How to Become an
IT Sales Professional
Best Education Tracks, Key Skills, and Top Certifications
If you possess the technical know-how, you can create a niche in sales for yourself as an IT sales professional. This career allows you to showcase your sales talent and explore your love for information technology.
Overall, information technology accounts for a considerable percentage of the United States economy. Formal and informal business sectors rely on IT to retrieve, protect, and store data. The demand for IT services means that the industry holds a lot of career opportunities. Read on to discover how to become an IT sales professional.
What Is an IT Sales Professional?
An IT sales professional is someone who facilitates the sale of software, hardware, and other communication technology. The salesperson often visits a company to evaluate the hardware and software. They also advise clients on the best upgrades for company equipment based on their business needs.
You need to identify your client’s needs, provide detailed information on products, answer any questions, and guide them to the right solution. The role requires excellent marketing skills.
What Type of School Should You Attend
to Become an IT Sales Professional?
You don’t need a specific degree or qualification to fit into this role. Even with a high school diploma, you can secure a job in IT sales. While a relevant degree isn’t required, many employers favor those with a bachelor’s degree in a technical field.
Whether you attend a college or university, ensuring that you have a strong grasp of IT and marketing strategies is necessary to pursue a career as an IT sales professional.
Best IT Sales Professional Education Tracks
Technology sales professionals can come from different educational backgrounds. Some have qualifications in information technology or computer science, while others pursue courses in business management. As long as your education involves IT, you can qualify for the IT sales position.
Below are the different education options that can help you get a job as an IT sales professional.
Community colleges offer two-year associate degrees in various IT-related fields. You can pursue an Associate Degree in Business and Information Technology, Associate Degree in Computer Science, or any other technical degree. Some employers look for employees with a bachelor’s degree, but an associate degree is enough to get you through the door.
Community colleges integrate practical and theoretical knowledge, but you can also consider attending a four-year bachelor’s program at a university. In most cases, you can transfer your credits over.
IT Sales Professional Degrees
A bachelor’s degree increases your chances of becoming a high-ranking IT sales professional. You’ll spend four years learning from IT industry professionals and other business experts to prepare for the role. The degree equips you with the skills to market IT hardware and software.
You can pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Information Technology or other similar majors. Most colleges also offer business, marketing, finance, and communication courses.
IT Sales Professional Bootcamps
Coding bootcamps are still relatively new, but they’re an alternative to traditional education for students pursuing a career in IT sales. Bootcamps are intense and short-term. You can find boot camps that focus on skills like coding and others that focus on sales. Upon graduation, you’ll be eligible for an entry-level role as an IT salesperson.
Coding bootcamps last for three to 12 months. It all depends on whether you’re a part-time or full-time student. You can also receive guidance on job placements. Employers pay extra attention to candidates who have boot camp certificates.
IT Sales Professional Courses
To have an excellent IT sales career, you can also pursue specific online courses to improve your marketing skills. You can learn how to negotiate, build trust, and offer your clients the best IT services. You can also save money by finding free online courses from providers like Udemy and edX.
How to Become an IT Sales Professional: A Step-by-Step Guide
Joining the IT industry as a sales professional is fairly straightforward. Candidates can use several entry points, from coding boot camps to college education. However, to qualify as an IT sales professional, you should follow these basic steps.
Get a proper education
Education is essential in IT sales. Find the track from the list above that suits you best. University can be expensive, but boot camps and online courses can offer effective alternatives to traditional education. Coding boot camps offer the most hands-on experience and look good on your resume.
Find an internship
An internship is the best way to receive firsthand professional experience. You get an opportunity to explore your career path and refine your skills. You can apply for internships at tech companies on your own, and many universities and coding boot camps offer free internship placements.
Create a resume
Resumes are integral in helping you secure a job. You’ll want to create a compelling resume stating your achievements and work experience. You can also consider hiring a professional agency to boost your resume and increase your chances of landing your dream job.
Apply for jobs
After graduating from your institute of choice, you’ll have a certificate or degree and a work portfolio. Since you are specializing in IT, send out applications to as many tech companies as possible. Whether you apply for entry-level jobs or higher-up sales positions depends on your education level and qualifications.
Certifications enhance your professional credibility and career portfolio. Clients are more likely to close a deal if the IT sales professional has proper accreditation. There are various certification platforms online where you can obtain suitable certifications in IT and sales.
Key IT Sales Professional Skills
As an IT sales professional, you’ll need skills in IT and marketing. This can ensure that customers have accurate information and the right products. Below are some essential skills for an IT sales professional.
The number one skill for an IT sales professional is product knowledge. You can’t approach potential customers without adequate knowledge. Extensive product knowledge can separate you from other IT salespeople.
Technology evolves every day, which means you should be constantly learning for your sales job. Always take time to stay up-to-date with the newest software, hardware, and other IT essentials.
The client’s needs should always come first. Creating a good rapport with the client is the first step to closing a deal. Always strive to listen actively and offer fitting solutions to their problems. Maintaining good communication involves focusing on your one-on-one meetings and follow-up queries to confirm progress.
Business Communication and Presentation
As an IT sales professional, you’ll likely hold pitch meetings and give presentations. The sole purpose of your role is to win clients over. It’s important to hone your skills in proposal writing, memos, phone calls, and PowerPoint presentations.
You should be confident and assertive to create an impact with your brand. There are several online courses to help you perfect your communication and business skills.
Conflicts are inevitable in sales. Sometimes clients can be dissatisfied, or partnerships don’t go according to plan. You should learn how to manage conflict and uphold your brand image. Employers look for people who offer solutions and spin conflict to their advantage.
IT Sales Professional Salary and Job Outlook
According to Glassdoor, an IT sales professional average salary is $49,816. However, this number can rise depending on your experience, qualifications, and certifications. It also depends on which product you’re selling.
The Bureau of Labor and Statistics reports that information technology job opportunities will grow by 11 percent by 2029. This job outlook is much higher than the national average.
Entry-Level IT Sales Professional Job Requirements
If you have some IT or sales experience, you can become an entry-level sales professional without formal training. You can ace a job interview and secure an entry-level job to help you move up in the field. Although lower-level salespeople rarely get to meet with clients in person, this is the best way to get experience for a manager role later.
What Does an IT Sales Professional Do?
IT sales professionals facilitate the sale of hardware, software, and other IT products to private and commercial clients. If you are in sales management, you will also be in charge of a sales team. Read below to learn more about IT sales professional responsibilities.
Teaches Clients About Products
Pre-sales is where you introduce your products and services to the client. IT sales professionals give detailed information on all hardware and software. You’ll explain the technical specifications of your product and explain why making these changes is essential. Once the client accepts your pitch, you move to the next step.
Making a sale involves closing the deal with your client. Negotiations and signing contract agreements also happen at this stage. You deliver products and walk the client through the specifications and functions.
Provides Post-Sale Support
Post-sales, or after-sale care, is essential for anyone who wants to create solid business relationships. You will conduct follow-ups and offer technical support to help the client understand your hardware or software. Most IT sales roles come with employee training, so you’ll learn some communication skills on the job.
IT Sales Professional Certifications
Certification is not compulsory for an IT sales professional, but it can improve your credibility and salary. Below are some of the certifications you can get as an IT sales professional.
Certified Professional Sales Person Certification
The CPSP program is offered by the National Association of Sales Professionals. CEOs, business owners, sales executives, and other sales professionals can benefit from this program. You learn how to pitch your work, negotiate, integrate customer-centric communication, and utilize modern trends.
The ITIL certification from AXELOS can make you a desirable employee. The program covers different aspects of the ITIL framework and the best practices for IT management. The accreditation also aligns your skills with global ITSM standards, which makes you more credible. The foundation level is perfect for IT sales professionals.
How to Prepare for Your IT Sales Professional Job Interview
If you’re well-prepared, it only takes minutes for you to ace your interview. Make sure you research the company, prepare an IT sales pitch, and narrow down your outstanding skills. You should also research the company’s products to believe in what you’re selling. Practicing job interview questions can make you feel more comfortable.
IT Sales Professional Job Interview Practice Questions
- Are you consistent with meeting your IT sales goals?
- Let’s pretend there are no IT specialists in the room. How would you pitch a product to us?
- Can you describe a few IT terminologies to sell us a product?
- What strengths should an IT sales professional possess?
- How do you create lasting work relationships with your clients?
- How do you ensure your sales pitch aligns with current technological advances?
How Long Does It Take to Become an IT Sales Professional?
Depending on your education track, it can take between three months and four years to become an IT sales professional. If you want an entry-level role, you can complete a boot camp and certifications in a shorter amount of time. However, if you wish to acquire more skills, you can take the longer route by attending a community college or university.
Should You Become an IT Sales Professional in 2021?
Yes, you should become an IT sales professional in 2021. Technology is always a good field to get into as the world continues to expand its use of software and IT. Most, if not all, companies can benefit from new IT products. IT sales professionals can help bridge the gap.
IT Sales Professional FAQ
Do I need a Bachelor’s Degree in Business and Information Technology to become an IT sales professional?
No. You don’t need a bachelor’s degree to qualify as an IT sales professional. You can transition into the role with a coding boot camp certificate. However, higher qualifications may be more desirable to employers.
Are online sales courses a necessity?
Although IT knowledge drives the sale process, you still need to acquire vital marketing skills. You can enroll in a business college or undertake several online courses to hone your sales skills.
What skills do you need to become an IT sales professional?
You need to combine several technical and sales skills. The mandatory skills include product knowledge, negotiation skills, presentation skills, and computer programming skills.
Do I need a high school diploma?
Luckily, you can take short online courses without any educational experience. You don’t need a high school diploma to pursue your dream career. However, a potential employer may ask you about your educational background.