Software Sales Rep Success

How to be a Successful Software Sales Rep

Being a software sales rep can be a fascinating and lucrative career. The US economy is based on innovation and new technology, so the demand will always be high. Beyond that, CNBC recently reported that sales jobs are still in good supply because companies focus on hiring revenue-generating positions. Essentially, sales jobs are always recession-proof. Being a good software sales rep will always be in demand, and you will always have options, even in hard economic times.

Software sales jobs also offer opportunities to make money to anybody, regardless of experience and education. Sales, in general, are meritocratic. That means irrespective of background or education, anyone who can get the job done can succeed. Sales jobs are one of the best jobs without a college degree. In this article, I will give you tools to succeed in software sales. If you can master these few things, you will be successful.


Step 1

The first step in being successful is to find the right software company. That’s right, the first step of success has nothing to do with you. To grow a good crop, you must have good soil and weather. No matter how hard you work and how good a farmer you are, you won’t be able to grow good produce if the soil and climate are bad. In the same way, being a successful sales rep starts with finding good soil and good weather.


Good Soil – Good Software Company

Find a good software company if you want good soil to grow your sales success. What does that mean? First, find a software company with a good product and innovative technology. There are many software companies with not-so-good software. If that is the case, it won’t be easy to sell. How can you find out? Well, research and see if you can find out if the software company is growing. If the software company is growing, they probably have a good product and have good management. Even if a software company is big but is not growing, it’s a sign that you might not want to work there.

Good Weather – Good Industry

Find a software company in a growing industry. If a company makes software for a declining industry, it will affect the software company’s sales. Go into a new and growing industry. Get in on the ground floor in innovation. Some good new and growing industries are in green technology and software as service industries. However, ensure the software company develops products and services with a felt need and demand already existing in the market. Don’t work for a software company developing a product for an anticipated market. Make sure the market is already there.

Find good soil and good weather. Find a company with good software and good management. Find a company in a growing industry. Without these two components, you will be fighting uphill.

Step 2

The next thing you need to do is overcome your fear of rejection. You will grow in this area, but you need to start the process. If you don’t grow in this area, you will not succeed. Here’s how you can get over your fear and reduce the emotional stress, strain, and drain that can ensue.

Know and Believe in Your Product. This goes back to step 1, but you must know and genuinely believe in your product if you succeed. Suppose you don’t honestly see the value and benefits of your product and how it’s better than your competitor. You will never get over the emotional uneasiness of selling it. I don’t know if I could have stayed in the software companies I’ve worked for if I didn’t genuinely believe in the product. Before I signed on to work as a software sales rep for a software company, I made sure I knew the product and the competitors to make sure I could sell it with passion and integrity.

Make It Impersonal Realize. that it’s not YOU they are rejecting. It is your software. If you genuinely believe in your product, you can always return to that conviction and let your fear and feelings of rejection go away. Remember, most people reject your software, not because it’s bad, but because they don’t know how good it is. That’s your job to make them realize how great your product is.

Believe the Best in People. When people reject you, there is a tendency to dislike, hate, and rant against your prospects. T, was,on’t give in to that, or it will emotionally drain you over time, and you won’t be able to sustain your tenure as a software sales rep. Please give them the benefit of the doubt and believe the best in them. I remember working for a high-tech software company as a young sales rep. I called a prospect, and he angrily hung up on me. I often hung up the phone, was discouraged, and even hurt when someone rejected my offer. Wo weeks later, I was training someone on making cold calls and decided to call this same prospect back as a training tool for my trainee. To my great surprise, he not only talked to me but also bought our software. When he angrily hung up on me, he didn’t know who I was, who I was with, what software I had. He was having a bad day. It had nothing to do with me! Whenever someone rejects me or I get tempted to have harsh feelings about them, I quiet myself and internally wish the best for them. I know it sounds cheesy, but it works, and I can make my next call happy, making a huge difference in sales.

Step 3

Becoming successful in any sales is a numbers game. Keep track of the numbers. Below are some numbers that the best software sales reps keep track of.

Cold Calling Dials. Virtually all sales involve large amounts of cold calling. At the very least, cold calling is where you’ll most probably need to start. So, the first category you’ll want to track is your hard calling numbers. Let me give you an idea of the typical cold-calling volume necessary for most software sales jobs. It’ll also give you an idea of product demand and areas for growth. The max you’ll be capable of doing is probably 150 cold-calling dials daily. I once worked at a software company where this was the minimum requirement. It’s possible, but it’s hard.

One of the best sales reps we had made around 75 dials a day. This included cold calling as well as follow-up calls, etc. But don’t think if you’re starting that this is sufficient. This guy had tons of sales experience and knew how to maximize his efforts. The only way to do that is by making calls. So when a sales rep starts, they should make at least 100-150 cold calls daily. This is the best way to practice and get better. Once you’re good enough to make 50-75 calls daily, you’ll still have a full day but with more purposeful and quality calling. But again, you can’t get there overnight, and you ONLY get there by making the calls. At my last software sales job, I drove around 50 cold calls a day, but that’s because I was also doing presentations.

Cold calling is fundamental, and I can’t emphasize it enough. It’s hard, but if you can press through the initial emotional turmoil and hit your stride, this will lead to your success as a sales rep. Remember, sales is a numbers game. Even if you’re bad at sales, if your product is decent and the market is large, you should be able to get sales by calling tons of people.

Several Appointments Set and Kept. Many software companies have started doing webinars to do sales presentations of their software. It’s an easy and efficient way to get that initial exposure to a potential client, and it’s a great way to get you started without having to learn a ton or be able to do a great job presenting the software. Typically, the best sales rep or one of the executives will run these webinars. If your company is set up, you should shoot for about 4-5 appointments daily. With good follow-up, 50-75% of those you made appointments with will appear. That means for every 4-5 people you sign up for a webinar, you’ll get about 2-3 people show up.

Closing Numbers. If you make 100-150 cold calls daily, you should make 4-5 daily presentations. A good software package will have a 15-25% closing rate for display attendees. That means you should be able to close 2-4 sales a week, even if you’re not that great at cold calling.

Don’t Make Excuses for Not Making Calls. Sometimes, software sales reps are so tired of making the calls that they get distracted by other “productive” activities like research, learning the software, etc. Don’t fool yourself. If you’re not making the calls, you won’t succeed. Let yourself get a break now and then, but be realistic that it’s only a break from the real work of making the calls start again.

Also, don’t get over-complicated on the numbers game. Don’t get so bogged down by advanced numbers analysis that you stop making calls. I usually make tick marks on my notepad while I’m making calls. It’s as simple as that. Don’t get tempted to be sophisticated at the expense of making the calls. Your sales skills will improve with practice, but don’t wait until you’re ‘good’ to make the calls. Getting ‘good’ will only come with doing it.

Work from Home Software Sales Rep Jobs

To find a good software sales rep job, you have to begin by finding a good company to work for with a good product. Then, you have the drive and discipline to make the calls and track the numbers. If you have these things ingrained in your value system, you are a great candidate for work-from-home software sales jobs. The great thing about software is that the product is electronic, which means you can showcase it online and present it over the phone. Unlike a physical widget that people need to touch and feel, the software doesn’t require that component.

Many companies have hired salespeople to work from home to save on employment costs. These sales reps are independent contractors with general overheads like building and equipment. Software is a good industry to try to find a good and legitimate work-from-home job. And because it can be presented online, you can do it from home.


Alcohol scholar. Bacon fan. Internetaholic. Beer geek. Thinker. Coffee advocate. Reader. Have a strong interest in consulting about teddy bears in Nigeria. Spent 2001-2004 promoting glue in Pensacola, FL. My current pet project is testing the market for salsa in Las Vegas, NV. In 2008 I was getting to know birdhouses worldwide. Spent 2002-2008 buying and selling easy-bake-ovens in Bethesda, MD. Spent 2002-2009 marketing country music in the financial sector.