Why tech sales: 4 Chicago sales pros share what they love about their jobs

by Michael Hines
July 10, 2019

“If you build it, they will come” isn’t a solid business strategy in the tech industry, especially in the B2B space. For many companies, success and growth come when cutting-edge technology is placed in the hands of a talented and highly motivated sales team. We recently caught up with four local sales pros to learn more about how they got into the industry and what they love most about their roles.

 

PowerReviews Chicago sales jobs

Sales is known as a competitive field, but an equally important part of selling is building relationships. A love for building relationships played a big part in Melissa Wilkins’ decision to pursue a career in sales, and it’s also helped her find success in her role as an enterprise account executive at PowerReviews.

 

What prompted you to pursue a career in sales?

Growing up, my family owned a business centered around sales and customer service, and that heavily influenced my career today. I realized that many of my strengths and personal goals were centered around sales, so it was a natural career choice for me. Sales is largely about building relationships, which is something I love to do. I also love working with a wide variety of people, getting a pulse on opportunities in the marketplace and consulting to help improve business strategies.

Sales is largely about building relationships, which is something I love to do.”

 

What aspects of your current role do you love the most and why?

What I love most are the relationships I’ve been able to build, both with clients and my co-workers. I work with incredibly talented people who offer so much knowledge, whether I’m working on the sales floor or with our product, implementation or marketing teams. Collaboration is a core value at PowerReviews and it’s actively practiced every day. It’s been a main driver of my success and I could not be more thankful to work on a team of people who all strive toward one common goal. 

 

TripActions Chicago sales jobs

TripActions’ AI-powered business travel platform is used by companies to build, scale and manage their travel programs. Account Executive Maci Hansen said part of what she loves most about being on the company’s sales team is the high level of accountability and ownership her team is provided.

 

What prompted you to pursue a career in sales?

I have always had a competitive spirit, both on and off the field of play. Upon graduation, I faced the debate most graduates have: What do I want to do for a career? During career fairs, I quickly realized that I was drawn toward booths that were recruiting competitive, hungry and enthusiastic people. After many interesting conversations, I landed at a tech company. After six years in sales, I am still extremely passionate about what I do. My favorite part is being around people who are outgoing and extremely motivated to win.

I love that I can come into work every day and learn, make great money and be in a fun and enjoyable environment.”

 

What aspects of your current role do you love the most and why?

Taking ownership is incredibly important to me. Every day I come in as the “CEO” of my territory, and I love that I can manage my own book of business. There is a high level of accountability that I have in controlling how successful I am. I can’t point fingers when I am not where I want to be. The more work I put into my skills, pipeline building and thinking outside the box, the more opportunity there is for me to reach and exceed my goals. 

Being surrounded by like-minded people who are motivating and fun to be around keeps me going. One thing I really love about tech sales specifically is the culture. I love that I can come into work every day and learn, make great money and be in a fun and enjoyable environment.

 

BigTime Chicago sales jobs

Some people decide to get into sales after college, while others explore the field after already building a career in another industry. Then there are people like BigTime Senior Account Executive Joshua Weis, who learned early on — and was also told so by everyone he knew — that he had the skills needed to succeed in sales.

 

What prompted you to pursue a career in sales?

At a young age I learned three important things about myself. The first is that I was always more motivated to do something when there was a financial incentive. The second was that I have incredibly thick skin and don’t mind constructive feedback or people who are dismissive. Lastly, I’ve always had a propensity for helping people in any capacity. Outside of hearing from everyone my entire life that I should try a career in sales, what really motivated me was recognizing that it takes a combination of those qualities to be a successful sales professional.

It’s great being on a team that supports one another and shares a common vision of where we are headed and what we deliver to our clients.”

 

What aspects of your current role do you love the most and why?

Without a doubt, it’s our consultative sales approach and team camaraderie. Our sales process is built on understanding our clients’ most common and unique challenges and applying our collective team knowledge to provide working solutions. It’s great being on a team that supports one another and shares a common vision of where we are headed and what we deliver to our clients. Each person is dedicated to helping one another and also providing feedback on how to improve our day-to-day approach.

 

GiveSmart by Community Brands Chicago tech jobs

Tech’s wide gender gap is slowly closing, but the credit doesn’t belong solely to big companies that make pledges or announce initiatives. A lot of the heavy lifting is being done by individuals like Nathifa Polonio, a sales development representative at GiveSmart by Community Brands who got into tech sales to help encourage other women to do the same.

 

What prompted you to pursue a career in sales?

I was inspired to pursue a career in tech sales due to the lack of women in the industry. I have always been the type of person to go against the grain and challenge myself to do things that are out of the ordinary. I saw tech sales as an opportunity to represent women and to help change their perception of sales. Additionally, I have always had a strong interest in technology and the ways it can be incorporated into our everyday lives. I had no idea that technology was being used to assist nonprofits with fundraising. GiveSmart was my introduction into the nonprofit space, and I’ve loved it ever since. 

I was inspired to pursue a career in tech sales due to the lack of women in the industry.”

 

What aspects of your current role do you love the most and why?

I love learning about organizations and how they’re executing their missions. I always want those I’m speaking with to feel comfortable enough to tell me what they’re going through and what they feel would make fundraising easier and more manageable. I love going to events to see our platform in action — and to watch the funds roll in. Witnessing the product I sell help nonprofits raise more money is extremely rewarding.

 

Jobs from companies in this blog26 open jobs
All Jobs
Data + Analytics
Design + UX
Dev + Engineer
Marketing
Operations
Project Mgmt
Sales
Design + UX
new
PowerReviews
Chicago
Developer
new
PowerReviews
Chicago
Sales
new
PowerReviews
Chicago
Sales
new
PowerReviews
Chicago
Sales
new
PowerReviews
Chicago
Operations
new
GiveSmart by Community Brands
West Suburbs
Sales
new
PowerReviews
Chicago
Data + Analytics
new
PowerReviews
Chicago
Developer
new
PowerReviews
Chicago
Sales
new
TripActions
Chicago
Sales
new
TripActions
Chicago
Sales
new
TripActions
Chicago
Sales
new
TripActions
Chicago
Sales
new
PowerReviews
Chicago
Sales
new
GiveSmart by Community Brands
West Suburbs
Sales
new
GiveSmart by Community Brands
Chicago
Developer
new
GiveSmart by Community Brands
Chicago
Developer
new
PowerReviews
Chicago
Sales
new
PowerReviews
Chicago
Sales
new
PowerReviews
Chicago
Operations
new
BigTime Software, Inc.
Chicago
Marketing
new
BigTime Software, Inc.
Chicago
Design + UX
new
BigTime Software, Inc.
Chicago
Project Mgmt
new
BigTime Software, Inc.
Chicago
Project Mgmt
new
PowerReviews
Chicago
Developer
new
PowerReviews
Chicago

Chicago startup guides

LOCAL GUIDE
Best Companies to Work for in Chicago
LOCAL GUIDE
Best Software Engineer Jobs in Chicago
LOCAL GUIDE
Coolest Offices in Chicago Tech
LOCAL GUIDE
Best Sales Jobs in Chicago
LOCAL GUIDE
Best Perks at Chicago Tech Companies
LOCAL GUIDE
Your Guide to Healthtech in Chicago
LOCAL GUIDE
Best Data Scientist Jobs in Chicago
LOCAL GUIDE
Best Marketing Jobs in Chicago