Author Archives: Meredith Davis

The Serious Comedy for Transitioning Veterans

For transitioning Veterans, two things are needed: re-skilling and re-connecting.

While re-skilling may seem obvious, reconnecting can be less so.

Transitioning Veterans

In his book Tribe: On Homecoming And Belonging, #1 New York Times best-selling author Sebastian Junger masterfully lays out a compelling argument for the deep need for all human beings to cultivate a mentality of responsibility for one another. In the military, we belong to a unique “tribe,” and that sense of belonging can be lost as we shed the uniform. The loss leaves many disillusioned, grasping for a new identity, or mourning their old one.

How can we get connected to our larger human tribe before our post-military world crystallizes?

Engagement in the arts, particularly improvisation or “improv” training, can help us to develop a sense a meaningful connection with other human beings and happens to provide relevant social skills for success in the industry.

“The improv training forced me to perform outside of my comfort zone.”–US Marine Corps Non-Commissioned Officer

There are only four rules in improv:

  1. Agree
  2. Say “yes, and”
  3. Make a statement
  4. There are no mistakes, only opportunities

The rest is listening and flowing with your partners, or “troupe.” It’s that simple.

According to Sam Pressler, Founder of the of Armed Services Arts Partnership (ASAP), improv is the simplest performing art to unpack. It’s very natural because you’re performing as part of a team, not alone. You also have agency over your words, actions, and leading the scene. Improv rewards initiative and everyone’s contribution is accepted. He also shares an added benefit, “People are so

used to being serious all the time, so it’s good to just break through and be yourself with no repercussions.” To sign up for ASAP classes, fill out a form here.

BJ Lange, an Air Force veteran, comedy helped him to hyperfocus in his work as a medic. It also brought him through a traumatizing cancer scare.

He now teaches a veterans-only improvisation class at The Second City in Los Angeles. He reports that his veteran cohorts learn to trust each other and build lasting friendships even after the class ends.

One of my close friends and Infantry Marine stepped on an IED and was immediately shot in Afghanistan. After his long and painful recovery, what did he do with the vertical striped scar down the center of his stomach? He tattooed a corkscrew handle at the top. He’s still one of the funniest people I know, and I hope he goes into stand-up one day.

Improv training provided by the Dallas Comedy House remains part of the Tech Qualled Launchpad Academy, both for building camaraderie and for sharpening sales skills like listening, thinking fast, and responding with mental agility. Here are some of our veteran candidates’ reactions:

“Improv does an excellent job of breaking down the barriers that exist between people who have never met in person before.”  – Air Force Officer

“The improv training was incredibly uncomfortable but really very helpful in the end. “ – Army Officer

If you’re still in the active duty military, you can still benefit from the arts through organizations like Adam Driver’s Arts In The Armed Forces (AITAF). Clare McLaughlin, AITF’s Executive Director,

Transitioning Veterans

explains that we all have a shared human experience that goes beyond what culture or job we are engaged in. As the AITF performers travel around the world to various military bases, they arrive early, learn about military culture and life, and develop relationships with their soon-to-be audience. If you want to book a performance at your base, you can fill out a request here.

And if these things don’t float your boat, you can at least follow David Gale’s veteran-centric media group We Are The Mighty for some laughs in between your daily digest of the Duffel Blog and/or Terminal Lance.

So here’s to not taking yourself too seriously. As testicular cancer survivor  BJ Langue likes to say, “When life takes one of your lemons, you make jokes.”

Do you have stories of how the arts and/or comedy helped you cope in your military career or transition? Let us know so we can all laugh!

Creating Your LinkedIn Brand as a Transitioning Veteran

If you’re transitioning out of the military, there are a number of valuable resources at your disposal. In addition to your standard military-issue transition class, there are countless non-profit organizations, headhunter companies, job boards, and career fairs that could open doors. However, the trend is moving toward online and social recruiting. Every single hiring process you encounter will take into account your digital footprint. Often, those digital outlets can produce the best leads for you as you progress in your civilian career.

Where you go when you leave the military is a decision that will greatly impact your career for the rest of your life, so take time to research, network, and consider all of your options. There are many free resources available on websites like this one to guide you in your personal brand as a whole. Once you do some soul-searching and crystallize your brand, publicize it!

The most powerful professional online platform is LinkedIn. Veterans are entitled to a free LinkedIn Job-Seeker Premium Account. Sign up, and take the advice below to maximize your options as you transition
from the military.

There are many important aspects of a LinkedIn profile. Hiring managers and other desirable contacts may look at hundreds of profiles a day. Here are some ways to help you stand out from the rest, and land the job that is the right fit for you:

Photo: This is your first impression. Your profile photo should be high resolution, you should be dressed professionally, and it should invite the viewer to want to get to know you. Everything in the photo will send a message. You won’t be docked for a photo in uniform, but wearing a business suit sends the signal that you’re ready for what’s next. Ensure a neutral or complimentary background that does not detract from your profile picture. If in doubt, invest in your next career and get professional headshots.

Headline:  Keep this brief and very polished. Inform like a news article and market like an ad. Are you top-ranked? Are you a proven leader? Key phrases like “transitioning military veteran,” “seeking,” and “looking for” will help you be discovered. If you’re not sure what you want to do when you get out, keep it generic and focus on the outcome you desire from your first job. Is it rapid growth opportunity? Is it a job in Birmingham? Let employers know your focus upfront.

Summary: Keep written content to one paragraph. You may also include short bulleted lists, contact information, or other easily digestible and valuable soundbites.

  • One approach to writing the summary is to pretend you are introducing yourself to someone. What is the one most impressive thing you’ve ever done professionally? Where are you know? What are you looking forward to in your career timeline? Where do you want to live ideally, and are you flexible on geography?
  • A secondary approach is more literary. In this one paragraph, you have an opportunity to be unique as well as relevant. Keep it professional here, but a few sentence story about what makes you different can be a welcome respite for readers who see hundreds of profiles a week.Transitioning
  • Finally, put the “ask” at the end. What can you offer to people looking at your profile? Encourage people to reach out to you.

Experience: Most employers will look at this in tandem with your resume. Make sure they both match perfectly and are 100% accurate. Include keywords and phrases that employers will be looking for in the industry or role you desire.

  • Keep each section to no more than a couple of sentences and a bulleted list of quantified people, resources, or tasks you managed or impacted. What was the result of your work? What was the delta between the time you arrived and time you left each duty station? These facts will help tell your story.
  • Include photographs that illustrate what you did, where you were, who you interacted with, materials you were responsible for, etc.
  • Filter out all military jargon and specialized terms, and if you must use an acronym, spell it out. Once you’re done, scrub it again by asking a civilian to read it and tell you if there are any words or phrases that they don’t understand.

Recommendations: Ask for recommendations from former bosses, coworkers, and subordinates. Think about these testimonials as telling a 360-degree story of what it’s like to work with you.

Companies You Follow: This portfolio of companies will tell a hiring manager how informed you are, and where your interests lie. It’s also an easy way to keep tabs on what’s happening in your desired industry. Research and engage with leading companies in your industry of choice, as well as companies you just enjoy keeping up with. If your profession has any regulatory boards or networking societies, make sure you’re connected to them.

Your Network: Expand, expand, expand! Search and connect with people of similar backgrounds (same alma mater, military branch, or geographic location). Find people you feel you can offer value to, as well as people you would love to learn from. Pro tip: turn off your activity alerts while aggressively populating or overhauling your profile so you’re not a nuisance to your network.

Finishing Touches: The Elements of Style, by Strunk & White is one of the best primers on writing. Also, use Grammarly to check for spelling and grammar errors. Use these tools to put the finishing touches on your profile. Finally, ask 10 close friends, other transitioning veterans or personal mentors to review your profile and offer their impressions. Do these impressions match the messaging you desired to communicate?

For further information on getting the most out of LinkedIn, click on the Learning tab on your LinkedIn home page. Here you will find many “courses” and articles on how to maximize your account. The course called LinkedIn For Veterans should get you started.

Here’s to your success!

 

___________________

Meredith Davis specializes in educating active duty military members who are transitioning into the high-tech industry.

 

Optimized Veteran Training for Civilian Careers

“Veterans: You know the value of hard work, respect, ownership of mistakes, and fixing the problem and not the blame.  You have the character foundation.  You have a leg up. Now you need to add a new skill set for civilian careers.”

– Tina Indalecio

I recently had a chance to interview Tina Indalecio, Director of Instructional Design at Tech Qualled, a training and placement company.  As a learning scientist, Tina offers more than a teaching background to enhance veterans’ transition experience.

Below, read how her unique expertise brings a fresh perspective on the value of veterans in the workforce. Learn how she has worked with the Tech Qualled team to design training that optimizes veterans’ potential.

*****

What distinctive values do you personally bring to the Tech Qualled learning process?

After six years as a college professor, I chose to go back to school to understand the psychology behind how we learn. Having a background in learning science allows me to apply cutting-edge instructional design principles and the appropriate Civilian Careers for Veteranslearning theories into our program. As a result, information retention increases, and our learning outcomes are dramatically improved.

How is the experience tailored for veterans?

In three ways…

Learner-Focused Approach. The learning content is structured with the learner in mind, how military veterans think and what they bring to the table in a classroom, is very different than how a civilian thinks. That needs to be accounted for when developing our program content.  The training program is both immersive and integrated. Take the skill of prospecting, for example… The content is designed so that while they’re interacting with the material and researching the industry, the learners are by proxy developing skills necessary to be successful in sales. There is also just enough ambiguity built into each assignment to challenge rigid thinking and move the learner towards solving complex business challenges.

In addition, the course materials are continually refined based on the feedback from our candidates and data from how each cohort performs. Constant analysis of performance and outcomes enhance the program over time in a way that uniquely resonates with veteran learners and helps produce outstanding candidates for our client companies.

Individual Attention. We are about quality, not quantity and work to ensure a positive learning experience. Our small cohort sizes allow us to tailor the learning experience and respond quickly when learners have questions or need assistance. We know that every veteran learner will have different Civilian Careersneed levels. Two courses with identical content will have completely different learning outcomes if there is no response from the instructor or limited engagement in general, versus having a high-touch online learning environment. Our cohort sizes allow us to respond quickly to each learner, and time to devote to those who have higher needs so every learner feels supported. Learner frustration can directly decrease learning outcomes.  The benefit of this approach is to increase the overall learner experience and put the learners at ease psychologically.

Unique Business Model.  Our value as a training company means we are not the traditional churn-and-burn recruiting company that is only focused on the number of candidates we place. We value relationships with our candidates and client companies. That’s one of the reasons why we continually refine our program by focusing on relevant industry content to avoid cognitive overload and to highlight the information the learner needs to focus on in order to be successful once they are placed with a company and to create effective and efficient training. We also have a very steep vetting process when selecting our cohort candidates, but once you’re in, it’s a very rigorous experience, emphasizing maximized value and growth. We also have very strong relationships with the partner companies looking to hire our candidates.

Internally at Tech Qualled, we have cohesiveness, leaders giving praise, and team members that feel very valued. That sets our company apart, and in my experience, that is missing at most companies. The lack of feeling valued as an employee is a main reason why people job-hop.

What kind of candidate does best in the program?

I do not think we would have the same level of success with most civilians as we do with veterans. Our candidates tend to be very respectful and appreciative of the opportunity, and very eager to learn. In my experience, that level of enthusiasm and motivation is not as prevalent with many civilian college and adult learners. Veterans also tend to be highly competitive and motivated to do extremely well, which also differentiates them from typical students. To capitalize on this quality, we use gamification and other competitions within the program, which resonate well with our candidates.

What are the greatest struggles veterans encounter with the program?

The biggest learning challenge is to move away from a regimented way of thinking. Telling our learners that they need to come up with a creative solution is very difficult. In the military, you’re taught not to be autonomous, and there is very little latitude for creative thinking. We are training them in a field that requires them to think outside-the-box every day, where there is no hand-holding. We really challenge our candidates to get out of their comfort zone to be more creative thinkers and problem solvers.

Finally, what advice would you give veteran learners who are starting the program?

You have invaluable experience, and understand the structure, respect, discipline, and hard work. These are all critical to your success in sales.

You did so much training and preparation in terms of time and commitment for your rank and roles in the military… Why do less for your first civilian career? You were often given all the tools you needed to be successful, but in an environment that lacked learning design. You adapted and figured out how to use those tools. Take that initiative with our program, and you will be successful here, too.

*****

Civilian Careers:

To find out more, or to apply for the Tech Qualled Launchpad Academy, visit www.staging.techqualled.flywheelsites.com or contact Meredith Davis at meredith@staging.techqualled.flywheelsites.com. For employers interested in hiring our candidates, please reach out to Nick Breedlove at nick@staging.techqualled.flywheelsites.com.

Counterintelligence Agent to High Tech Sales

In his own words, Quentin Carey shares about his journey from Counterintelligence to High-Tech Sales:

“Leaving a promising career in Army counterintelligence (CI) after 11 years was a decision that I had to make. I had outgrown the CI field and wanted to advance in a new career.”

Just like other transitioning CI soldiers in the past, the next logical step for me was working within the Department of Defense or government contracting. Unless you’re willing to move to the East Coast or work on one-year contracts in the Middle East, it is difficult to find military intelligence work. Without experience in any other field, I was facing a government job with stagnant pay as my only option.

It was at this point that I received a LinkedIn message from Tech Qualled (TQ), asking me if I was interested in the opportunity to move into high-tech sales. It was an email, I would later realize, that changed my life.

TQ provided me the opportunity to move into a lucrative career in high-tech sales, which I came to learn is extremely similar to the work I did as a CI Agent. Of all military occupational specialties, intelligence work is the most translatable to high-tech sales. Prospecting, investigating, proposing, and influencing are all skills needed within the CI field. TQ took those skills and brought them to another level.

CounterintelligenceAs the only enlisted soldier within my TQ cohort, my wariness was quickly put aside as I realized we were all one team no matter where we came from. I immersed myself into the in-depth 7-week online training and realized as each week passed that this was the correct decision. Although I did not consider myself a “techie,” the delivery of the material was easily digestible. Even though at times it seemed as if I was drinking from a fire hose, the things that make us veterans invaluable, our determination and perseverance, pushed me through.

The culmination of the program, the 2 week “Sales Bootcamp”, was one of the best experiences of my life. Being able to meet and bond with my peers led to relationships that will last for years to come. TQ brought in a slew of C-level leadership and experienced Account Executives to give us on-the-spot coaching and enormous jewels of information. By the end, each of us had refined our skills and become marketable and valuable candidates ready to succeed in the high-tech sales world.

Answering that LinkedIn message was one of the best things I’ve done in my life. TQ provided me the only way possible to leave the status quo behind and be able to achieve financial goals that otherwise wouldn’t have been reached for a decade.

Through this process I have realized that this is what I was meant to do. The company I decided to work for is a regional value-added reseller headquartered in Denver, Colorado. They have given me autonomy, perks and the opportunity to be as successful as I want, with no ceiling.

I cannot thank Jim and Karen Sherriff and the entire TQ staff enough for providing all of us veterans this opportunity to unleash our full potential and reach our personal dreams!”

To find out more or to apply for the Tech Qualled Launchpad Sales Academy, visitwww.staging.techqualled.flywheelsites.com or contact Meredith Davis at meredith@staging.techqualled.flywheelsites.com.

Tech Leader Explains why He Started Tech Qualled

When you interview a Tech Leader with over 35 years of high-tech sales and leadership experience, you get answers. Direct, pragmatic, well-informed answers. But in this case, they were also highly personal.

Read this one-on-one with Tech Qualled CEO, Jim Sherriff, and you’ll see what I mean.

Q: What led you to start Tech Qualled (TQ)?

A: For many, many years, my wife Karen and I have felt very strongly that the United States government and corporate America have not done enough for veterans as they transition back into their civilian lives. With our all-volunteer army, we have hundreds of thousands of people making conscious decisions and personal sacrifices to serve their nation, and I think we have to do more. So that’s fundamentally what drove me to look for options.

Then I started looking at what I could do personally, and what my wife Karen and I brought to the table. We came to the conclusion that we could do more to help veterans get into high-tech sales than any other vocation.

We also saw that there is a chronic shortage of high-tech salespeople. So a combination of that opportunity and the direct applicability of veterans to those opportunities were the driving factors behind really wanting to make a difference as veterans transition.

Q: So why has no one ever done what you and the TQ team are doing?

A: I think what you have is two basic business models that have approached veterans to help them make transitions. You have the non-profit segment, and then you have the for-profit segment. The for-profit segment fundamentally focuses on the economics of recruiting and placing. It’s very difficult in those models to make the training investments required to help people make those transitions. So these companies tend to stick to just trying to find people that are easy to place, and then find jobs that are relatively easy to convince veterans to go and take. But they haven’t set up their business with the intention of making money by actually creating value through training.

Tech Leader

Tech Qualled Founders on Day 1 – May 2015

On the other hand, you have the non-profits. They have great intentions and are passionate about their missions. The challenge with any non-profit is that instead of pursuing revenue through a focus on a compelling value proposition, they must pursue donations and grants.  We have benefited greatly by the inherent feedback mechanism of the free market, and it has forced us to adapt quickly or perish. The feedback cycle for non-profits is too slow, and they often do not adapt to the feedback of their constituents quickly enough.

I think we are a great blend in between. We are what many people would call a “social enterprise.” We are willing to accept much lower profits than a traditional for-profit company. With the added advantage of taking some of the financial pressure off, what we’re looking for is a business model that is sustainable, as opposed to a business model that is designed to maximize profitability.

We are very clear that our first priority is our mission;  however, we are also very clear that we cannot pursue that mission without a strong financial foundation.

Q: Where do you see the high-tech industry going in the next five to ten years?

A: The great thing about the high-tech industry is that it changes all the time. Let me take a company that we are very close to in this program, Cisco Systems, and talk about their transition to give you a sense of how much surviving companies have to evolve.

Cisco was founded as a company that sold one product: a “router,” something that connects disparate locations and moves Internet traffic. It’s still a huge business for Cisco, but they were a single product company. Since then, here are some of the main transformations they had to undergo:

  •  They were in a position of being threatened by something called “switches,” so they ended up getting into that business and dominating it.
  •  They looked at the Internet and realized there was a great opportunity to move video and voice over the Internet, so they made investments there, and today they are the leading company in enterprise voice products (think business telephones / telephony).
  •  They saw what was happening in the data center, and the amount of complexity that was associated with managing multiple switches, routers, servers, and storage units, so they applied what they knew from a networking standpoint into the data center and created a product called UCS (Unified Compute System). And that has taken the market by storm.

So if you come into a career on a high-tech sales team, you have to remain absolutely committed to staying on top of the industry trends and re-inventing yourself every 12 to 18 months. If you don’t, you get left behind.

This is an environment where you have to love this rate of change to really be successful. The companies and the people that are really good at embracing this change are the people that are going to survive and thrive going into the future.

What is Tech Sales? – Meredith Davis

Tech Qualled will be releasing several videos over the next few months in an attempt to educate transitioning veterans on the ins and outs of high tech. We encourage an open dialog to include insightful comments, professional advice for veterans and helpful tips regarding military transitions to the technology space.

If you are a veteran looking to land a lucrative high-tech sales role or are seeking a proven trajectory to high-tech leadership, contact our Recruiting Director, Meredith Davis, at meredith@staging.techqualled.flywheelsites.com.

How do Veterans Sell Information Technology?

You can’t take a quantum leap forward without taking some risks, and you don’t really develop quickly if you don’t allow yourself to get outside your comfort zone.

Spoiler: You should expect to be extremely uncomfortable at many points in this journey.

information technologyIn the first seven weeks of the Launchpad Academy program, you’re going to be presented with a lot of information and given a lot of assignments and challenges to help you understand the information technology industry. It’s going to be
like learning a foreign language for many of you. It’s going to be tough. It’s going to be demanding on your time.

The tradeoff? You’re going to come out the other side with a solid, broad-based understanding of what the high tech industry is all about, major product categories, current trends, and some of the major players that participate. That’s the knowledge base from a product and industry standpoint.

From a sales process standpoint, we also give you a foundation – the hard skills – of what it takes to be successful in sales. This includes what the sales process looks like, some best practices for executing in each stage, and key indicators to judge successful salespeople.

The learning process is highly interactive, with quick feedback loops. Our candidate selection process results in the synergizing effect of participating in a mind-lab with some of the brightest transitioning veterans in the country.

For those of you that will also participate in our Boot Camp, we complement the online program with two intensive weeks that are full of role-playing opportunities. You get the chance to apply what you’ve learned from an academic standpoint to live situations, and get real-time coaching from industry experts and seasoned, successful salespeople.

To further illustrate, let’s let the candidates speak for themselves…

  • “I was pushed way outside of my comfort zone.” – Army Ranger Training Battalion Officer
  • “I grew more in the past two weeks than in the last two years of my military career.” – Navy Information Warfare Officer
  • “It really woke me up. I started being much more authentic in my role playing, and I think my classmates would agree. Even if it was painful at the time, it really helped me be more open and honest.” – Navy Nuclear Submarine Officer
  • “Tech Qualled taught me how to coordinate between departments (Finance, Operations, IT, etc) to truly sell “across” an organization.” – Marine Corps Public Affairs Officer
  • “The two-week “Sales Boot Camp” was one of the best experiences of my life. By the end, each of us had refined our skills and become marketable and valuable candidates ready to succeed in the high-tech sales world. The company I decided to work for has given me autonomy, perks and the opportunity to be as successful as I want, with no ceiling.” – Army CounterIntelligence Senior Enlisted Leader

So we are going to push you, we’re going to make you uncomfortable, but you’re going to finish this journey prepared to be truly successful.

If you are energized by the prospect of a challenging journey of personal growth, we highly encourage you to consider a career in high tech sales, and contact us to start a discussion about your future.

Sales Myths – What a Sales Career is Actually Like

Allow me to use a brief illustration. Our CEO heard the following story from one of his sales leaders. The sales leader asked someone why they wanted to be in sales, and the person answered that he really wanted to help other people. The leader responded, “Then think seriously about becoming a social worker because if that’s really what you want to do, that’s the greatest path you can go down.”

Salespeople have to be about winning – winning for themselves and winning for their customer. Make no mistake, it’s about winning on both fronts. So people skills are important, but believing that sales is all about “being a people person” is really a misunderstanding.

In the vein of relationships, you try to build relationship equity as a salesperson. You invest in relationships as a practical exercise to make the relationship profitable for both parties. The people that are simply “all about relationships” have an infinite supply of equity but never actually monetize that equity to advance their business careers. Good salespeople are not shy about dipping into their savings account of relationship equity and relying on that to move things forward. They build equity, then they translate that equity to produce mutual benefits in business.

Sales is a tough, competitive, sometimes grueling, but highly rewarding career path. The absolute best salespeople make seven figure incomes – it’s that lucrative just in sales.

But the value of sales to your career goes far beyond your bottom line. Sales gives you a skill set that will propel your career forward, no matter what direction you choose. Business is all about reading people, selling them your ideas, and ultimately, getting them to move in the same direction. Your sales experience will prepare you for a solid career path to executive leadership.

So how does this insight into sales careers uniquely apply to veterans?

The veterans I talk to about the Tech Qualled opportunity typically fall into two categories:

  1. They have never considered a career in business-to-business (B2B) sales, or
  2. They know they want sales, but they are barred from direct entry into lucrative roles because of lack of sales experience.

And that’s when we get to have what I call the “red pill” conversation. As Veteran Recruiting Manager at Tech Qualled, many veterans I talk to are top performers and accomplished leaders, looking for the chance to be paid what they’re worth. They want limitless earning potential. They want a meritocracy where they can jump the corporate ladder quickly. They want a degree of autonomy… to be trusted by their employer to get the job done without micromanagement.

And that’s where we come in.

Tech Qualled is inherently mission-driven, and our mission is this: to enhance the lives of military veterans by training them and placing them into rewarding careers in high technology. We are here to offer access to a whole new world and provide the training and trajectory for lifelong success in the world of high-tech sales.

For a clearer picture on the qualities of successful salespeople, we recommend reading The Challenger Sale. It will give you further insights on the distinct set of skills and traits characteristic of successful salespeople. If what you read resonates with you, we highly encourage you to consider a career in sales, and contact us to start a discussion about your future.

B2B Technology Solutions Explained

First of all, let’s describe what Tech Sales is, and then we’ll talk about the necessary attributes for success in this challenging, yet highly rewarding career.

Tech Sales is a business-to-business (B2B) transaction of technology solutions from a provider to an organization. This is not to be confused with business-to-customer (B2C) transactions that are defined by a shorter decision-making process and a smaller number of decision makers. Forbes columnist Chuck Cohn provides a clear contrast on B2B versus B2C here.

In Tech Sales, you’re selling to business executives. These sales typically happen at the executive level because of the perceived risk and enormous expense involved. Also, these decisions can catapult a company toward their strategic objectives because the technologies purchased have an enterprise-level impact.

When selling to business executives, you have to convince them that:

1 – You know what you’re doing,

2 – You can orchestrate resources, and

3 – You have a company that will stand behind you

Particularly when you’re selling for a re-seller, the executives have to believe in you and trust you personally before they’re going to make this type of investment.

So at a very cursory view, these are the activities of a Tech Salesperson:

1 – Establishing trust

2 – Digging to understand the customer needs

3 – Orchestrating the resources to make sure that you can solve the customer’s problems, and

4 – Following through with your customers and with your company. Put simply, doing what you said you were going to do.

So what do you need to be great at Tech Sales?

First of all, you need to be extremely accountable. You have to be willing to be the go-to person… the person that is ultimately responsible for the success of the mission.

And what is your mission? Your mission is to get the order, and have a happy customer at the end of the project. All of your efforts must be focused toward these two objectives.

What else do you need? You need to be creative, you need to be resourceful, and you need to be resilient.

You have to love to win… You have to be driven to win and achieve superior results.

Most great salespeople have a higher than average drive to make more money. Their reasons for this vary, but successful salespeople are often wired that way. We consider this a critical ingredient.

Ultimately, sales is a people business, and your ability to relate and create relationships is extremely important. This means that you have to be a great listener and a great communicator.

We believe strongly in some principles laid out in the insightful book The Challenger Sale, which is about Teaching, Tailoring, and Taking Control.

  • Teaching, where you possess a unique point of view and help the customer be successful by advising them on what they need to do.
  • Tailoring is your ability to take your messages and what you’ve learned, and match the benefits and impacts of your products and services to the things that are most important to the customer. And finally,
  • Taking Control. You have to be an active versus a passive person in sales. You have to take the bull by the horns.

And if you have these attributes, Tech Sales is a highly satisfying and profitable career!

Find out more about breaking into Tech Sales at www.staging.techqualled.flywheelsites.com.