TECH

SALES

DVTI supports the development of tech sales curricula to be taught at the community college level.

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Sales training in the Diablo Valley

Although technology sales is a lucrative and high-demand position, there continues to be a lack of formal training options in academic institutions. While entry-level engineering positions have computer science and electrical engineering programs to recruit from, there is no typical track for tech sales professionals. DVTI would like to introduce an academic sales certificate tailored for people interested in preparing for an exciting career in tech sales. 

The best sales reps have an academic approach to their profession. They are students of social science and have studied sales frameworks and tempos and know how to assess and qualify their prospects. This is a skill that is usually taught by an experienced sales manager. It can -- and should -- also be taught in the classroom. 

Technical sales representatives typically follow this career progression:

  • Sales development representative (SDR): qualify leads

  • Inside sales representative: reach out to new leads

  • Account executive: close deals

  • Senior account executive: close the largest deals

  • Director of Sales: manage a team of SDRs

  • VP of Sales: manage the sales department

  • Chief Revenue Officer: manage both sales and marketing departments

Tech sales can be extremely lucrative. A typical SDR will make somewhere around minimum wage before a bonus that might be up to 25% of their base salary. However, an account executive will usually have a quota, which, if met, will pay out at 100% of base salary. If quota is exceeded, then they typically will see an accelerated bonus that will push earnings over $100,000.

 

A top performing account executive can earn several hundred thousand dollars annually and the total compensation for sales managers can also be in this range, pending team performance. Such high compensation is not guaranteed, though, and a good foundation in sales theory and practice is required.

 

A community college sales program might include these topics:

 

  • Prospecting methods

  • Features versus benefits

  • BANT methodology 

  • CRM review

  • Data hygiene

  • Excel fundamentals

  • Business writing

  • Cold email templates

  • Phone etiquette 

  • Technology fundamentals

Of course, selling in a technology company is a lot easier with an understanding of how computers and internet works. The best sales reps can take that information and explain their products in a way that teaches their prospects something new. This type of communication is also a learned skill. 

The tech sales opportunity is tremendous and we would like to see the Diablo Valley capitalize on it.

Diablo Valley Tech Initiative

The members of the Diablo Valley Tech Initiative include mayors, presidents of Chambers of Commerce, professors, real estate professionals, and local technology professionals and entrepreneurs. It is incubated at Diablo Valley College in Contra Costa County, California.

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