“Would you mind grabbing me a cup of coffee on your way back?”
“I will be a good asset to your organization because I have all the relevant skills.”
“You should definitely try out that XYZ brand.”
Well, we’re not trying to confuse you by throwing random sentences at you! If you read the sentences above carefully, you’ll be able to identify that they have a common element – the element of SALES.
Almost every human interaction involves sales and it cannot be otherwise. Sales could be about anything, an idea, a service or even about selling your skills.
While everyone does sales to some degree, some people have just the right skill set to do it! They love working with people, are great communicators, and have all the characteristics to take up sales as their career.
Now you must be wondering, do I have the skills to break into sales? Where do I start? How can I become successful at it? And so much more. Do not worry! We are here to answer all your questions related to sales as a career path. As goes the popular saying: “Time kills all deals, so let’s get started!”
Sales 101: Sales as a career option
Sales is a highly rewarding career for those who have the right skills for it. People who are creative, knowledgeable, strategic, independent, confident, and motivated can become successful sales professionals. Even entry-level positions provide plenty of opportunities for growth in terms of skills and competitive salaries. This satisfying and interesting career path has many benefits for people who have the right personality, attitude, and skills for it.
However, it’s also important to understand that sales is not just about closing deals, it also requires you to be good at maintaining relationships with the customers, have good listening skills, good knowledge of team management, and love for strategic planning.
Why choose a career in sales?
Like most jobs have pros and cons, a sales career also has some less than ideal aspects which are difficult to handle. Some of these can be continual rejection from the prospect, the bad reputation of the organization that you’re working for among people, or performance-based rewards.
However, if your aim is clear to learn the most in-demand skills by choosing a career in sales, then you can boom in this industry and can reap enormous benefits from your career.
Scope & benefits of choosing sales as a career
You can have immense opportunities and benefits as a successful sales professional. Some of them are:
High income: Sales is a highly lucrative career option. The more work you do and the more leads you convert, the higher your income will be. The sky’s the limit for you if you have the right skills to convince people to buy your products and services.
Job safety: If you are growing in sales and becoming successful in generating and converting leads, then the organization will not accept losing a professional like you. So, you can be assured of your job security.
Skill development: Sales can also help you enhance your existing skills and learn new skills that are important in one’s day-to-day life, like communication skills, persuasion tactics, and relationship building.
Challenges as well as rewards: Getting successful in a sales career takes time and effort. However, if you work hard in gaining and polishing your skills and implementing them correctly, then the opportunities and experience you will get in this field will be unmatched.
In-demand career: Every organization sells something, whether it is a service or a product. Therefore, they need someone to take care of their sales, making it an in-demand career choice.
Are you a perfect fit for sales?
Some skills are required to get started in sales. Also, if you are a fresher in this field then you can learn new skills and hone what you already know just by working in the field.
Relationship mastery: The most important skill in sales is the mastery of establishing and maintaining good relationships. If you’re someone who likes meeting and interacting with new people, if you have a pleasing personality and are confident about making lasting relationships with almost everyone you meet, then you definitely have a “sales personality”.
Communication skills: The second most important skill that someone aspiring to work in sales should have is the skill to communicate with ease. If you’re able to hold a good conversation with people and you’re confident that you will be able to tell them about your product or service and convince them to make a purchase, then sales is a great career choice for you.
Patience: As a sales professional, you should have the patience to wait for the customer’s opinion about your product or services. If you have patience, you will give them time to understand your product and wait for their feedback.
Active listening: Before you start telling the customer about your product or services, trying to solve their problem, you must first understand what it is that they want exactly. This is only possible when you listen to them carefully before pitching your products to them. An active listener effectively understands what the customer wants and then tries to solve their problems by offering his products/ services.
Problem-solving: To meet the customer’s needs, you must be excellent at problem-solving. You should be able to completely understand the customer’s problem, and then tell them about how your product/service can solve it. That is the best way of selling something to a prospective client.
Roles in a sales career
The sales sector doesn’t only have the position of salesperson, but there are a lot of other openings. While one role might be perfect for your personality and career goals, another might require skills you don’t have. So it’s important to choose wisely! Let’s start by understanding different roles in sales:
Sales Development Representative: Responsible for researching, prospecting, and qualifying leads.
Inside Sales Representative: Their job involves guiding prospects remotely, and building relationships with buyers over time using video, email, and phone calls to connect.
Outside Sales Representative: They spend most of their time “in the field,” visiting their potential customers. This role involves a lot of travelling.
Account Manager: They work with each customer to understand their needs, create a long-term strategy, and help them realize the greatest possible ROI from your product.
Sales Engineer: They combine the technical expertise of engineers with the business acumen and selling skills of a traditional representative.
How to search for opportunities and how to become successful at them?
Now that you know all about sales and the scope that it offers. Here’s how you can get started and grow in the field:
Identify companies & industries you love
Sales is a very broad field and you can choose to do sales in any part of the industry that you’re interested in and passionate about. When you’re searching for your perfect fit for yourself in terms of company culture and ethics, don’t forget to think about how and if it aligns with your long-term career goals.
A sales professional resume & LinkedIn profile
Make sure you tailor your resume and LinkedIn profile to sales roles, as a generic resume won’t cut it. A professional sales resume should reflect the enthusiasm and skills of a person who is qualified to work in sales. Don’t forget to include in your cover letter what makes that company attractive to you and why you’re a good fit for them.
Get the right training
There are many things you can proactively learn even while you’re searching for the right sales role. Remember, upskilling is important to thrive in sales. Here’s what you can do to enhance your skills:
- University courses
- Training with a professional body
- An apprenticeship
- Learn on the job in entry-level positions
Know what you’re selling
For instance, you work for a snack company, and now you love your product because it’s tasty, it’s healthy and easy to munch on even while travelling. These factors make you an advocate for the product and you can use the same pointers to convince others to try out your product.
Don’t sell the product, sell the benefit
Selling is not only about convincing a person to purchase what you’re selling, it’s essential to think about the personal benefits to them. Put yourself in their shoes and consider their needs, then pitch your product accordingly.
There’s not one single way to become successful in sales, but the ways mentioned above are essential to providing a positive sales experience to your customers. For more guidance on how to polish your selling skills and how to build your sales professional resume, you can reach out to LaunchMyCareer for expert guidance from our career advisors.