Why tech sales?

Considering becoming a SDR or BDR? Learn what tech sales is, who tends to be successful at it, why it continues to be one of the fastest growing career paths, and how to break in.

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What is tech sales?

Before we can answer “why tech sales?” we should align on what it is. Tech sales, as the name suggests, involves the selling of technology, which might include software, service (SaaS) or hardware. The tech industry is a powerhouse that continues to grow with more than half a million companies employing more than 12 million workers in the United States alone. The sales or revenue teams at these companies are responsible for creating a pipeline of potential buyers through outreach and relationship building with potential buyers and existing clients. “Tech sales” has become synonymous with the contemporary selling environment found at these innovative and high-growth tech companies.
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I was interested in tech sales and all that it affords — competitive pay, remote work, high-growth environment, contemporary culture — but I wasn’t sure how to break in
Michael L.
Former SDR, now account executive
Satellite Certified Talent
Michael L

What is an SDR?

SDR stands for sales development representative. An SDR is also sometimes referred to as a BDR, which stands for business development representative. SDRs are sales professionals responsible for outreach, outbound prospecting, and lead qualification. To put it in really plain terms, an SDR understands who the target audience is for a particular product or service and uses communication and sales tools to find them, qualify them (i.e determine whether they are a fit for the product or service your company sells), and then add them to the organization’s sales pipeline.

Day-to-day SDR responsibilities include:
  • Scheduling meetings to deliver product demonstrations or conduct discovery calls to better understand a potential customer’s needs
  • Leveraging social media, email, and making phone calls to reach potential customers
  • Conducting research to qualify and better understand your target audience or specific target accounts
  • Identifying and empathizing with your customer’s pain points to determine how the product or service you’re selling can help them the most
Caitlyn
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The best piece of advice I can offer you for your qualifying calls is this: don’t forget that the person you are meeting with is just that — a person. People love to feel heard and understood, and that is exactly what our job is.

Caitlyn W.
Former teacher, now account executive
Satellite Certified Talent

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Who tends to be successful as an SDR?

Many professional backgrounds lend well to a career in sales. A few careers that tend to have a lot of alignment and great transferrable skills with sales include teaching, coaching, healthcare, financial services, hospitality, and customer service. Regardless of your professional background, it’s important for those entering the role of SDR to have a strong handle on foundational sales skills. These skills can be acquired through a sales training program or bootcamp and mastered over time with enough practice and determination.
 
Foundational sales skills include:
  • Research
  • Prospecting
  • Cold calling and emailing
  • Objection handling
  • Using sales tools
Beyond the foundational sales skill set, the sales leaders and trainers at Satellite have found individuals who are strong in the following traits tend to have a high potential for success in sales.

Key traits for a successful sales recruit:
  • Reliability
  • Self awareness
  • Strives for excellence
  • Comfort with ambiguity
Doris B
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You can’t possibly complete the Satellite program without having a deep understanding of what it takes to be a successful BDR. I can’t imagine a better way to preview and prepare for a job without actually holding the role.

Doris B.
Former stay-at-home mom, now SDR
Satellite Certified Talent

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Why is there so much demand for tech sales roles?

The role of “salesperson” continues to rank as the third highest demand job on LinkedIn and the role of SDR specifically, was cited by Business Insider as one of the highest demand jobs in 2022. The demand comes with no surprise when you consider that every company needs a salesforce. Every company needs consummate professionals with the skills to help create and close business, which makes a career in sales a wise choice. Becoming an SDR (sales development representative) or BDR (business development representative) is a great way to start your sales career. These entry level positions are in high demand and often don’t require previous SDR experience if you have the raw skills and potential to learn the role quickly.
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When it comes to successful sales outreach, BDRs are the tip of the spear. They need to be sharp. Particularly in a startup environment where we don’t have the time or resources for lengthy onboarding or long term handholding.

Peter F.
Senior Sales Manager, Satellite Hiring Partner
Peter F.

How do I get started in sales?

There are many different ways to get started in sales. At Satellite, we recommend committing to a training program that will give you the go-to SDR fundamentals while also providing a way to stand out with potential employers. Not all sales training programs are created equal and many require steep tuition fees and/or an ISA (Income Share Agreement), which requires you to pay a percentage of your future income back to the training company. The Satellite Career Accelerator provides affordable, premium, synchronous training from experienced sales leaders. Here are a few more details about the Satellite sales training and placement support program:
  • 6-week, fully-online program
  • Small group, live training with experienced sales leaders
  • Free career coaching and mentorship
  • Intros to vetted hiring network and interview prep
Devonte T
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Satellite set me up to soar in my new role. The program gave me the skills I needed to ramp quickly and produce impact early. I’m proud to be a top performer and motivated by the career path I have before me.

Devonte T.
Former physical therapist assistant, now SDR
Satellite Certified Talent