Why You Should Consider a Career in Technology Sales

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According to the Women in Sales at Dell EMEA

We recently interviewed various women in sales across the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region at Dell to get their insights on what motivated them to go into sales, what keeps them intrigued, life at Dell and lastly what they believe are the biggest misconceptions about a career in sales.

woman standing outside using a smartphone

Diana Boos, Switzerland, Inside Sales Account Manager – Acquisition

“Though I’ve been working in IT for many years, I still find it exciting as it is a constantly changing world.  In my current role at Dell, I’m responsible for acquiring new business opportunities within the Public customer sector. In addition, I manage all aspects of the customer and partner relationships. One might think that technology sales is a little too technical, that there is a typical sales play that must be adhered to and it’s a better match for males, however, in contrary your basically conversing with various clients and doing it in your own way.

“Furthermore, if you like working with international teams and in a fresh environment, Dell is the place to be. Industry 4.0 and digitalization are future trends that you will not only read about but you will be in the middle of these solutions at Dell.”

Bouchra El Mernissi, France, Partner Account Manager – Channels

“Initially I didn’t have any experience in technology. However, IT is everywhere so I was interested joining an IT company. Additionally, the fact that IT is considered as a male domain motivated me even more to join.

“My role entails selling Dell solutions to partners who in turn resell to end users. I also work with a virtual team and we work on account strategy, sales enablement and pipeline management.

“I believe that the biggest misconception women may have about sales is that it’s too difficult for them, too much pressure, high targets that are unattainable and that there might not be much of a work-life balance. Yes, there is pressure, but more so it is challenging and this is what motivates me.

“Dell provides a multitude of jobs and there are great opportunities to grow. For example, I changed roles just after 18 months to a new opportunity I wanted to pursue. The organization offers rewarding experiences, advancement and on top of that, balance.”

Olga Nikrasova (pictured), Sweden, Account Executive – Channels

Olga Nikrasova, Sweden, Account Executive - Channels at Dell sits working on a laptop“I was working as a Project Manager on a small team at a small company and felt that I needed a change in my professional life, something to motivate me more.  I had a friend that worked at Dell at that time and whenever she spoke about her work it sounded like such a fun and challenging environment.  So I decided to apply to an open position even though I had no background in technology or sales. Seven years later, I’m still at Dell, I’ve had several roles, and I’m still enjoying the continuous challenges.

“I am responsible for one of our largest partners in Sweden. My work consists of, amongst other things, keeping the relationship between our companies strong, assisting the sales teams in larger deals/opportunities, keeping track of certifications and providing necessary trainings for the partner with year on year growth as a primary objective.

“I think the biggest misconception is that being in sales is tough and competitive. I mean, it can be, but most of the time you work as a team involving specialists in different areas so when you win a deal you win as a team and everyone gets credit for it. It’s so much more about teamwork than anything else really, which also makes it a lot more fun.

“Dell is a great workplace due to the culture, the people and the opportunities. Most of the managers at Dell started out in Inside Sales and worked their way up, which says a lot about a company where people choose to stay for the endless possibilities to evolve professionally and personally. Working in sales is not only fun but also educational and can be a great stepping stone in your career.”

Laure Masson, France, Account Executive

“At first, IT wasn’t an obvious choice for me, but I became more intrigued when realizing the impact that IT can have on our customers’ business and strategy. IT is everywhere! Though at the start of my career my scope was related to product management, it quickly appeared to me that the most interesting part of it was to talk about our customers’ challenges and articulate the right solutions to help them.

“I’m currently responsible for a group of private sector large customers in the Paris area, and my day to day job is to ensure (together with my team) that we assist our customers in the best way by leveraging the Dell strategy to meet their expectations and ensure a high level of satisfaction. The larger our footprint is in our customer’s IT strategy, the better opportunity we have to grow revenue and profit.

“One of the things I enjoy the most about my job are the challenges. When a customer is facing a business challenge, or is aiming to transform part of its business, this is where our job makes the most impact. When we succeed in building the right relationship with the customer, then they consider us as trusted advisors, and are keen to discuss challenges to formulate a strategy together. The Digital Transformation that every industry is facing today generates a lot of thinking among our customers, and our strategy hinges on helping them take the best turns to remain competitive.

“To me, women might perceive the sales role as tough; a job where you need to be aggressive in your approach to be relevant, where negotiation is the only way to make a move with the customer and where basically a woman might not feel comfortable. Selling IT is different from selling windows or carpets, it is all about going along with your customers’ challenges and priorities, and being identified as the right person they can rely to make the right decisions.

“I would like to let all females know what it is to have a career at Dell.  You’ll discover various jobs. Being a sales person at Dell will give you the opportunity to drive and contribute to the company’s strategy and be involved in a fantastic momentum such as Digital Transformation, Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence. At Dell you learn a lot on a daily basis and it is possible to take new challenges while driving your career efficiently.”

Mette Wesby, Norway, Inside Sales Manager

“I started in IT when I was 17. I started working in technical support for internet. Then I studied Web design. After that I started to work at 21 years old at Dell in Copenhagen. Currently, I work as an Inside Sales Manager. As an Inside Sales Manager, I develop, communicate and execute specific sales strategies and activities.

“The biggest misconception that females may have about sales is that it’s a man’s job. However at Dell, we focus on Diversity and Inclusion, which contributes to making the organization an even better place to work and this in turn drives greater outcomes for our business and customers.”

Angela McMillan, United Kingdom, Inside Sales Manager – Acquisition

“I worked at HP for 7 years in Services. Dell opened in Glasgow and I fancied a change so I decided to apply for a support role, mainly to get my foot in the door. I started in the Global Customer Program team, which stood me in great stead for learning the systems and understanding the sales cycle and serving customers.

“Today I’m the UK Inside Sales Manager for the Acquisition – Commercial business team. I really enjoy managing people, helping them to strive to do better and hitting the number, on their own foremost, then as part of a team.

“The biggest misconceptions women may have, is that it is a ‘Man’s World‘– and indeed it is not. I work for a female manager who has been extremely successful during her time in Dell. Dell is a fantastic company to work for, I have grown up at Dell I guess, engaged, married and now I am having my first baby, and in that time I have moved teams 5 times and been promoted 4 times.

“The sky is the limit!”

Ane Bessermann, Denmark, Sales Director – Public

“I started working in sales 18 years ago, by coincidence. I was applying for a job in marketing, but was convinced to go after a job in sales instead (at the same company). First I was really quite surprised by this suggestion; I definitely didn’t see myself as a “typical sales person.” In my mind, a typical sales person working with IT, would need deep technical knowledge, as well have very good negotiation skills and maybe be a bit the annoying/persistent persona, like the sales people you sometimes meet over the phone, trying to sell you a new insurance or newspaper subscription.

“But I decided to try it out, and I have stayed within sales ever since. It turned out that selling is about people, relationships, teamwork, trust, listening, learning, network, competition, agility, being smart and clever – and a lot more. And in technology sales, a sales rep is not “one size fits all.” To compensate for my lack of technical knowledge, I have managed to team up with colleagues who have excellent technical skills. It’s all about being part of a great diverse team, and knowing how to engage with the right colleagues at the right time.

“I enjoy the engagement with people (colleagues, customers and partners). I like working out the strategy and trying to find better and smarter ways to do things. I like how we work and win as a team, and I like winning over our competitors.  No two days are the same, and there is a lot of empowerment and flexibility in a job in sales – even if you are not a manager.

“A job within sales is a good way to practice your leadership skills. You play an important role getting people working together around closing a large deal (product specialists, finance, pricing, etc.). If you are the person people want to work with, you are already closer to being a success.

“No matter what career path you chose in the long run, having tried a sales role will always be a good experience to bring into every job role since you learn how to deliver a clear message and convince people to be on your team.”

Key Takeaways

If you are considering a career in IT sales, heed the wise words of these women who have enjoyed success and boundless opportunity in their field.  Realize it’s a career based on relationship building and team collaboration in which no two days are the same.  As these women shared, Dell offers a diverse environment with great career opportunities and flexibility within the sales profession.

So we encourage you to take a risk, discover something new and challenge yourself!

To learn more about our sales opportunities across EMEA visit: jobs.dell.com/EMEA-sales

About the Author: Cisley Wilson

Cisely Wilson is currently the EMEA Social Media and Brand Engagement Lead from the Talent Acquisition Employment Brand team. She joined Dell in 2015 as a recruiter primarily focused on sales hiring and university relations in the Netherlands.
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