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Posted by Angus Gilmour • Posted on April 20, 2022

We’re often asked by athletes about the entry requirements for tech sales careers. Generally speaking, companies hire for attributes over educational attainment/previous experience.

This post examines 6 attributes which tech companies often value in early careers sales hires:

COACHABILITY: There is no one “degree” for sales, so companies that hire early careers sales talent put a lot of emphasis on training and development. It follows that new hires who are coachable have a much higher chance of long-term career success. Put yourself in the mindset of your early sporting years. If you focus on soaking up as much knowledge as possible, learn from high performers around you, and seek out and act-on feedback to improve – you’ll build strong foundations for career success.

CURIOSITY: People who are naturally curious are always asking questions to learn and explore more about a topic. This is a trait displayed by top performers in sales/business development roles. In a sales context, asking intelligent questions helps to uncover challenges faced by potential customers, and explores if your product/service can solve these challenges.

ENGAGING COMMUNICATION SKILLS: Any sales role involves communicating with new people daily. Successful salespeople are confident and thoughtful communicators, who enjoy building relationships.

ORGANISATION: Being successful in a sales role requires high levels of daily and weekly activity. Managing this effectively requires excellent time management, prioritising, and organisational skills.

COMPETITIVE SPIRIT: Sales is a target focused environment, where results are measurable, and progression is based on merit. In relation to Athletes, a Harvard Business Review article wrote that “there is a correlation between sports and sales success as top performers are able to handle emotional disappointments, bounce back from losses, and mentally prepare themselves for the next opportunity to compete”.

EMPATHY: Having the ability to understand and experience the perspective of others is important for building trust, and for being able to guide customers to the right solution. Internally, companies also value empathy as it promotes a healthy team culture.

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