“I always knew I wanted to be in sales after the military. I remember the months prior to my transition out of the Marine Corps, I encountered several different “roadmaps” I could choose after separation. Many of them being operations or project management roles. There is nothing wrong with those roles, but I was ready for a new challenge – and a career in sales was the path that could reward me financially for facing that new challenge.
Following my transition, I began working in medical sales. I thoroughly enjoyed my role, but with the way the market was changing, I wasn’t sure the earning potential was still there. To be completely honest, I wasn’t sure if my job would exist in a few years with the industry trying to save money. Simultaneously, I had several friends that were working in sales at Intel, and my interest in tech sales began to spark. I spent time with them on a regular basis, but they were never able to provide a roadmap of how to get into Tech Sales—it seemed like everyone I had talked to just got “lucky.”
A few months later I met Tech Qualled Alumni, Jake Graves at Grad School and we started talking about what we do for work. I learned that Jake was in technology sales and told me he had gotten into tech sales by going through a program specifically designed for veterans. I thought, Perfect! He put me in contact with someone from Tech Qualled and I immediately began the lengthy selection process to get into the program.
My experience while in the program was great. I connected with like-minded individuals all with similar backgrounds to mine and all working to accomplish the same thing— a career in technology sales. It was tough! But I will never forget learning the sales process, how to investigate and qualify a deal, and most importantly – how to close with a win/win outcome. All the things I thought I knew in medical sales but truly challenged during my time in the Launchpad Academy.
For those of you skimming this blog, wondering what technology sales is actually like, read on friends.
During the last week of the program, I accepted a position at Presidio as an Account Manager in Bellevue, WA. My go-to-market is now Cloud & Security with a year 1 quota of $300k in Gross Profit (or about $3M in revenue). I have only been in the position for six months, but I am confident I will be able to exceed this quota by continuing to build my pipeline while expanding my footprint into existing accounts. I truly enjoy the work I do, the company I work for, and the people I work with. Tech Sales is exactly what I had been looking for.”
To other veterans considering tech sales: It’s tough – but worth it: “Think of ‘yes’ as a commodity, and understand you are going to have to save up a lot of no’s to buy one.”
To the people that put me on the right track:
Todd Brown: for helping me out throughout the Launchpad Academy and even after graduation. You have helped me connect with other people in the industry and given me some of the best advice for selling in SLED.
Lowell Patterson: You have been an enormous help for me. It’s always nice to connect with another Tech Qualled veteran and to discuss strategy or just keep the competitive atmosphere alive.
Parker Parent is a former Sergeant in the United States Marine Corps. He was also a Squad Leader and led several patrols in Afghanistan 2/10 Artillery. Today, Parker lives in Seattle, WA with his wife and daughter. As a graduate of Launchpad Academy Cohort 14, Parker is now an Account Executive at Presidio.
Presidio is a leading North American IT solutions provider focused on Digital Infrastructure, Business Analytics, Cloud, Security & Emerging solutions. We deliver this technology expertise through a full life cycle model of professional, managed, and support services including strategy, consulting, implementation and design. By taking the time to deeply understand how our clients define success, we help them harness technology advances, simplify IT complexity and optimize their environments today while enabling future applications, user experiences, and revenue models.