Vancouver’s technology sector is booming, creating an influx of job opportunities in the industry. Whether it’s local startups that are catching fire or global players setting up satellite offices in Vancouver, the job market in technology is hot.
As a result, careers in software development have somewhat taken the spotlight. Hard skills, like coding, have come to be considered necessary to succeed in the tech industry. I’m here to set the record straight on that.
Technical roles are not the only focal point of Vancouver’s tech industry. While it’s true that there’s an influx of demand for skilled developers as the city’s tech industry continues to grow, the rise of the industry is also creating ample opportunity for non-technical positions which place a heavy emphasis on soft skills.
At Galvanize, where our line of work is security, risk management, compliance, and audit software, roughly 70% of current open positions in our Vancouver office are non-technical roles – that’s because these teams are quickly growing.
Undoubtedly, the boom of Vancouver’s tech industry means some great applications will be built. That’s where, in my opinion, lies the greatest opportunity of them all, and that opportunity is to become a sales professional. Nothing happens without sales – someone must take that wonderful product and sell it to the market that it was intended for.
While it’s a common startup mentality that a good product will sell itself, the fact is we live in an age of unlimited choices. For every digital product, there are five more that offer a similar service. Sales is the last critical step in the lifespan of a product. After all, you can have the best product in the world, but it won’t matter unless it gets into the right hands.
In Silicon Valley, home to the world’s largest tech giants, sales teams are the backbone of these leading companies. In a climate where if you’re not growing you’re dying, having an experienced sales team makes all the difference. According to Entrepreneur, an average of 17 percent of the workforces of top growing companies are sales people.
While Vancouver is home to an impressive startup ecosystem, the city has faced a scale up deficit which prevents us from competing on a global stage with these companies. In order to scale our businesses, experienced sales teams are a key element to success.
A career in technology sales can be as immensely rewarding as it is challenging. If you are interested in a career in technology, you should at least understand what a career in tech sales can offer you. In cities like Vancouver where there is a high cost of living, sales roles should absolutely be desirable because of the earning potential.
At Galvanize, we not only offer a verycompetitive, uncapped compensation package that rewards those who can deliver, we also offer the ability to make a real difference in the world by enabling private and public organizations to fight fraud, waste and abuse amongst a host of other things. I have been lucky to have been a part of some great technology sales engines and have seen firsthand what a well-oiled sales engine can do for an emerging technology company with a great product.
A career in sales also offers the potential for enormous personal and professional growth. Working in sales instills a drive to set goals and achieve them, and you’ll find that these values extend to your personal life as well. Interpersonal skills, like active listening and confidence in meeting new people, are also crucial skills for personal and professional success.
The ability to present, negotiate and lead will make you successful in sales, but are also skills that are transferable to other fields. Finally, there is the satisfaction of seeing the direct impact of your work on your company goals and targets, and really moving the needle on company growth.
That said, you need to go into it with the mentality of wanting to be the best. It takes a certain DNA to succeed in a sales role. Sales professionals must be comfortable with being uncomfortable and that’s because we challenge ourselves, our customers and our prospects every single day. If you are naturally curious, have a natural sense of urgency, are resilient and coachable, you are indeed an ideal candidate for a career in technology sales.
At Galvanize, our goal is to have the best salesforce in the industry and we work very hard to enable, support and coach our sales team. We invest as much in our people as our people invest in us, it’s a two-way contract that drives success.
If you’re interested in joining the sales team at Galvanize, you can learn about career openings here.
Jon Feldman is VP of Sales at Galvanize.