With new innovations being released every day, customers are clamouring to buy the latest technological marvels to improve their lives in the digital age. As a result, global tech sales are expected to reach almost $11.5 trillion by 2026.
Though that may seem like an amazing opportunity for any salesperson looking to nab a slice of the market pie, running a successful tech company isn’t as simple as it sounds. On top of hardware products, technology companies can also sell software-as-a-service (SaaS) and tech and IT services, which are intangible and can’t be easily demonstrated to customers.
Among all the competing tech companies and the challenges of selling something that can’t be touched, how do tech companies convince customers to buy their products and services? The answer to that is tech sales.
What Is Tech Sales?
Technology sales, or tech sales for short, is the process of finding and selling a specific tech product or solution to a customer in need.
The key word in this description is specific: there are thousands of different tech products and services out there, and a thousand more still in development. A customer with a tech need might find themselves paralyzed by the flood of options on the market, or even within a single company’s product catalogue.
Tech salespeople come to the rescue by consulting with each individual customer to identify their unique needs and recommending a product or solution that best solves the consumer’s need. Unlike retail sales that focus on pushing one particular product, tech sales act more as a consultancy.
What Does Tech Sales Include?
But what exactly is sold in tech sales? There are three broad categories of products a tech salesperson might sell. For all three of these categories, it’s possible to sell to both end-user consumers as well as companies.
The tech hardware industry segment includes the machines, wiring, infrastructure, semiconductors, and other physical components of computers and electronic devices. There can be no digital world without the hardware to support it. That’s why the global hardware market is valued at over $121 billion in 2023, and is expected to grow to $164 billion by 2027, according to The Business Research Company.
Some prominent examples of hardware tech companies are Apple, Dell, IBM, and Intel.
Next is software solutions, which are programs that are installed onto or accessed through hardware. These application software programs do most of the tasks you associate with computers, such as browsing the internet, creating word processing and media files, and analyzing data sets.
While most software (54%, according to Bloomberg) is installed on-premise, cloud-based software, also known as software-as-a-service (SaaS) is becoming increasingly popular. The SaaS market was valued at $261 billion in 2022, and is expected to reach a valuation of $819 billion by 2030, according to Yahoo Finance.
Some key players in the software tech market include Microsoft, Oracle, Salesforce, Adobe, and SAP.
3. Tech and IT Services
Finally, the last segment of the tech industry is tech and IT services, in which a company develops, maintains, and updates hardware, software, or information for their consumer. This covers everything from selling cable TV to homeowners to managing server security for a large firm. Worldwide IT spending totaled around $4.6 trillion in 2023, according to Gartner.
Some top IT and tech services companies are Microsoft, HP, IBM, Accenture, and Oracle.
Why Are Tech Sales Important?
Not only does tech sales help companies in competitive markets, but it also helps customers feel more satisfied with their purchases.
Tech Sales Help Companies Stay Competitive
There’s a common misconception that as long as you have an amazing product, consumers will be breaking down your door to purchase from you. Take, for example, the iPad: when it first launched, it was the first of its kind, and anyone who wanted a tablet would automatically buy it. Apple had a monopoly on the market.
But what about competitor tablets? Though they might not have been the first to create a tablet, those competing companies were able to capture a share of the market through strong marketing and sales tactics, communicating their bevvy of price points, product features, and customer support promises to distinguish themselves from Apple, attracting customers. In 2023, Apple’s iPad only had a 23.1% share of the tablet market, down from 49.2% the previous quarter, according to Statista.
In short, even if a tech company has an amazing product, it must use effective sales techniques to distinguish itself from competitors and maintain its market share. Customers won’t automatically know everything about your product, so it’s up to the sales department to educate them and make sure they’re happy with their purchase.
Tech Sales Help Customers Feel More Satisfied
On the consumer’s side, designated tech sales representatives will only become more and more valuable to consumers as the tech industry pumps out new hardware and software products and tech services.
With technology developing at exponential rates, customers searching for solutions to their technology needs might feel overwhelmed by the variety of options available. With the constant innovations in tech, it’s also highly unlikely that a customer fully understands the product specs and newfangled features of each product.
For example, if you were to walk into Best Buy to purchase a new laptop, you would be greeted by full tables worth of potential products you could buy, all from different brands to serve different needs at different price points. Picking the first laptop you see would likely lead to a poor fit. Instead, talking with an employee would help you uncover more information about each product, and hone in on the product that would suit you best.
Through one-on-one consulting and attention, sales tech representatives can ensure that each customer finds a product or solution perfectly suited to their needs and price point, and alleviate any concerns they might have about their purchase. This boosts a customer’s confidence and satisfaction with their final purchase.
How Can I Get Into Tech Sales?
Some aspects of tech sales are similar to normal sales, in that you build a rapport with customers to discover their pain points, suggest products and service packages that suit their needs, and overcome objections to closing the sale. If you’re not sure how to complete basic sales tasks such as those, Makingthatsale.com can teach you everything you need to know about sales.
However, unlike simpler products like clothes or furniture, tech sales require reps to have quite a bit of knowledge of the technology itself, so they can answer any questions the customer may have. For that reason, if you’re considering a career in tech sales, we’d recommend you choose from one of the three segments we’ve discussed today —hardware, software, and services— and learn all you can about their specific features. With some dedicated study and elbow grease, you’ll hopefully be on your way to tech sales success.