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A person who wants to become a software salesman needs persistence, familiarity with the computer software concepts that relate to various company products, and a persuasive personality. Expertise in or awareness of the way the software a company produces is used means that the salesman will be able to explain why a customer should purchase the products. Companies expect that if a person can present himself well and do a good job negotiating his own hiring, he will likely be able to translate those skills into strong product sales.
Whether it is in the classroom or on the job, some training is necessary to become a software salesman. Training for a software sales position can take several forms. When a person decides to become a software salesman, he should also take into account the training methods that will best support his goal. Different approaches and methods yield different results, and take varying amounts of time to accomplish.
Degree programs in sales management provide coursework that ensures in-depth understanding of all aspects of sales activity. Certificate programs typically focus on narrow and in-depth areas of sales training, particularly when a salesman needs to expand his understanding of a specific sales activity. While a degree or certificate is not always required to become a software salesman, the credential indicates to employers that the candidate possesses knowledge relevant to the selling process. Sales internships are unpaid positions that provide training, mentoring, and networking opportunities for people who have not had work experience, allowing them to augment theory with practical application.
Other key attributes required to become a software salesman are excellent spoken and written communication skills. The salesman's entire focus is to present enough information about his company's product to prospective buyers that the customer easily recognizes that it makes sense to purchase the product. Making initial contact with prospective customers is usually the result of either a cold call — a person who nobody in the company has ever contacted — or a qualified call — a person who has been contacted in an effort to pre-screen for interest in the product. Either way, the ability the salesman possesses to clearly articulate the product value proposition in a friendly, non-threatening way will determine whether or not the customer will engage in the sales process. He also follows up his calls with e-mails or letters that summarize what was discussed and what steps are required next.
The costs of sales and marketing represent roughly 40 percent of the total budget a software company spends for software products. Given this level of investment, it is not surprising that companies search for skilled and highly motivated people to hire as salesmen. Companies define the sales jobs in several ways, with each definition segmenting the job scope and responsibilities, based on the market requirements and client demographics, so there are many ways to become a software salesman. The way a company measures success for a software salesman is a mix of how well he predicts his sales goals, how well he manages his clients and leads, and the ratio of income he generates to the investment the company makes in him.