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Careers Explored: IT Sales

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  • Managing Director

The market has enjoyed considerable growth over the previous five years despite the difficulties faced by many other sectors during the global recession. What's more, there appears to be no sign of a slowdown in growth, with more and more companies beginning to appreciate the importance of technological advances and trends, from cloud computing and search engine optimisation through to social media. As a result, companies in the sector are looking to boost their sales teams in order to take advantage of growing demand. Quite simply, there has never been a better time to be involved in IT sales and there are plenty of opportunities.

Why work in IT sales?

Outside of the fact that there are a considerable number of openings for experienced sales professionals and new starters with technology firms across the country, there are a number of other reasons for considering IT sales roles. For one, growth in the sector has meant that the best people are in demand and remuneration packages for seasoned professionals can be extremely generous. In addition, many of these companies are forward-thinking and offer a workplace environment that is a world away from the traditional sales culture that many people have come to know.

Of course, in order to attract the best offers, people need to be able to demonstrate knowledge and experience, as many of the roles can involve extremely technical products and services. If you have a solid sales background and can back-up claims of past achievements, then IT companies may be more flexible when it comes to technical knowledge. There are also entry-level positions available however, for those who are looking to start at the bottom and get trained-up quickly.

Where are the jobs?

While London and the Thames Valley have experienced major growth in this area over recent years, there are also a growing number of opportunities outside the capital. The North West, Manchester in particular, has seen rapid growth in the number of IT businesses setting up shop and quickly expanding into multi-million pound operations within a relatively short timescale. The same can be said for Scotland and the famed Silicon Glen; an area focussed around the central belt of the country that has become home to many new technology start-ups as well as established multi-national companies.

Who are the main stakeholders?

Again, the technical nature of the role will often mean that IT sales people will be dealing directly with a company's chief financial officer, particularly if the product or service will have an impact on cost-savings or efficiency within the business. It is also important to remember that while what you're selling may be extremely technical in its nature, the people you're pitching to may have a basic technical knowledge. It can be a fine line to tread between simplifying the benefits of a product or service and losing sight of the unique selling point and the reasons why a firm should be looking to do business with you.

The growth that has been experienced in the IT sales sector is set to continue and more exciting opportunities will continue to appear for seasoned professionals or those looking to get started in a flourishing sales environment.

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