Looking to get into software sales? There’s no better time than the present. Software companies are sprouting all over the place, serving industries from finance and real estate to agriculture and law. Besides the ability to earn well over $100,000/yr, here are 5 reasons why you might want to consider working in software sales.
1. Improve Your Problem Solving Skills
In software sales, you are usually selling a product with a lot of different features and functionalities. And you are also speaking with clients who have a lot of different problems and pain points, which you have to figure out how to solve using your piece of software. You have to match the correct functionality with the pain points.
As you think up and share ways in which certain features can solve your client’s specific problem, you are training your problem-solving skills.
Software sales can be more complicated than selling other services or products, where the problems of your buyers are more homogeneous and concrete. For example, if you sell a piece of industrial equipment, most of your clients are coming to you for the same reason, and they understand how your equipment will solve that problem.
However, if you sell a customer relationship management software like Salesforce, your clients could want many things:
- I want to track my sales activity more effectively.
- I want to create better sales forecasts.
- I want to increase the effectiveness of my marketing campaigns.
- I want to see my sales reps’ every move!
- I just want MORE sales!!!
In SaaS sales, you have to be ready for whatever comes your way, and knowledgeable enough about your product to retrieve the right features that will satisfy their needs. By doing this over and over again, you cultivate a flexible mind.
These problem-solving skills will not only help you in your software sales job but will also help you move up in your career. Employers want employees who can handle difficult and unexpected situations.
2. Enhance Your Communication Skills
If you can articulate your thoughts in a clear and concise manner, doors of opportunity will open for you. A sharp tongue has always been more powerful than a sword. Whether you are selling software, pitching your idea to a venture capitalist, persuading a politician to enact your policy, or explaining yourself to your spouse, solid communication skills help you win.
And what better way to improve these skills than by explaining complicated technology in easy-to-understand ways? In software sales, you will have to do things like explain automated workflow technology or business intelligence systems to someone who still prints out their directions. Alright, not always. Some buyers will be tech-savvy, but that doesn’t mean they will easily understand the complexities of your specific tool.
Not to mention, through your sales career you will become a better listener — the other half of communication skills. You will constantly have to pick up on subtle needs or underlying objections that your prospects hint at but don’t say directly.
Equipped with a sensitive ear and a sharp tongue you will have ease getting wherever you are trying to go in life.
3. High Earning Potential
Software sales is one of the highest paying sales jobs out there. That’s because there is a high demand for reps who can bring in money. So if you are good at sales, your earning potential is very high. Yeah, a finance job might pay you $80,000/year. But, that’s the limit. In sales, there is no limit — unless your manager caps commissions, oxf course.
The average base salary for a software sales rep in the United States is $77,807 a year. That excludes commissions, which can easily boost your earnings past $100,000.
Also, depending on the company, you can find even higher base salaries.
Furthermore, your title dictates how much you can make. But even at the entry-level position, sales development representative (SDR), you can expect an average base salary of $48,158/year, plus commission, which on average will be between 10k and 26k. Around $70,000 is great for a first-time software sales rep.
The next step up is usually Account Executive. They average $65,489/year base salary, with higher commission potential than SDRs.
Of course, as with any sales job, your income is partially determined by your ability to bring in sales. And in this industry, because of the recurring revenue model, companies have quite generous commission plans.
4. Tech Companies Treat Their Employees Well
Most software companies will have access to a beer-stocked fridge, a ping pong table, and a pantry filled with snacks. These amenities are certainly nice to have.
But what’s even nicer are the generous healthcare and perks packages that software companies offer to their employees. Most of these companies pride themselves on taking care of their employees. They have to. It’s the culture of the industry, and if they don’t follow suit, their top-performers might jump ship to another company that has an in-office masseuse or something that’s as equally enticing as free massages.
Besides the wonderful perks and benefits, software companies also provide a fun work environment. They prioritize building a tight-knit group. They want their employees to have friends at the office because they know it will improve retention and productivity.
So, if you work in software sales, you can expect a lot of fun outings, whether it’s to a baseball game, a happy hour, or a karaoke night, where you can record your manager singing “It’s Raining Men”, and thereby gain some leverage in your future promotion and salary negotiations.
Speaking of promotions:
5. Quick Upward Mobility
If you do well in software sales and consistently meet your quota, you can expect a quick promotion to the next level, whether that’s Account Executive or Enterprise Account Executive.
Sales keep the company fed, so upper management wants their most skilled reps out there working their biggest accounts. Execs know they can fill the position you leave behind with a new SDR or Account Executive since so many people want to work in software sales.
Besides moving upwards quickly, most software sales reps have opportunities to move diagonally in the company. Perhaps they want to try their hand at sales management instead of direct selling. Or maybe they want to be in account management instead of closing. In software sales, if you perform, you have plenty of options. Your managers won’t want to lose you.
Why Work in Software Sales?
Software Sales is Growing
The demand for effective software sales reps continues to grow. So, it’s a better time than ever to land a job at a software company. You might join just before sales explode, which would necessitate promoting you to Account Executive quickly to handle all of the new leads. Or, you might get lucky and join a company with plans to IPO next year, meaning stock options for you.
If you need any information about software sales jobs, check out our resources library at Sales Trax.