How to Get Into B2B SaaS Sales Without Direct Experience

From my last article, you learned just how good life can be in software sales. So in today’s article, we’re going to talk about how to land a B2B SaaS sales job with no prior experience.

I have literally hired people with no prior sales experience and still been able to make them into rockstar reps. So just because a job says that they prefer past B2B SaaS sales experience doesn’t mean that you can’t get your foot in the door.

Tactic 1: Network with 15 sales reps and or managers

The first tactic to getting a B2B sales job with no prior experience is to network with 15 sales reps and or managers. Look, the best way into a place where you know no one is to get to know someone, and the easiest way to do this is via cold email. If you have never sent a cold email before and you want a tutorial on how to do that, we have an article here. The reason why this method works though, is because when people are hiring, they typically think of the most recent people that they have interacted with.

So if you think about it, if you just talk to 10 to 15 reps, and you think about the number of people that they have actually talked to that are job applicants for their company, they are probably not talking to all that many people aside from the prospects they’re actually selling to. So the next time that they have an opening, those sales reps or sales managers are going to be thinking about the conversation they had with you if you vibed well with them.

I promise you, having done sales rep work as well as managing and leading sales reps that on a weekly basis sales reps are not having regular networking sessions with other people. So what this means for you is craft a good pitch, get 20 minutes on their calendar, and then get on their radar. That way, the next time that that opportunity comes up, they will be thinking of you and submitting your resume to the top of the stack.

In order to be successful at this, I want you to get 15 meetings completed with other B2B sales reps.

Tactic 2: Get experience by working for free or for an early stage startup

The second tactic I’d share when it comes to getting a B2B sales job without any prior experience is to either do some free work or to go even earlier stage in the startup that you’re looking for. One of the best ways to build a stat sheet when you have no reputation is to go earlier stage. And the reason why is because while it is riskier, you get even more upside.

Think about it. If there is a five person company and you are the sales person for that company, that you get to report all of the sales that you are able to bring into that company on your resume. So what I recommend here is if you feel like you can’t break into the major companies yet, then it might require you to take a six to 12 months stint at an earlier stage company in order to build a reputation and get some results in sales.

To do this, you can look at newer YC companies from recent demo days, or check out sites like AngelList and filter by the earlier stage companies. In the case where things are going well at this startup, you can either just stay at the startup and continue to grow with it, or if you feel like things are capping up there, you can look for other opportunities now that you have the reputation. The reality is that if you’re trying to break into B2B SaaS sales, and you were a few years into your career with no prior sales experience, you’re typically going to need to take a step back in order to take two steps forward.

And that involves going to an earlier stage company. The reason why is because bigger companies typically have their own reputation, which means that they are able to attract more applicants that typically fit their profiles. Overall, if you follow this tactic, my main recommendation is to reassess every six to 12 months.

The reason why is because in the case where you’re doing some meaningful work for these early stage companies, they should be giving you promotional opportunities every six to 12 months. And in the case where they aren’t giving you that they might be taking advantage of your talent. Before I share tactic number three, I wanted to give a shout out to today’s sponsor, the like button. If you haven’t already turned it blue, you can do so by clicking it below. And thanks so much for your support.

Tactic 3: Post and comment on B2B SaaS sales content

The third tactic I have for you is to post and comment on B2B SaaS sales content, and or companies that you are interested in. What this means is that you want to go on LinkedIn or Twitter, where conversations are happening around the topics or companies that you’re interested in, and then add your expertise into the picture.

The reason why is because if you start to post consistently on these platforms, you start to get seen more. And if you recall, right now you don’t really know anybody. So you need to get eyeballs onto your profile in order for people to get interested in you. In the case where you have some transferable sales skills that you want to bring into the B2B SaaS world, you can post about it with some original content.

The reason why this is super powerful is because if you post it once, you get to reap the benefits of it multiple times over. By putting yourself out there and combining this third tactic with the first tactic, you are practically guaranteed to catch the attention of somebody. It’s not uncommon that recruiters use these threads to find interesting people that they can then talk to about the opportunities they have coming up in their own recruiting pipelines.

When you’re first starting out, it’s not going to feel super comfortable for you. So aim really low for what your goal should be. Aim for just one productive comment, and then from there up to two to three to four to five, and naturally you will start to become more of a natural at leaving these sort of thoughtful comments and drawing attention to your profile.

This is by far one of the easiest ways to get attention, to be so prolific that they can’t ignore you. I know this works because this is the exact method that I use on my YouTube channel in getting my first 1000 subscribers.

Big takeaways

There are two things that I want you to remember from how to get a sales job for a B2B SaaS without direct experience:

  1. The first one is find the side doors when the front doors are close to you.
  2. The second thing is don’t be afraid to have to take a step backwards in order to take two steps forward. When you were first starting out in B2B SaaS sales, and you have no prior experience, you might not be able to land that dream job you have for yourself right now.

If you liked this article, be sure to check out my YouTube channel to get new videos every single week. I’ll help take you from zero to self-starter as you grow your business, get more customers, and hone your business acumen. Also, feel free to share this with anybody that you think might benefit from learning how to get a SaaS sales job with no prior experience.