So you’re trying to land a sales job with no experience. We know you can do it! You’ve got it in you, but do you believe it yourself? That’s the question. That is what makes tech sales so exciting as a career opportunity. You don’t have to be a stereotypical, smooth-talking salesman to succeed in tech sales, and you certainly don’t need to learn code like a software programmer.
The truth is that sales jobs require various skills, and there’s no single type of person who fits the role perfectly. Sales teams drive sales at B2B companies, not necessarily individual talent, although it helps. When you interview for sales positions, the interviewers will try to determine if you’re qualified, yes, but they also want to see how your personality and sales persona might fit with the rest of the team.
We genuinely enjoy helping our students find gainful employment; the challenge is making them actually believe that they can, indeed, land a sales role with no prior experience in the field. At Uvaro, our sales training course lays the groundwork for your new career, but it’s up to you to land your first entry-level sales job.
It’s certainly not a slam dunk, yet we’ve seen plenty of our students earn well-paying entry-level sales jobs without ever working in sales before.So, when the time comes, here’s what we would recommend in order to increase your chances of success of landing that entry-level sales job.
1 – Study-up On The Company
Initially, the first thing you should do should be to study up on the company, and we don’t mean simply look into the company’s history and the founders’ names and where they went to college. Certainly, it helps to get to know the company’s leadership structure and personnel, so you can easily find that information on the company’s website or maybe their LinkedIn page.
Not only that, you want to be able to demonstrate a solid knowledge of what a B2B sales process actually looks like, and that’s where we come in to help at Uvaro! One of the trickiest things you can say during an interview is, “I’m a people person” because an experienced salesperson will absolutely put you to the test and see how much you really do enjoy people saying and doing unexpected things.
The truth is that “people persons” aren’t rare because the ability to speak with grace and socialize effortlessly isn’t something you learn in school. They’re behaviors that you develop over a lifetime as your personality matures, and your character is yours and yours alone. Hence, before you apply for an entry-level position with no experience, you need to be sure that your personality will be a good fit for the company’s culture.
If your natural personality is very measured and analytical, rather than talkative and chatty, try to apply for a sales job where those qualities will pay the most dividends. Even if you’re an even-keeled, quiet kind of person who doesn’t get rattled easily, that’s an asset in the sales field, not a liability!
2 – Highlight Transferable Skills
Along those lines, it’s also a great idea to try to find which of your skills are transferable to your new job role. Don’t automatically discount your old work experience just because your job title never had the words sales in it. There are plenty of jobs that require salesmanship; you just may not have realized it at the time.
Essentially, any job where you interact with the general public and satisfy their wants and needs will be incredibly useful. You want to display a knowledge of what motivates consumers and demonstrate an ability to adjust when people don’t react the way you expect them to respond.
That’s why the “people person” line rings so hollow in the sales field. It’s a cliché that’s lost all meaning. Simply because, in reality, the ability to speak well and make friends is not rare. It’s not a skill to have a personality trait. Instead, you want to stress that you have experience building and nurturing relationships in a business context.
3 – Rehearse, Rehearse, Rehearse!
One of the oldest tricks in the book during a sales interview is to ask applicants, “sell this [insert any object around] to me,” sit back and watch them squirm. The old-school way was to ask someone to sell you on an ink pen, but how many of us actually use pens anymore?
Besides, the general idea is to suddenly put you on the spot and see how you’re going to react. Whether or not we’re purchasing a product, we display automatic, unconscious reactions. Demonstrating knowledge of that fact is key to landing a sales job with no prior experience in the field.
So, one way to prepare ahead of time is to think of moments when you sold someone on something they didn’t really want to buy at the time, but they did anyway. You can’t rely on a sales experience where a customer walked into a retail store and told you what they wanted and walked away satisfied. That doesn’t count. Nice try!
Instead, try to find experiences when you up-sold a customer on something that they ultimately enjoyed. For instance, if you worked in restaurants and up-selling has become second nature to you, make that clear in your interview. Sure, to you, it may seem like you only sold a few extra desserts every now and then, but to an interviewer, it demonstrates that you paid attention long enough to squeeze out every last opportunity to make a sale.
4 – Show You’re Open To Learning
Another way to work around the lack of sales experience is to show your potential employer that you’re there to learn as well. No one enters a sales team with everything they need to know on day one. You’ll go through an onboarding process, sales training, product training, get put on the spot as the new guy, and then you might get thrown right into the fire.
But one of the worst things you can do is display an aura of arrogance and over-confidence. Entry-level salespersons who don’t approach this field with humility learn the hard way why it’s best never to stop learning and always stay humble, especially when it comes to tech sales.
When you contact a prospect in the tech industry, you need to display an air of confidence and expertise. That positioning requires that you master the product you’ll be selling, so try to show an interviewer moment when you learned something very unique and specific.
Without a doubt, the most successful salespersons know the product or service they sell backward and forwards. You never want to get caught off guard by a technical question, and you certainly never, ever, lie when you don’t know the answer. If a prospect asks you something out of your league, don’t make stuff up! Tell me that you don’t know, but you can find out quickly – and move on to the next point of business.
5 – Research Industry Lingo
Lastly, researching industry vocabulary is another way to show that you’re ready for an entry-level sales job. Today, the tech industry is vast and still expanding exponentially, creating micro-communities of software developers, technicians, and yes, salespersons!
Each one of these communities has its own jargon and sometimes social mores too. For instance, you’ll never find a software developer who doesn’t have at least one GitHub profile. Likewise, it’s hard to come across a salesperson who hasn’t scoured LinkedIn for leads.
Along those lines, if you end up working for a cybersecurity startup targeting the educational institution market, you need to know what it truly means to be a black hat hacker. You’d need to know that the most dangerous hackers on the planet don’t wear black hoodies and play video games until dawn. Instead, they wear three-piece suits and literally wake up pondering ways to implant ransomware. The idea is to demonstrate that you understand the market’s needs and the degree of challenges it’s facing in the near future.
Prepare better with Uvaro
At Uvaro, we strive to give you all of the skills – and confidence – you need to land an entry-level sales job, regardless of whether or not you have prior experience. Sometimes, showing a company that you’re hungry to succeed and eager to learn will suffice beautifully to land you a career in sales you didn’t see coming.
Contact us today and speak with an administrator to learn more about what our tech sales training has to offer you! Finding a sales job with no experience is something Uvaro can absolutely help you with.