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What Sales Professionals Need to Know About Coding

Steve Safarowic
April 24, 2019
Last updated on
March 13, 2024

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Today, technology is the most thriving sector in Hong Kong. In fact, the number of employees in tech startups in Hong Kong went up by 41% in just ONE YEAR!

This sharp rise in tech-based positions has come with a shortfall in supply of tech talent. A survey by the Hong Kong Institute of Human Resource Management saw 50% of tech companies saying they faced a talent shortage. This shortfall isn't just limited to programming roles but also extends to positions in product management, digital marketing, and tech sales.

Why tech sales is a great career option in Hong Kong right now?

Tech companies are driving the next wave of growth in Hong Kong's economy. The Hong Kong Science Park alone is home to more than 680 startups. Tech startups have high-growth environment so joining a startup allows you to have great upward mobility in your career.

Given the exponential increase in the number of tech companies, there is now a major gap when it comes to the skills these companies are looking for in their employees. This is a great opportunity for young people in Hong Kong to acquire the right skills and enter the burgeoning tech industry in the city.

While some tech roles may require going through several programming courses in Hong Kong, others are not as deeply technical. If you have the personality and aptitude for it, tech sales is one an interesting segment to work.

For complex and expensive products, tech companies use sales teams to close deals that just cannot happen online. This includes both B2B (e.g. SaaS companies ) and B2C companies (e.g., Edtech and Fintech companies).

Tech sales is a great career option whether you already have a background in sales or not. Tech sales combine the age-old art of salesmanship with the high-growth environment of a tech company.

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What skills do you need to be great at tech sales?

While some skills are common for salespeople, when it comes to tech sales, certain additional skills hold the key.

Here are the most important ones.

Identifying opportunities

Many tech companies, for instance, SaaS companies have customers on a retainer basis. An important part of a tech salesperson's role is to figure out new opportunities to improve the client's business and upsell. This simply won't happen unless the salesperson has an in-depth knowledge of the entire range of functionalities of the product. This is almost impossible without basic programming knowledge.

Finding optimal solutions

Consultative selling means understanding the pain point of the customer and suggesting customized solutions accordingly. Again, crafting an ideal solution requires a thorough knowledge of product capabilities.

Ensuring post-sales satisfaction

While implementation is largely the job of the product and engineering teams, the salesperson is the one who already has a relationship with the client. An exceptional tech salesperson will coordinate with engineers and operations executives to make sure that implementation roadblocks are resolved.

Answering technical queries

Customers will ask you incisive questions about why your product may not work, especially for high-ticket items. Unless you have a thorough product knowledge grounded in sound technical expertise, you won't be able to answer their queries satisfactorily.

Which programming languages do you need to know?

Depending on the industry you are working in, you will probably want to focus on either JavaScript or Python.

If you are working in Finance or a company focusing on leveraging data, Python will probably be your go-to. The Python coding language is more suited for the type of software your clients will likely be looking to utilize in their business.

If you are working for an agency selling digital services, apps or websites than JavaScript will probably be good to dig into. This will help you explain some of the key features that will help you color your sales pitch.

Regardless of which you choose to learn, learning the programmatic way of thinking and problem solving will help you communicate better with your technical team members and give you more confidence in sales meetings.

What level of coding skills and knowledge do you really need?

All the skills mentioned above require you to have an in-depth understanding of the product you're selling. It is simply not possible to answer technical queries or resolve implementation roadblocks without a thorough knowledge of the product. At the same time, it's the engineers who will be doing the heavy lifting; your main job is to be able to provide prospective clients with in-depth product expertise.

Of course, knowledge of the product will come once you have the training and hands-on experience. However, to be able to grasp the technicalities of the product, it's highly recommended that you have a basic knowledge of computer programming.

Going to a coding boot-camp in Hong Kong or taking a basic programming course should be enough to get you going.

Where can you learn programming languages in Hong Kong?

To brush up your coding skills for tech sales, you will have to choose the right programming course in Hong Kong. While online courses are an option, you might find that a coding bootcamp in Hong Kong or an offline course works better for you.

Offline courses combine the advantages of a cutting-edge curriculum with the benefits of face-to-face interaction and world-class instructors. While there aren't too many programming courses in Hong Kong available, there are some truly exceptional ones.

Xccelerate's "Coding for Absolute Beginners" is one such course. This is a great option especially if you're already working and are looking to upgrade your skill set.

Summing up

As a sales professional, the thriving tech industry in Hong Kong is definitely the place to be. In order to be on top of your game at a tech company, being a good salesperson is just not enough.

You have to have a basic knowledge of coding so that you can give the customer an in-depth understanding of your product or services. All you need to do is take a basic programming course and you should be all set for a fast-paced career trajectory in tech sales.

Need more advice?

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