Career path from programming to sales

Constant change, challenge and unrivalled compensation opportunities make sales a particularly attractive career option.But if you’re a software developer, engineer or other technical professional, sales may seem unfamiliar or even intimidating. Fortunately, this career path is well traveled.Download the May digital magazineCover story: How analytics transforms IoT data into business intelligenceREAD NOWLearn from those who have gone before to familiarize yourself with the job and decide if you want to pursue it. You may find that the most important step is realizing that you already have what it takes.[ Also on CIO.com: The 6 hottest new jobs in IT ]Leveraging your assetsDevelopers and engineers tend to view the world through the lens of systems and processes. At first glance, that outlook may appear incompatible with the interpersonal nature of selling, but it’s one that is “helpful in sales,” explains Adam Emsley, Head of Partnerships and Integrations at Gengo, a company that provides translation services. “Engineers know how to take a product or process, break it down into steps and then make improvements,” says Emsley.ADVERTISINGThis ability to understand and answer technical questions from customers is a particular strength that technologists bring to sales. “Customers are smart and will challenge you. Knowing my products from the inside and really understanding the technology was a great way to earn the respect of my technical buyers,” says Neil Lustig, CEO of marketing communication technology company Sailthru.Rapid learning is another valuable skill that technologists develop over time and one that helps them grow and maintain their credibility. “In order to stay productive, engineers know the importance of staying up to date with the latest technologies. That ability to quickly learn and adjust translates to sales,” Emsley says.

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