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Although rare in tech sales, making $1m is possible if you know the technology of your product, how it fits into the technology landscape, and how to tie it to tangible business results.
Software sales is a bizarre world. Few careers in today’s society allow someone an opportunity to make $1m in one 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.
However, not everyone can make $1m in sales. Several factors can impact if a sales rep makes the big bucks or not, like the company, industry, and solution you’re selling.
Whether it’s direct sales, channel sales, sales management, or tech sales, how can someone make it big?
How Do Salespeople Make Money?
Companies pay salespeople a base salary plus commission, and the commission structure can be complicated.
Their compensation plans allow a mix of commission and salary.
A true enterprise software sales rep sells software to large F500-level companies. Depending on your level, the average deal size is between $100k and tens of millions.
An enterprise software salesperson will have a quota, and it’s “cha-ching!” However, if they miss the quota, especially regularly, they risk losing their position.
You need to close deals worth thousands of dollars in commissions, and the lower the commissions, the more volume you need to be doing.
This might sound like it’s common sense, but understanding these concepts, especially early in your career, can mean the difference in lifetime earnings.
How Can You Become A Sales Rep?
A software sales representative recognizes the consumer’s needs and provides detailed information to the consumer about the technical specifications of the computer software offered by the company.
To be a software sales rep, you’ll want to make sure you can work flexible hours, know the software you’re selling, have great communication skills, build rapport during any call, and have strategic prospecting skills.
As long as you’re achieving your quota, managers generally don’t mind how you do it, how many hours you work each day, or whether you collect the kids after school.
They expect results, and your hard work is a given
Negotiations In Software Sales
As a sales rep, you want to ensure plenty of room for each layer of negotiators to extract their pound of flesh.
But maintain a high price for as long as possible.
Strong negotiation positions happen through a valuable financial business case, a compelling event that drives customer timing, solution differentiation, and friendly relationships with all stakeholders.
You need great exec relationships at your firm to ensure they help you sell your project, provide pursuit feedback, and approve non-standard terms or product enhancements.
Risky Job Stability
Enterprise roles can be risky in job stability if you 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.
What Is Recurring/Residual Revenue?
Recurring or residual revenue is when you make money from a customer repeatedly, instead of just once at the time of the sale.
If you build up enough of these recurring customers over time, you can make quite a lot of money.
Some industries with recurring and residual income are insurance, recruiting, medical supply sales, and even software.
It’s not a get-rich-quick scheme, but it can pay great dividends if you stick with it long enough.
You can make a lot of money if you’re a top sales manager in certain organizations. Sometimes sales managers make less money than salespeople, but the opposite can also be true.
Many sales managers make small fortunes because they get a percentage of every deal their salespeople close.
These positions are, of course, incredibly demanding and not easy to land.
Still, high-achievers who lead sales teams for aggressive, growing businesses can find themselves making a seven-figure income.
Although the software company has a base salary that can range over $300,000, Microsoft is not what it once was.
However, their recent push to release high-level laptops has put them in competition with Mac.
Salesforce.com 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 a great example of the increased demand for sales.
The national average salary for a sales rep at Salesforce racks over $80,000.
EMC’s base salary averages over $105,000. The company specializes in large-scale data storage systems and software for businesses and corporations.
Like CA Inc, their older hardware is losing demand in the market. A large business understands the need to provide innovations, and that’s what they’re trying to do.
CA Inc is still relevant despite its declining demand. As of right now, there haven’t been any major moves to adapt, yet they are still dominant in their salaries in sales.
This could signal a greater need for talent in the sales department or reward for the constant success of the department.
CA Inc is a huge name in the industry and, despite its age, will continue to hold a powerful part of the market.
Real Estate Sales
Another large sales specialization that offers the potential for a high income is that of real estate sales.
Several hundred thousand people work in this field, but many are part-timers who do not put in 40 hours a week.
If you simply work full-time in real estate and put in a good effort, you already have a big advantage over many other salespeople in this field.
Which U.S. Cities Pay The Most For Sales Jobs?
What Is Ad Serving?
This special form of advertising places ads in front of you based on your current content and location (ad serving comes from your general location).
Personalized content and ads can also include video recommendations, a customized YouTube homepage, and tailored ads based on past activity, like the videos you watch and the things you search for on YouTube.
How Can You Make $1M In Tech Sales?
Accept what you can’t change, and immediately adjust your deal strategy. Don’t give up. If you have championed along the way, big deals can come back and close.
You must have your sales skills at an elite level of discovery, exec relationship development, and product/industry knowledge.
If you don’t have those skills developed, ensure you build that foundation before you look to make a play for your first $1M a year.
Almost every sales-driven SaaS company, maybe after $40m or $50m in ARR, and sometimes earlier, has their first sales rep that makes $1m.
Remember, plenty of equally talented and hard-working people earn vastly different amounts of money for the same efforts, simply by choosing to sell different products or services.
Spending time upfront researching which industries pay well can go significantly further than jumping at the first opportunity.
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.