to $350,000 a year.
What Is Commission?
This is a percentage of the revenue you close. A common number is 10% of the revenue you close.
Most companies offer kickers too, where the commission rate increases exponentially as you go higher above quota.
At 110% percent of quota, you might earn 12% of the revenue closed on the deal.
How Much Money Can Someone Make Selling Enterprise Software?
There's A Huge Demand
Few sales positions are more lucrative than tech.
As the tech industry grows, companies need more and more customer-facing roles that liaise with customers and translate their products into revenue.
Salesforce is a company from the new generation of tech. Their cloud-based software company aids clients with their customer relationship management.
With Salesforce, companies are better able to store data, develop and access customer and potential customer data, track all progress and predict future results.
This company is an excellent example of the increased demand for sales.
Microsoft is not the giant it used to be, but they are still making big moves. Their recent release of high-end laptops has put them in solid competition with Mac.
They focus less on the sales of their operating systems and have begun to focus on hardware which seems to be working out great for them.
Only about 25% of its quarterly revenue comes from software now.
Focus On Enterprise Software Sales
While it may be possible to earn $1m selling to small businesses, the number of transactions to justify a $1m payout would be (nearly) impossible.
Enterprise deal sizes are most typically required. Enterprise firms have large budgets to solve large problems.
Enterprise firms have large budgets to solve large problems.
The downside is that you need to navigate byzantine budgeting and political environments, making timelines challenging to accelerate.
Further, enterprise roles are precarious in terms of job stability if they don’t deliver.
Don’t attempt enterprise until you are skilled enough to deliver, or have amazing coaches that can help you ramp into that business.
Additional High Paying Jobs
Tech sales teams usually have well-defined roles with distinct responsibilities along the sales process.
And, if you’re an experienced sales rep from a different industry looking for a change, the sky’s the limit in SaaS sales.
In addition to tech sales, other high paying sales jobs include:
Inside sales rep
Do Salespeople Need College Degrees?
You don’t need a degree or a specific background. Good salespeople come from diverse backgrounds, and companies know it.
Rather than a degree, companies look for soft skills such as resilience, a continuous learning mindset, and passion and drive to succeed.
There are no strict formal criteria you need to meet to work as a tech sales professional.
Hop-On The Kennected Train
Want a solid lead generation plan? Kennected offers a series of solutions focused on building relationships with key decision-makers to achieve this feat.
Kennected used this process to earn the Two Comma Club Award (for earning $1,000,000) in less than seven months, and a spot on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing companies in America.
Moreover, we helped over 17,000 customers fill their sales pipelines with qualified leads and increase revenue.
Our LinkedIn lead generation services can help you take your LinkedIn marketing to the next level.
For more information on how to use this LinkedIn Sales Funnel and Kennected to fill your sales pipeline with qualified leads in less than 10 minutes per day, schedule a free strategy session here.
And be sure to check out our latest posts on all things sales-related.