Software sales is a fulfilling and lucrative field for aspiring and current salespeople looking to earn high commissions and learn about cutting-edge technology while enjoying the impressive work-life balance often found at tech companies.
Computer-aided design (CAD) software is one of many types of software you can sell, and it is definitely a good choice if you’re interested in design and architecture, as it’s built to help architects, engineers, and designers draft technical documents and visualize design ideas online instead of on paper by hand.
Today we’ll go over what CAD Software Sales Jobs is like as a sales rep. We’ll share how much you can expect to earn, tips for succeeding in the field, some emerging trends, and the best companies to apply to for jobs.
What it’s Like to Work in CAD Software Sales
There are multiple different sales jobs available at CAD software companies, the two main ones being Account Executive and Sales Development Rep, each with different responsibilities.
SDRs focus on finding new leads and making contact with them via cold calls, emails, networking events, or social media. After contact is made, they then attempt to spark interest in the lead using elevator pitches or other methods. From there, they qualify them and pass them to an AE, who takes them through the rest of the sales process, holding demos, negotiating terms, etc.
Regardless of which position you start your CAD sales career in, you can expect there to be a high learning curve, as CAD software is incredibly technical, so much so that it’s quite common to find recent college graduates with engineering degrees working in sales at CAD companies.
Because of the technical nature of the position, there is a strong focus on product training. Managers want their salespeople, not just their Solutions Engineers, to be technically competent and capable of having nuanced conversations with potential buyers.
As for the decision-makers at engineering, architecture, and design firms, it will likely be C-Suite executives holding the power to sign the contract. But reps will still speak to plenty of end-users during discovery sessions, calls, and presentations.
CAD Software Sales Compensation
The average earnings for a software salesperson in the United States is $125,218 per year. That number is made up of 86k in base salary and 39k in commissions.
We couldn’t find any data for how much CAD software salespeople, in particular, earn on average, but we did do some research into what reps are earning at different CAD vendors:
- Autodesk: Account Execs at Autodesk average around $127,000 annually, and Account Managers bring home about $157,000 per year.
- PTC: Sales reps here earn an average of about 132,000 per year. $98,000 of that is base salary, the rest is commission.
- Siemens: Account Executives earn around $114,000 per year. Business Development Managers bring in $156,000 per year on average and have a high base pay of 136k.
It seems that because of the technical acumen necessary to understand and sell these software solutions, companies are willing to pay a high salary for their sales representatives. And keep in mind, thanks to the commission, your final earnings depend on how well you can sell the product.
Trends in CAD
It’s important to know how CAD software is evolving if you want to impress hiring managers and, later on, your clients with your knowledge. Showing an understanding of the industry inspires not only trust in your clients, but also respect, as they know you’ve taken the time to study your field.
Bringing up a trend or news story in your industry is also one of the best ways to build rapport with a prospective client. The conversation that follows will be the perfect balance of business and personal aspects of life.
Below are some of the most impactful trends in the CAD market:
- Cloud-Based CAD: Cloud technology is becoming more popular in CAD, as it allows people to access the software securely from anywhere, not just the office. Expect this to grow as companies become more comfortable with remote work.
- 3D Printing: 3DCAD is partnering with 3D printer technology so that users can actually print their 3D designs into 3D models. Some 3D printers are actually capable of building apartments already, as displayed in this case of a 3-story apartment in Germany.
- Mobile Access to CAD: Many designers, architects, and engineers are now able to access CAD and its tools and data via their mobile devices thanks to CAD apps offered by the vendor. Their customers can even review the designs on their phones.
- AI-Powered Design: Many CAD tools are using generative design, which uses artificial intelligence to make suggestions to users and speed up the process.
Not only will knowing the trends in your field make you a better salesperson. It will also help you decide whether or not you find the field interesting enough to join. We recommend reading more about CAD software trends and the industry as a whole to make sure it’s something you’ll be excited to talk and think about every weekday.
3 of the Best CAD Software Companies to Work For
There are plenty of CAD software vendors out there looking for salespeople to work for them, and most pay very well. Below are some of the best CAD software companies to work for in terms of their pay, benefits, and working conditions.
PTC is a software company based out of Boston, MA that offers a portfolio of CAD software. A huge company, it has 80 offices across 30 countries and is often looking for new sales talent, which they reward with high pay. In fact, the average earnings of these sales representatives is 132,000 per year.
The company has a 4/5 rating as a place to work on Glassdoor. Out of the 2,000+ reviews left by current and former employees, 81% say they would recommend working there to a friend, and 84% approve of the CEO.
Many past and current employees say they enjoyed the ability to work from home as well as the stress on a good work-life balance.
Autodesk is a multinational computer software company that sells 3D CAD software and other products to engineering, construction, architecture, and manufacturing companies. Its design software, AutoCAD, is one of the most widely used and known in the market.
As for pay, their salespeople are compensated well for their work, with Account Execs at Autodesk averaging around $127,000 annually and Account Managers, in charge of post-sale customer management, bringing home about $157,000 per year.
People also love to work there. 88% of Glassdoor reviewers say they’d tell a friend to work there and 94% approve of the CEO. Many employees cite the benefits and work-life balance as both being exceptional. One employee even mentioned that after 4 years of working there you’re awarded a 6-week sabbatical.
Overall, the company earns a solid 4.3/5 place of work rating and is a great place to begin your career in CAD software sales.
Siemens is a large multinational conglomerate that sells SolidEdge, a 3D CAD software, that helps manufacturers and engineers design their products.
Account Executives here take home around $114,000 per year, and Business Development Managers, the more big-picture strategic salespeople, bring in around $156,000 per year on average and have impressive base salaries of 136k annually.
Based on over 16,000 reviews on Glassdoor, the company has a 4.1/5 rating as a place to work, with 84% of reviewers saying they’d recommend working at Siemens to a friend. Many claims that the benefits, people, and vacation time are top-notch, and that a work/life balance is a priority for upper management. Landing a sales job here would certainly be a promising start for the new CAD software salesperson.
Is CAD Software Sales Right for You?
With so many types of software out there, it can be difficult to decide which type you want to sell. A job in CAD software sales can certainly be a great option for those with an interest in the product, housing, and structural design and creation.
But it’s important to read up on other software industries before making the decision. For instance, you might find supply chain or healthcare software more fascinating.
For further investigation into the many options available to you, head over to the Sales Trax job board and look over some open job postings for sales tech positions. For all you know, the perfect fit could be waiting there for at this very moment.