How to Become a Software Sales Representative

How to Become a Software Sales Representative: Career Path Guide

Here are the essential steps for becoming a software sales rep:


1. Determine if this field is suited to your interests, qualities and traits

2. Pursue a bachelor’s degree

3. Get an entry-level software sales job after graduation, or while you're a student 

4. Gain more and more experience, and progress into senior sales

5. Keep your company and industry knowledge current


Although it’s not quite that simple, that is the gist of it! Continue reading below to get a good idea of what you'll need to begin a career as a software sales rep. We've also included helpful information for this career, such as an overview of what you’d be doing, a list of possible employers, actual job postings, and much more!



What Education Will I Need?

In general, there is no specific educational background you need to sell software. However, depending on the role, a background in certain areas could be a huge advantage. 


For example, if you will be selling legal software, a background in law or legal studies might be beneficial. Or if you will be selling accounting software, a background in accounting, finance or general business would be relevant. 


Having a degree related to computer or software engineering would also be of great benefit, as it would help you gain a deep technical understanding of the software you are selling, regardless of the sector of industry it’s marketed towards.




What Does a Software Sales Representative Do?

A software sales representative is responsible for helping to maintain and grow their employer’s client base by selling software and related products to new and existing clients (accounts) and providing excellent customer service to those accounts. 


They must research and contact sales leads, negotiate and close sales, and facilitate technical and general support for clients.



What Are Their Job Duties?

In general, software sales reps are responsible for the following tasks and duties:


• Identifying and establishing contact with potential customers proactively

• Possibly traveling to meet with clients, attend meetings and trade shows, or deliver presentations

• Maintaining contact with new and existing customers to grow solution sales and deliver a detailed account strategy

• Delivering presentations of the software and related products to all levels of prospective and current client accounts

• Meeting annual sales goals and targets

• Maintaining the company’s contact database management with up-to-date contact details

• Producing weekly sales reports 

• Providing feedback of potential customers and members to facilitate service delivery excellence

• Ensuring effective internal communication within the Sales, Marketing team and Customer Support and across the company

• Negotiating complex agreements and expediting the sales cycle

• Identifying new opportunities and verticals to establish expertise in growing and emerging technologies

• Facilitating customer service and technical support for clients



What Work Experience Will I Need?

In some cases, particularly for entry-level roles, sales experience may not be a formal requirement. Just initiative and the ability to sell yourself, and your potential, to your employer. 


Having said that, previous experience in a sales environment can greatly improve your chances of securing a job. If you can demonstrate evidence of exceeding sales targets and building successful customer relationships in previous roles, that will certainly impress potential employers.



Is This Field Right for Me? What Traits Will I Need?

If you make it to the top as a software sales rep, you can expect to reap huge financial and professional rewards. To succeed, you’ll need to have the following personal traits:


• An unwavering customer-centric approach to sales activities

• The will to make cold calls, and constantly meet new people

• A keen interest in keeping up with developments in the field, and in your company

• An interest in a career that involves a lot of “face time” with the public, and colleagues 

• An interest in a potentially very well-paying career that can involve long and uncertain hours

• Articulate and confident presentation skills and professional telephone manner

• The ability to see the big picture of your career, and not expect to succeed overnight as a sales rep



What is the Salary of a Software Sales Rep?

Software sales representatives earn a mean annual salary of $89,170 per year in the United States. Their salary can vary based on factors such as their level of experience, their pay structure (salary vs. commission), the region in which they work, the size of their client base, and other factors. 



More About Salary Levels

As mentioned above, the salary level you could earn as a software designer can vary, typically depending on the following factors:


• Your level of education and certification

• Your level of experience

• The size and type of your employer

• The region in which you work

• The size of your client base

• What your salary and/or commission structure is

• Many other factors


Software Sales Rep Salary - Alberta: According to the 2015 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, the overall average salary of Albertans working in the “Technical sales specialists - wholesale trade” occupational group is $83,912 per year.


Software Sales Rep Salary - United States: According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (2015 statistics), the overall median salary level of Americans working in the “Sales Representatives, Wholesale and Manufacturing, Technical and Scientific Products” occupational group is $89,170 per year. 



Who Creates Jobs for Software Sales Representatives?

Jobs for software sales reps are most commonly found with software development firms who handle sales in-house, or with software distributors and resellers. Many jobs also exist with IT and computer companies that offer software as part of their product and service line.


Some software sells reps are self-employed, selling software they develop themselves, while others might work for an outside sales agency, or for web-based businesses that sell or license software.



Software Sales Representative Jobs

Our job board below has "Software Sales Rep" postings in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia. Just enter you city and you're off to the races!


What Career Advancement Opportunities Are There?

As you gain product and service knowledge, develop a proven track record of exceeding sales targets and building customer relationships, you will likely be exposed to many exciting career advancement opportunities. For example, you could:


• Take on more clients, or higher-level clients

• Progressing to selling at the board level instead of to individual businesses

• Earn greater commissions, or a higher salary level

• Move into a team-lead or supervisory position that involves planning sales campaigns

• Move into a management or executive role that involves strategic decision making



What Careers Are Similar to “Software Sales Rep”?

Listed below are careers in our database that may be in the same field, or they may involve many of the same skills, competencies and/or responsibilities as “Software Sales Representative”:


• Marketing Director

• Patent Agent 

• Sales Manager

• Software Designer

• Software Engineer

• Sporting Goods Sales Rep

• Technical Sales Engineer



What Are Scholarships for Getting Into This Field? 

The “Majors in Our Database Relevant for this Career” section below lists fields of study that are relevant to becoming a Software Sales Representative. You can search for relevant scholarships by finding those majors on our “Any Field of Study Scholarships” page.


Success Tip: Be sure to apply for any scholarships that you even barely qualify for, as there are millions of dollars of scholarships that go unused every year due to a lack of applicants!




Please consult the following resources to learn more about what it takes to become a software sales representative:


• Occupational Profile: “Technical Sales Representative.” (n.d.). Alberta Government - Alberta Learning Information Service. Retrieved February 10, 2017.

• Occupational Employment and Wages: “Sales Representatives, Wholesale and Manufacturing, Technical and Scientific Products.” (May, 2015). United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. Retrieved February 10, 2017.

• Job Profile: “IT Sales Professional.” AGCAS editors (August, 2015). Prospects. Retrieved February 10, 2017.

• Sales Strategies: “How to Get a Job in Software Sales - Advice from a Hiring Manager.” Alan Hiddleston (February 3, 2015). LinkedIn. Retrieved February 10, 2017.



Majors in Our Database Relevant for this Career

We have career guides for over 60 university majors in our database. Below we've outlined those that are most relevant to becoming a software sales representative. Click on the links to see what else you can do with these majors!


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