• The Follow Up
  • Posts
  • Getting a Tech Sales Job is Much Harder in 2023

Getting a Tech Sales Job is Much Harder in 2023

A tech sales recruiter tells us what the job market is really like

Good Morning and Happy Giving Tuesday! To celebrate the holiday we’re giving all of our prospects a quick call. Just to let them know we’re thinking of them. 😃 

In today’s Follow Up:

  • The 2023 tech sales job market 🤔 

  • Q4 objection tip 🗣️ 

  • Sales news across the internet 🖥️ 

  • 4 new remote sales jobs 🤑 

  • LinkedIn sightings & a meme 😂 

How to Get a Tech Sales Job in 2023

It’s almost the end of 2023 and the job market is a hot topic. 🔥 

Sales job posts on LinkedIn get 100’s of applicants in the first 24 hours, and 251K tech employees have been laid off so far, (and there’s still a month left).

But is it really as bad as everyone says?

To find out, we went to the front lines and sat down with Sam Marelich.

Sam is the founder of Next Venture where he helps VC-backed startups hire and scale their sales team.

He’s in the trenches of the tech sales job market, talking to tech companies and sales reps every day. If someone knows what’s really going on, it’s him.

So without further ado, let’s dive in. 👇️ 

💼 How is Today’s Tech Sales Job Market That’s Different from 2-3 Years Ago?

This is going to be hard for people to hear, but the last 3 to 5 years have been a very strong employee market... and that has completely flipped.

This is the worst job market for tech in the last 20 years and the tech startup scene is likely going to be 20 to 30 percent smaller than it was at its peak. A lot of people will be pushed out.

Employers really do have the pick of the bunch these days.

If you’ve had 5 jobs in the last 3 years, it will be harder to compete with someone who spent the last 4 years at one company, overachieving their quota. 

The other thing that we don’t talk about enough is that sales compensation has gone up enormously. When I started, a mid-market account executive would get a 130k OTE. Now it's 200K. A huge increase. 

And the thing that happens when you push a sales rep's OTE up is very simple… For every dollar you give the sales rep you add 4 to their quota. 

Let’s say someone has a 100K base with 200K OTE, and an $800K quota. 

Now increase the base to $125K, and OTE to $250K, and their quota now has to be $1M. 

And we wonder why sales performance has fallen off a cliff…

Salespeople have become a lot more expensive.

🧑‍💼 Is There an Advantage to Working With a Recruiter vs. Applying Directly to a Company (via Website or LinkedIn)?

Mercury did a study on this in 2021 (and these numbers are actually worse today).

For every 330 applicants who applied on their website or LinkedIn, they hired 1 person.

But for every 20 people a recruiter reached out to, 1 was hired.

And for every 10 that were internally referred, 1 was hired.

So your odds are:

Website application: 1 in 330
Through a recruiter: 1 in 20
Internal referral: 1 in 10

In today’s job market, I would actually put a LinkedIn application closer to a 1 in 600 chance.

🚩 What are Red Flags or Things Salespeople Should Look For When Joining a Startup?

If you’re thinking about joining a startup, ask yourself: is this company solving a real problem?

Here’s an example…

I was recently talking to a great CRO who’s taken a company from $0 to $30M in ARR, and I wanted his opinion on a new startup. Their tagline is “AI-powered search for all your apps. Never miss what matters.” Basically a productivity tool.

So I asked him: “Put yourself back into your old role. Are you okay with spending $30K/ year on a solution like this?”

The answer is no.

It might be cool to have, but no team really needs it.

So the question most salespeople need to ask is: Are you selling something that people need to have, or are you selling something that would be nice to have?

You want to sell a product that people need to have.

🤔 If Someone Was Just Laid Off or Lost Their Job, What Should They Do to Get a Job in This Market?

The first thing you need to do is make yourself as marketable as possible.

> Resume in PDF format.
> Professional LinkedIn profile.
> Deal size, performance, big logos you closed, etc.

Put your numbers up on LinkedIn. And if your numbers aren’t put where you were at in the company.

So if you were 64% to quota, but you ranked #2 out of 12 reps, say you were the #2 rep on your team.

Talk about your achievements, but don't give us BS like “I help manage cross functional meetings”. All that tells me is you didn't do anything important at your job.

But if you can say “I brought on Exxon mobile for a $120K contract”, now I've got a selling point that I can use.

Lastly, if you are currently employed, make sure you’re recording your numbers. Put a reminder on your calendar at the end of every month and record your numbers in your own system.

The day you need those numbers is the day you won't have access to your company’s systems, and you'll be thanking yourself for writing them down.

You owe it to yourself.


Want more of these insights?

Watch the full interview on YouTube or listen on Spotify.

Did you work with a recruiter to get your current job?

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.

Sales Tip of The Day 💡 

It’s that time of the year when prospects bring out all of the objects (out of the office, no budget, maybe in Q1, etc.)

The key is to get a time on the calendar.

🗣️ “To avoid an email back and forth down the road, could we put 15min on the calendar in January?”

Whether it’s in 1 month or 3 months down the line, get a time that’s locked in on their calendar.

And if you’ve got your prospect on the phone, ask them to accept the invite while on the call.

Sales in the News 🗞️ 

Cool Jobs at Cool Companies 🤑 

Checking in on LinkedIn 👀 

Meeting notes & daily stand-ups = the key to every good business & relationship? 🤔 

Sales Meme of the Day

What did you think of today's newsletter?

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.

Want to advertise in The Follow Up? Click Here