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TAKEAWAYS FROM BREAKING INTO TECH SALES PANEL DISCUSSION WITH MULESOFT
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Takeaways from Breaking Into Tech Sales Panel Discussion with MuleSoft

Ryan Helmstetler
May 4, 2016

Yesterday, Betts Recruiting and MuleSoft participated in a panel discussing the tech scene and how job seekers can break into the sales industry. Moderated by Carolyn Betts Fleming, the panel discussed an overview of sales abbreviations to a detailed description of the sales process. Each panelist shared their journey into sales, where they see the sales industry headed, and advice to potential job seekers. Below are some of the key points from the discussion and Q&A that followed for anyone interested in breaking into tech sales.

“It’s not ‘annoying’ if you’re applying for a sales position.”

– Rich Liu, VP of Corporate Sales at MuleSoft  photo unnamed

When it comes to applying to a sales position, being professionally persistent in attempting to engage members of the company’s hiring team is a behavior viewed as indicative of your willingness to take the initiative. It’s not perceived as being a pest. Tapping into your network is a valuable way to get to the front of the funnel of resumes. Don’t be afraid to send out cold emails to friends at companies, college alumni, or any other contacts you may have. Just like the sales process, there are warm to cold connections, but any access to a company you’re applying to is valuable. Use your network to your advantage and remember that asking for help in tech sales is encouraged; people want to help if you reach out in a personable way.

“The skills I had weren’t on my resume, but were 100% translatable.”

– Radley Meyers, Director of Sales Recruitment at Betts Recruiting  photo unnamed

Expertise is something that can be gained as you build your body of work, but being able to learn is a value that a job seeker has to have innately if they want to succeed in a role like tech sales. Whether or not you’ve had prior sales experience doesn’t dictate if you’ll excel in a future sales role. Before applying, know what type of position you want, in terms of business scene, title and company role, and the day-to-day values this position requires. Understand where your skillset lies and how those same skills can be applied to a new career and add value.

“Package up your stories and weave a narrative through them. Apply your narrative to the role you’re applying for and the company’s values.”

– Karl Schutz, Account Development Executive at MuleSoft  photo 

Understanding the company you’re applying to is just as important as being able to talk about your own experience. Job seekers that align their values and experience with a company’s values and vision are the candidates that stand out to management. Focus on both the tangible facts, such as quota or accounts managed, as well as the intangible, such as leadership and grit. Most companies in the tech industry absolutely require employees that represent both the qualitative and quantitative side of success.

“If professional development is like flying a plane, you’re the pilot. Your manager is just your co-pilot. You own the flight plan.”

– Steven Broudy, Head of Account Development, Americas at MuleSoft  photo unnamed

Always remember that professional development depends on your own initiative. When applying for and accepting a position, you don’t need to know where you will be in five years, but you do need to have a goal for development. Your Manager, as your co-pilot, will help you check the gauges, ensure you’re staying on course, but can’t decide on your behalf what your ultimate career ambition is. You need to make that decision yourself. By always seeking ways to stretch yourself in your role, both in terms of your scope of responsibility and the value you bring to the company, you can continue to feel progress on the path towards achieving your overarching career goal. Remember, you’re always interviewing for the role you want. You never know when your readiness will meet the needs of the business, but if you approach your job like you’re interviewing for that next role on a daily basis and put in the work, when the opportunity finally comes around, it follows that you’ll likely find yourself next in line.

Break Into Tech Sales

For more information on how tech sales can jumpstart your career, check out MuleSoft’s article, “How a Role in Tech Sales Can Jumpstart Your Career,” or Betts Recruiting’s article, “So You’re Graduating… Now What?” Sales is a great opportunity for new graduates or people looking to change their career paths. In fact, MuleSoft is hiring now! For more information on available positions at MuleSoft, head over to their career page and submit your application today.