Want to break into the tech industry -- yet wonder if coding is really your calling?
Guess who can earn the same or even more than the techies?
Yep, the salespeople in business software ("SaaS") companies.
So here are 5 comparisons between software sales vs coding to see which is right for you (you can also ask me questions below):
Software salespeople make a base salary + commissions at most companies. (Avoid any company paying only commissions, unless you want that.)
Coders can get paid well, yet they can’t scale their income without waiting for raises or changing jobs.
After helping more than 600 people get into software sales across the U.S., I’ve seen average first-year earnings usually in the $60-$80k range. $70k is pretty typical.
Many coders are in that range as well in year 1 (all depends what they’re doing, where they work, where they live, etc.)
Year 2, good software salespeople can step up to $100k+. If your BS Meter is blaring, think for a second...
That’s a pretty small % of the revenue from selling business software. It’s not cheap and most of it is sold on subscription (recurring revenue) these days.
True... coders can also make $100k+ in year 2 if they position themselves well -- getting good at an in-demand language + framework + living in a higher-paying area like the San Francisco Bay Area or New York City.
That said, I haven’t seen coders scale their incomes as fast as software salespeople. Yes, I’m biased. Yes, you can find counterexamples.
The bigger takeaway is both software salespeople and coders can both get paid well. And the sales route has the advantage in scalability if your commissions aren’t capped.
Software salespeople need to work similar hours to the business prospects they’re talking to.
Yes, some may choose to “grind from sunrise to sunset” doing research and admin…
Yet it’s pretty doable to fit these things into regular 40-hour week with the right tools, skills and workflows. No burnout heroics needed.
Coders may work 40ish hours per week, too. Or they may need to work long hours some weeks before new software releases or other “sprint” deadlines. Depends on the company.
I once heard Electronic Arts (which makes video games) tell coders:
“We have very flexible hours here. You can work any 80 hours of the week you want.”
Software salespeople and coders both do this. The key question is…
Would you prefer talking with people more than writing code to solve problems?
Coders spend many hours in silence with their computers to make great software.
If that gets you excited, coding may be a good path for you. Otherwise, consider the sales side.
No question coders are respected in tech companies and in society.
Salespeople in general… err, not so much. The tech industry really is different, though. You’re selling solutions you can believe in to help business people do their jobs better.
And you’re not selling with the old-school “Always Be Closing” garbage mindset.
“Always Create Clarity” is what works now, so you can feel good about your job. You’re helping people clarify their problems and seeing if you can solve them.
The tech industry also just has a cool factor many of your friends and family can appreciate. (If not, you gotta start hanging out with more positive, supportive people.)
Sales and coding are both crafts you can invest a lifetime mastering. That said, you can get started in software sales faster.
In my training + mentoring program, members usually get job offers (from companies THEY chose) within 6-12 weeks after starting.
While many coding bootcamps are 12 weeks, that’s not usually the time to start in a job. And you may still need to learn deeper core concepts like algorithms and data structures on your own.
Also, keep in mind the ongoing learning needed.
Programming languages and frameworks change. New versions of databases or other chunks of your tech stack can also require research or debugging time.
To be fair, in sales you gotta keep up with the latest industry trends. You’ll also learn some new tools every now and then to do your job better.
Which would you prefer? There’s no right or wrong answer.
If you’re one of the 3.9% of applicants my staff and I accept for our training + mentoring, we’ll teach you EVERYTHING you need to know about software sales.
No previous sales or tech experience needed. And the average member finds work within 6-12 weeks of starting.
Some companies you might recognize:
Amazon, Google, HubSpot, Outreach.io, Salesforce, Udemy, ZenDesk and Zillow.
And many other software companies across 41 U.S. states.
What if you don’t find a job after? Then everything you got is free.
Even better, since most people choose to pay AFTER they’ve started a software sales job (by sharing 12.5% of their income for 48 months, capped at $30k), our incentives are aligned to help them succeed.
If that's interesting, hit the "Learn More" button below to see our answers to many Frequently Asked Questions and to apply.
Meanwhile, thanks for reading and let me know below if you have other questions.
May the sales be with you,
Founder / CEO, preHIRED
P.S. If you skimmed down here without checking out the 5 comparisons between coding and software sales, make sure to go re-skim.
Even if you don’t work with my company to help you break into software sales, the info above tips can save you gobs of time debating how to get into tech.
As Prehired's Founder & CEO, Josh Jordan is leading the mission to help 10,000 people launch 6-figure software sales careers by the end of 2024.
How? With Prehired's Science-Based Sales® process -- born from helping dozens of software companies build their sales teams...
...and then consulting with hundreds of Software Sales Managers on exactly what they wanted new hires to know...
...and then helping hundreds of regular folks break into software sales in 12 weeks, on average.
Josh created Science-Based Sales® to help nearly anyone succeed in software sales, because it creates clarity for prospects. No killer closer instincts, charisma or kissing up to decision makers needed.