How to Become
an IT Sales Professional
Education Pathways, Skills, and Certifications
There are different kinds of sales professionals, and each requires unique skills. If you’re interested in information technology, check out this guide on how to become an IT sales professional. Build on your strengths and equip yourself to excel in this sales role.
What Is an IT Sales Professional?
An IT sales professional sells information technology products to businesses and organizations. These typically include hardware and software that a client might need to improve processes.
You can think of an IT sales professional as a regular sales manager, but the difference lies in the product being sold. Aside from making the sales, an IT sales professional is also expected to provide additional client care afterward.
What Does an IT Sales Professional Do?
IT sales professionals sell different information technology products, but they also deal with customer support. You will be expected to provide personal care to your clients. With this, there are typically three main job duties to being an IT sales professional.
At this stage, your duty is to explain the specifications of the product to potential customers. Make sure to highlight how it could help the processes of the business and suit their needs.
Before entering a commercial sales agreement with your prospective client, you will sometimes negotiate. This can involve the price of the product, what kind of service you can provide after the sale, and how you could further assist the client.
Follows Up with Clients
As part of the agreement, you need to provide support to help the client handle and navigate the hardware or software. You need to guide them until they can independently use the technology.
IT Sales Professional Education Pathways
As an IT sales representative, you need to have some important technical knowledge and sales skills. To achieve this, there are several educational pathways you can take. These can include a college degree, bootcamp, or online course.
IT Sales Professional Degrees
If you want to work as an IT sales professional, it will be ideal to enroll in an IT-related college degree. You can try an associate degree or a Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology. Here, you will learn about coding and IT systems.
The job of an IT sales professional demands that you have an in-depth knowledge of how hardware, software, and systems work. Having finished a degree establishes your credibility. You can later learn sales or business strategy through a master’s degree or other resources.
IT Sales Professional Bootcamps
A coding bootcamp is ideal for professionals who want to learn tech skills but have no time to enroll in a university. This could be ideal if you have finished a sales or business degree but seek a career as an IT sales professional.
Through a coding bootcamp, you can learn how to code, understand information systems, and identify and solve specific technical problems. You could try enrolling in a bootcamp like Flatiron School or Coding Dojo. There are hundreds of coding bootcamps to choose from.
IT Sales Professional Courses
Aside from degrees and coding bootcamps, taking an online certificate course is helpful, too. This course might help you improve your skills in sales or learn more about IT.
For instance, Coursera has a comprehensive list of top sales courses that you could check out. Sites like edX have several IT courses that you might be interested in, ranging from beginner and advanced.
How to Become an IT Sales Professional: A Step-by-Step Guide
To be successful as an IT sales professional, you need to be equipped with skills and knowledge in both information technology and sales. You must also have good people skills to secure client trust and close deals. Read below to learn more about the steps you should take to become an IT sales professional.
Study IT skills
It is important to maintain your knowledge of information technology, especially since you are providing post-sale care to clients. You could be tasked to solve problems that would require you to use your tech skills.
Strengthen your sales skills
A good IT sales professional should also excel in sales. You need to close as many deals as possible so that you could meet your goals or target earnings in the company.
Improve your persuasion skills
Sales professionals must be persuasive in order to convince potential customers to make a purchase. Persuasion is one of the skills that you should use in sales.
Take a certification exam
Having a certificate establishes your status as a professional salesperson. You could take a certification exam for this, though you would have to spend time studying for it.
Get a job in the field
If you want to become an IT sales professional, this is the most important step. You should check job boards in your area or even relocate to a high-paying city.
Top IT Sales Professional Skills
Being equipped with the right skills is one way to ensure your success as an IT sales professional. You should possess these top three skills so that you can continuously perform well.
Having the necessary information technology skills is one way to demonstrate high technical understanding. You need to respond to needs for further assistance on how to use the product. Even during sales pitches, you have to properly explain the technical specifications.
Competitive Sales Skills
Competitive skills involve being able to persuade the client to buy a product from your company. You need to prove that the product could help their processes. Whether it be through personal connections or cold calling, you should be able to convince your target clients.
As with other sales jobs, you might be required to have a driver’s license. You need to be able to drive to and from certain places to bring products or provide service as part of the sales process. You could use a company car or personal car.
IT Sales Professional Salary and Job Outlook
IT sales professionals are included in the category of sales managers and sales representatives. On average, the median salary of a sales manager is $132,290 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
The BLS also states that sales jobs will grow by four percent by 2029. This is slightly higher than the national average. It is important that you continuously improve your skills to move up the ladder or be considered for promotion. This will depend on your performance.
Entry-Level IT Sales Professional Job Requirements
According to Salary.com, an entry-level sales representative salary is $55,871 per year on average. However, the salary range can vary depending on your location or the company you work for.
At the minimum, you should have a Bachelor’s Degree in IT or Marketing to qualify for the job. Additional learnings and skills can be acquired on the job or through bootcamp programs and courses.
How to Prepare for Your IT Sales Professional Job Interview
During the job interview, you need to sell yourself and demonstrate your capability to sell products. If you are able to convince your interviewers right away, then your skills as a sales professional would be easier to establish.
Make sure that you carry yourself with confidence during the interview. It is also important to highlight your knowledge of information technology because it is an important component of the job.
IT Sales Professional Job Interview Practice Questions
Below are some interview questions that you should consider and prepare for.
- What are some of your strategies to meet sales goals?
- Are you skilled in making cold calls?
- Describe how you were able to make your most successful sale.
- Are you prepared to provide post-sale services to your clients?
- How confident are you in your IT knowledge?
IT Sales Professional Certifications
There are no specific IT sales professional certifications. However, you can get a general sales certification instead. The certification programs serve as proof of your competence in the field. Moreover, the refresher course that comes with a certification program can further hone your skill.
Certified Professional Sales Person
The Certified Professional Sales Person (CPSP) certification program is offered by the National Association of Sales Professionals. It takes six weeks to complete the online program, including the exam. You will be more effective as a salesperson as you learn how to close sales and work around doubts about the products.
Certified Sales Leadership Professional
The Certified Sales Leadership Professional (CSLP) is also offered by the National Association of Sales Professionals. This program aims to transform salespeople into full-fledged leaders. If you are aiming to become a manager or take a high-level administrative role, then this is a good choice for you.
Certified Sales Executive
The Certified Sales Executive certification program is offered by Sales and Marketing Executives International. Through this program, you can gain more skills on how to create effective sales and marketing strategies. There will also be some discussions on the current issues faced by sales leaders today and how to navigate them.
How Long Does It Take to Become an IT Sales Professional?
It can take a few months or a few years to become an IT sales professional. If you are naturally good at sales, then you can take short courses or bootcamp programs to improve your skills. These programs usually only take several weeks to finish and complete.
However, a bachelor’s degree in either IT or marketing would also be ideal. You can look up certain universities that offer a double degree or a major-minor degree for both programs. You should choose a degree or certification based on your previous skills and what you need to learn.
Why You Should Become an IT Sales Professional in 2021
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In addition, the freelance sector for SEO specialists is booming. If you want to work for yourself, this career is a good place to do it. It is also a great option for anyone who is looking for a constantly evolving field. With the right courses and practice, you can become an SEO manager in 2021.
IT Sales Professional FAQ
Yes, you need to excel in both sales and information technology to qualify as an IT sales professional. Your sales skills will help market the product, and your IT skills and knowledge can help you explain technological specifications.
As a salesperson, you might need to travel, so you should know how to drive. You should also have excellent communication skills.
The average salary for a sales professional is higher than the general average, especially if you want to enter a higher position. Some companies also offer commission or other bonuses if you meet your sales goal.
While there are no specific certification programs to become an IT sales professional, there are various offerings for sales professionals. If you want to establish your competence and reliability, then you should take an exam and get a certificate.