If I move from engineering to tech sales.....

AT&T / Data Mr.Fix
Jan 15 19 Comments

Will I keep technical? I’m not a super technical guy but I’m a hack-coder with great soft skills and a good understanding of hw and sw but not an expert at either.

I’m not really looking to become the expert but I certainly like having a basic understanding of how 256QAM, database structures, and basic computer HW architecture. I like learning more about these things and I want to keep on top of the technology.

But I do want to manage technical projects and work with technical people. Would a tech Sales move be a good idea if I do want to get into management.

Basically I’m asking if I should look for more technical roles or look for things that will really people my soft skills (tech sales) if I want to manage technical stuff.

2yoe tc: 90 (in the Midwest)

Tagging 3 companies I admire, but welcome anyone’s experiences/perspectives.

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TOP 19 Comments
  • Google / Mgmt
    CntFixStp

    Google Mgmt

    PRE
    Amazon
    CntFixStpmore
    Short answer is no. Tech sales is sales plain and simple. No engineering work, just telling the customer that we can d everything they’re looking for and then pass off to Engineering to deliver
    Jan 15 0
  • Credit Karma Creditcard
    Tech sales is not a place to improve soft skills. You’ll be going up against people who have really strong soft skills, ie you’ll probably fail hard.
    Jan 15 2
    • Uber XjiK45
      this is pretty subjective. I started tech sales with mediocre soft skills and was closing 65% of leads by eoy.
      Jan 15
    • Credit Karma Creditcard
      Mediocre is relative.

      This person is trying to develop social skills to meet the bar for an engineering manager.........
      Jan 15
  • State Street Corporation / Sales fRaw38
    Consider solution architect or sales engineering
    Jan 15 1
    • Dropbox king3
      This.
      Jan 19
  • Spotify / Eng qbeforeu
    I’m confused on the path you see from Tech Sales to Tech Mgmt

    at best you’ll become qualified to manage other Tech Sales people
    Jan 15 3
    • AT&T / Data Mr.Fix
      OP
      That’s kinda why I’m asking I don’t want become a non-tech Manager
      Jan 16
    • Google / Mgmt
      CntFixStp

      Google Mgmt

      PRE
      Amazon
      CntFixStpmore
      You’re confused, sales engineering manager IS non-tech manager
      Jan 16
    • AT&T / Data Mr.Fix
      OP
      That’s what I was thinking
      Jan 16
  • Microsoft / Consultant shinji91
    Maybe consider consulting? You get to improve people skills by having to deal with all sorts of people (good and shitty) while trying to get projects going and also get to apply a lot of technical knowledge to develop whatever it is they want :P
    As a consultant I've learned a lot of skills in cloud, devops, containers and more. I have a also learned a lot about cya, holding my ground against unknowledgeable seniors and customers, dealing with bureaucracy, and many other useful soft skills in order to stand out and not let the system push me down hahaha
    Jan 16 2
    • Northrop Grumman / Eng HowCouldYu
      How do you get into consulting
      Jan 16
    • Microsoft / Consultant shinji91
      When I got into MSFT I was placed into he consulting role as part of their college hire program. Nonetheless you can apply as an external hire. If you're considering Microsoft, just check our job site (aka.ms/jobs) and search for the consultant role under the Technical Delivery profession. Consultants fall under Microsoft Services. It's an FTE role just like any other role at MSFT. We have consultants across cloud & infrastructure, app dev, Data & AI, Dynamics and Business Productivity (office and such).
      Jan 16
  • Check Point / Sales knKA34
    You should look at System Engineer roles in Sales. These are the technical folks that partner with sales people. There is a lot of technical work (helping customers plan networks, dbases etc) but it’s not pure sales meaning you won’t die if you don’t make quota. This is a great place to start in most tech companies if you are looking for interaction with customers and a path to management.
    Jan 15 0
  • Morgan Stanley ninja007
    Try TPM roles or SA roles. You’ll have the best chance and actually grow well.
    Jan 15 0
  • ServiceNow
    pk2403

    ServiceNow

    PRE
    Salesforce
    pk2403more
    Did you explore Technical Project/Program management ?
    Jan 15 0
  • AT&T / Data Mr.Fix
    OP
    Thanks for all the advice! After doing some looking I found some TPM positions at google. Anyone interested in referring me?

    Best!
    Jan 16 0
  • OpenTable Meliodas
    Unless it is a small shop and you are also doing implementation, your involvement with the project will end when the deal closes.

    Staying technical would depend on the role. Are you selling to executives or engineers?

    You might want to consider an ops or devops role with the goal of moving to management (not super technical, but leaves room for hacking).
    Jan 15 0
  • Northrop Grumman / Eng HowCouldYu
    Following
    Jan 15 0