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Job Photographs

  • A man is sitting at a desk looking at a computer screen.

    You need to research what you're selling so you're ready to make the call.

  • A man in a black, hooded top is talking on the phone while standing up.

    Standing up and moving around during a call can help get the salesperson motivated.

  • A man sits at a desk in the corner of an office.  He is using a computer.

    The customer gets in contact if they have any problems with the products they have bought. The sales manager deals with these problems as they arise.

  • A man is sitting at a desk, talking on the phone.

    Making notes during a call to get all the customer's details.

  • Several men are sat in an office in front of computer screens.

    You need to be a team player in a job like this.

  • IT Sales Manager

IT Sales Manager

Introduction

IT Sales Managers sell computer hardware and software to commercial customers. They give advice about equipment and systems. The work sometimes involves negotiating contracts and managing a team of sales staff. They might also manage aftersales services.

Also known as

  • Technical Sales Manager, Computers
  • IT Sales Manager

Video: - Bryn: Technical Account Manager

Work Activities

As an IT Sales Manager, you are responsible for the sale of computer hardware and/or software to other organisations. You'll find new customers, build relationships with them, and aim to keep existing customers.

You'll try to persuade customers that they will benefit from buying new IT systems or adding to the systems that they already have.

To achieve a sale, you must understand your customer's organisation. You will work out what the customer needs to help their business run smoothly; then you can help the customer to choose a computer system that will achieve this.

You will also have to understand your own organisation's products thoroughly so that you can give a lot of information to the customer. For example, you might tell them what effect new systems will have on their organisation and how they can blend the new products in with their existing ones.

Preparing reports, presentations and demonstrations to persuade customers that your products represent the best solutions for their organisation's needs will also be an important part of your role as an IT Sales Manager.

You will provide quotations (estimates of price) and might need to negotiate until an agreement is reached; for some customers, you might need to complete a tender document (a competitive bid for the supply of goods or services) and agree a final contract if the bid is successful.

When you have clinched a sale, you must keep in contact with the customer after the installation of the system. Sometimes you will provide technical advice and support in case problems develop, or you might pass the details on to aftersales support staff. This contact also enables them to find out if the organisation has any further need for new computer equipment.

IT Sales Managers might lead and co-ordinate a team of technical sales staff. Usually, you will have sales targets to meet; you'll encourage the team to achieve these targets.

You could be responsible for recruiting and training your sales staff. You'll set standards and make sure that sales staff have good customer skills and product knowledge, together with supplies of up-to-date sales literature and product demonstrations.

You'll have to keep within an agreed budget for the running of your department.

Depending on the level of your responsibility, you could travel locally, nationally and even internationally, and might have to spend time away from home.

Being able to read, write and speak Welsh may be an advantage when you’re looking for work in Wales.

Personal Qualities and Skills

To become an IT Sales Manager, you'll need:

  • excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • interpersonal skills
  • sales skills
  • IT skills
  • a good telephone manner
  • customer service skills
  • an interest in, and an understanding of, how businesses and other organisations operate
  • patience and persistence
  • to be confident and enthusiastic
  • to keep up to date with new technologies

You are likely to need a full driving licence.

Pay and Opportunities

Pay

The pay rates given below are approximate.

  • Starting: £47,000 - £57,000
  • With experience: £64,500 - £81,500
  • Senior IT Sales Managers earn £91,500 - £105,500

Salaries could include performance-related pay, profit share or company bonuses.

Hours of work

IT Sales Managers usually work office hours, Monday to Friday. However, you might need to do early starts and late finishes from time to time and spend occasional nights away from home.

Where could I work?

Employers are manufacturers of computers and/or related equipment, dealers, software houses or consultancies. You might specialise in a particular market, such as health care or financial software.

Opportunities for IT Sales Managers occur in some towns and cities around the UK.

This career could include working for an agency.

Where are vacancies advertised?

Vacancies are advertised in local/national newspapers, on recruitment and employers' websites, and on Find a Job (www.gov.uk/jobsearch).

Social media websites, such as LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook, are a great way to network, find vacancies and get in contact with possible employers. Make sure that your profile presents you in a professional manner that will appeal to potential employers.

Take a look at our General Information Article 'Finding Work Online'.

Entry Routes and Training

Entry routes

Direct entrants to IT sales are likely to need a degree or HND. Business information technology, computer systems or other technical subjects might be preferred. A levels could be enough for entry to organisations that sell less technically complex products.

An Advanced Level Apprenticeship is also great place to start. You may be able to take a vocational qualification, such as a NVQ, as part of your apprenticeship. Take a look at our information article 'Apprenticeships – How do I apply', for more details about applying for apprenticeship positions.

A number of universities offer the information technology management for business degree that has been jointly developed with major employers. Some universities and employers offer internships or student placements that develop business, communication and interpersonal skills.

A number of foundation degree courses are offered in subjects such as information technology and computing.

Entry might be possible for people without these academic qualifications, usually if they have relevant skills in, for example, technical support, help desk work, computer sales or consultancy.

People often enter sales work as a career change or development from other work in the computer industry, such as systems analysis. People with a degree or HND in business and marketing related qualifications also enter this career.

A great way to get into this career is through an internship. Take a look at our information article 'Internships', for more details.

Training

If you are completely new to computing work, you will usually follow an extensive training programme. Such programmes cover product and company knowledge, understanding the IT business world in general terms, learning about existing and potential customers, and selling and negotiating skills in an IT context.

Regular training throughout your career is essential to keep you up to date with technical developments.

It might be possible to work towards relevant work-related qualifications. These could be related to IT (for users, practitioners and professionals) or sales.

There could be opportunities to study for professional qualifications with the Institute of Sales and Marketing Management, or the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM). The CIM also offers a number of sales, and sales management, training courses.

Some IT Sales Managers study part-time for other qualifications, for example, the professional qualifications of BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT.

The University of Portsmouth offers a part-time MA in sales management for practising sales professionals.

Progression

IT Sales Managers can progress to senior management posts after further training and experience.

Work Experience

Previous experience working in technical support, help desk work, computer sales or consultancy would be really useful for this career. Experience as a Team Leader is an advantage for entry into management-level posts.

Qualifications

For entry to a relevant degree course, the usual requirement is:

  • 2/3 A levels
  • GCSEs at grade C/4 or above in 2/3 other subjects
  • English and maths at GCSE

Alternatives to A levels include:

  • BTEC or City & Guilds level 3 qualifications
  • the International Baccalaureate Diploma

To get onto an Advanced Level Apprenticeship, you'll usually need 5 GCSEs at grade C/4 or above, including English and maths, or to have completed an Intermediate Level Apprenticeship.

Some universities accept the Welsh Baccalaureate as equivalent to 1 A level.

Adult Opportunities

Age limits

It is illegal for any organisation to set age limits for entry to employment, education or training, unless they can show there is a real need to have these limits.

Entry

Entry is possible for those without academic qualifications, for example, if they have relevant skills. These could be in technical support, help desk work, computer sales or consultancy. Experience as a team leader is an advantage for entry into management-level posts.

Other skills in, for example, customer services or marketing, can also be useful.

For senior posts, taking the MBA (Master of Business Administration) can be an advantage.

Access courses

If you don't have the qualifications needed to enter your chosen degree or HND course, a college or university Access course, for example, Access to IT/Computing, could be the way in.

These courses are designed for people who have not followed the usual routes into higher education. No formal qualifications are usually needed, but you should check this with individual colleges.

Further Information

The Tech Partnership

Skills for business and information technology

Address: 1 Castle Lane, London SW1E 6DR

Tel: 020 7963 8920

Email: info@e-skills.com

Website: www.e-skills.com

BCS: The Chartered Institute for IT

Address: First Floor, Block D, North Star House, North Star Avenue, Swindon SN2 1FA

Tel: 0845 3004417

Email: custsupport@bcs.uk

Website: www.bcs.org

Big Ambition

Email: bigambition@e-skills.com

Website: www.bigambition.co.uk

Bring IT On

Irish enquiries

Website: www.bringitonni.info

Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM)

Address: Moor Hall, Cookham, Maidenhead, Berkshire SL6 9QH

Tel: 01628 427120

Website: www.cim.co.uk

Institute of Sales Management (ISM)

Address: Harrier Court, Lower Woodside, Bedfordshire LU1 4DQ

Tel: 01582 840001

Website: www.ismm.co.uk

Getin2marketing

Website: www.getin2marketing.com

Careers Wales - Welsh Apprenticeships

Tel: 0800 028 4844

Website: ams.careerswales.com/

Tech Partnership

Email: info@thetechpartnership.com

Website: www.thetechpartnership.com/

People Exchange Cymru (PEC)

Public sector recruitment portal for Wales

Email: peopleexchangecymru@gov.wales

Website: www.peopleexchangecymru.org.uk/home

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