How to Start a Career in Sales
About 15 million job holders in the US are from a career in sales and marketing. Apparently, sales positions are always progressive and thus more rewarding.
So, you are looking for a career in sales too? But confused about where to start with? If the answer is yes, then you got a bit of luck. Because in this blog, you’ll find a complete guide on starting a career in sales.
Before that, let’s get a brief of the roles and responsibilities of a sales professional.
Roles & Responsibilities of a Salesperson
If you enter into sales, your responsibility is to sell products/ services. While doing your job, you need to identify your potential customers.
Next, you are responsible for connecting with your customers to build trust. You nurture them utilizing the sales funnel of the company you are working for. Nevertheless, you are supposed to obtain new customers by persuading them to make a purpose with your sales skill.
Let’s know how to start a sales career.
A Roadmap for a Career in Sales: 8 Tips
Exciting to see yourself in one of those highly demanding sales positions? Find the steps for preparing yourself for the up-and-coming sales career.
Get a degree
This is your first step in the roadmap of starting a career in sales and marketing.
Although education is not the leading factor in being a well-heeled sales professional, and even a sales diploma will suffice to find your very first sales job, having a higher degree is a plus. Surely sales master certification will enhance your ability to sell any kind of product to your customer.
Nevertheless, you might want to prepare for all the posts up to a management position. In that case, you must have a bachelor’s degree, as many companies consider it the minimum requirement for a sales managerial position.
Once you gain experience in a senior position, you can go for an MBA. That degree will allow you to leg up on the highly competitive sales job market.
Moreover, if you want a sales career, degrees in the following areas will make you a good fit for a sales position.
- Public Relations
- Life Sciences (Pharmaceutical sales)
- Engineering (Sales engineers)
Consider what kind of career you desire
There are so many companies offering entry-level sales positions. But remember that you shouldn’t just pick an industry randomly. We suggest you figure out the area of your interest.
Also, check what product or service a company is offering. If you can progress basing your targeted industry, your can work with passion. As a result, your sales career will flourish.
Be welcoming to an entry-level position
You might want to be in a higher position, but you could also be offered an entry-level position. Guess what—this happens very frequently.
Especially when you have little or no experience in sales. In a circumstance like that, you need to accept those entry-level positions.
But you must ensure a couple of things while accepting a beginner sales job:
Is there comprehensive training for new sales employees?
Are there opportunities for further knowledge growth in sales and marketing?
Above all, sales management certification allows you to quickly advance up the corporate ladder.
Research before applying
You are supposed to blindly apply for a sales position because that is utterly an unwise move. So, you should give time to do initial online research for the company and position you are applying for.
That way, you can tailor your job application for each company. Also, it will prevent you from applying for the wrong position and hoping for a call.
Anyway, while researching for companies, focus on three factors – data, working environment, and transparency. Know that companies that value these three aspects are an ideal platform for starting your career in sales.
Build a strong resume
You must construct a resume that shows explicitly what you are good at. In this case, it’s selling ability, right? So, make an accurate resume and cover letter containing specific information.
And those documents should tell your employer you will be a good addition to the team. Additionally, you will need to modify your resume and cover letter for the position and company you’re applying to.
Focus on networking
Your network will help you go further. This is even more true in terms of sales. Therefore, try to connect with people online and offline for job opportunities.
Besides, do network internationally because who knows what is awaiting you!
Moreover, you can take suggestions from thriving sales professionals in your network. And you must keep an eye out for networking because there is always some sort of events and webinars regarding sales.
Seek the right training organization
Some people even get involved in professional sales organizations to possess more skills in sales. The same applies to you.
And these organizations offer different kinds of programs according to your skills and position. For instance, provide several training programs to strengthen your capability in sales.
Be strong-willed and hopeful
To become successful in a sale position, you need to be patient. As a result, you can persist in your career. You will be worried when you won’t get a position offered.
But that doesn’t mean you don’t know how to sell. You must be hopeful and keep applying to the other organization until you hit the goal.
Surely, you will be accomplished a lot in the coming future if you follow the manta about persistence and resilience while building a sales career.
What is the Salary of a Sales Professional?
Your position will vary depending on how far you are in a marketing and sales career.
That means there are many roles between a beginner sales representative and an established sales executive.
1. Beginner and mid-level sales career path
- Sales development representative (SDR): Finds out qualified leads–Average salary: $46k
- Inside sales representative: Remotely nurtures and converts leads–Average salary: $42k
- Outside sales representative: Travels to meet buyers and give demos–Average salary: $56k
- Account manager: Maintain relationship with customers–Average salary: $58k
2. Sales manager career path
- Account executive (AE): Figures out customer needs, addresses the needs, makes a plan to convert, and closes deals.–Average salary: $57K
- Regional sales manager: Oversees sales reps and SDRs in assigned district–Average salary: $75k
- Sales operation manager: Leads the internal sales team–Average salary: $68k
- Sales engineer: Explains benefits of technologically advanced products–Average salary: $87k
3. Sales executive career
- Director of Sales: Qualifies and directs a sales team–Average salary: $123k
- VP of sales: Supervises sales manager and confirms implementation of right sales strategy–Average salary: 163k
- Chief sales officer: Sales expert, advises how to drive sales–Average salary: $182k
Are Sales and Marketing the Same?
Marketing and sales go hand in hand. And most of the time, people who specialize in marketing look for career opportunities in sales and marketing. You will get the idea of marketing while selling. Likewise, you will understand selling when you know about marketing.
Sale is thoroughly an exciting career. Alongside your professional life, you will learn a lot to apply in your personal life. For example, you will have an iconic communication skill useful for every aspect of your life. Not to mention, you will have a high income.
If you are creative, strategic, open to learning new things, motivated, and confident—some company’s sales department might benefit from hiring you.
Of course, there’re downsides, such as recurring rejections, chasing leads, and performance-centered payments. But if you are motivated and resilient, you should not focus on these less impressive aspects of sales positions.
Instead, keep in mind that if you can show your potential in sales, employers are not letting you go. Hence, you should try to improve your skills. For that, you can always take professional help to become a top-notch sales professional.
Best of luck starting your sales career.