Is Sales Right for Me? Getting into Sales
August 2nd, 2023
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Every successful sales person started their career asking one simple question: “Is sales right for me?”
The world of sales can be a complex, stressful, and challenging one. It takes a lot of skill to be successful in this space, and you’re likely to face a number of hurdles you need to jump along the way. That’s part of the reasons sales jobs have such high levels of turnover.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean sales is a bad career choice. A role in sales positions you at the heart of a business, offering opportunities to work with diverse clients, build relationships, and handle complex projects. Plus, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the average salesperson can earn a fantastic annual wage, and look forward to continuous growth.
So, how do you know if sales is right for you?
Is Sales Right for me? Exploring the Benefits of Sales
Although the sales industry does experience high levels of turnover and burnout, this job path can offer a lot more value than most people think.
Not only can you benefit from excellent earning potential, but working in sales gives you the potential to hone your skills in building relationships, leadership, problem solving and more. Some of the biggest benefits of a sales job include:
- High earning potential: While the average annual salary for a sales rep can vary, your earnings are potentially limitless, particularly in commission-based jobs. You can potentially earn over $100k a year in the right sales role.
- Career potential: Salespeople benefit from a clear career path. From an entry-level role, you’ll be able to move into management positions and shift into business development landscapes. You can even choose a specific niche to focus on.
- Personal growth: In a sales role, you’ll develop both your professional and interpersonal skills. You’ll learn how to communicate more effectively, solve problems, think creatively, and connect with others on a deeper level.
- Demand: Sales jobs are virtually always available. After all, sales are at the heart of any business. There’s a good chance you’ll always be able to find job opportunities as a sales professional, so you’ll never have to worry too much about unemployment.
- Transferrable skills: Once you’ve landed a job in sales, you’ll be able to begin developing transferrable skills you can use in everything from product development, to customer service, marketing, and more.
What Sales Job is Right for Me? Finding your Fit
If you’re wondering whether sales is right for you, it’s also worth asking “what sales job is right for me?” After all, one of the best things about sales is its versatility. There are various different types of sales positions, all with their distinct nuances.
Here are just some of the most common options you can consider.
- Sales Development Rep (SDR)
An SDR, or Sales development rep (sometimes called business development rep) is a professional responsible for researching, prospecting, and qualifying leads. They reach out to potential customers, ask questions, gather data for other great salespeople, and start the path to sales success.
This can be a great entry point for sales beginners, as you don’t necessarily need a lot of experience to get started. If you know how to communicate with people, ask relevant questions, analyze data, and do your research, this could be the sales job for you.
- Account Executive (AE)
The role of Account Executive is a little more “senior” than an SDR, but you may find you’re ready to move into this position within just a couple of years. Account executives are responsible for giving presentations, surfacing potential buying obstacles, and crafting valuable sales pitches.
If you already have a little sales experience under your belt, and you have excellent interpersonal skills, then an AE job could be ideal for you. It’s important to be able to communicate clearly in this role, however, as you’ll spend a lot of time connecting with clients.
- Account Manager
Similar to account executives, account managers deal directly with customers. However, they generally come into the picture after someone has made a purchase. Account Managers work with customers to create long-term strategies for success. If you’re looking for different types of sales jobs that combine sales with customer support, this could be a good bet.
You’ll do well in account management if you’re passionate about building long-lasting relationships with clients. People with a confident and outgoing personality are often excellent account managers.
- Inside Salesperson
An inside sales person, or “inside sales reps” are individuals responsible for guiding customers through the sales process, usually remotely. These sales professionals build relationships with potential customers using calls, email, and video.
You can earn a high wage of around $43,997 as an inside salesperson, even before commissions. However, you will need to be self-motivated, independent, and excellent at communications.
- Outside Salesperson
An outside salesperson is essentially the opposite to an inside sales rep. In this role, you’ll spend most of your time in the field, interacting with customers and prospects in person. You’ll host demonstrations and meetings with people from around the world.
Many outside salespeople benefit from a flexible schedule, as well as more opportunities to travel. You may need a little more experience in these sales roles, however, as you’re less likely to have the support of a team to help you initiate transactions.
- Regional sales manager
Both sales managers and regional sales managers are leadership professionals in the sales team, responsible for guiding groups of reps, SDRs, and account managers. In this position, you’ll be responsible for setting team goals and quotas, analyzing data, and coordinating training.
At this higher-level position, you can earn a base salary of around $111,070 per year working in sales. However, you will need extensive experience, and strong leadership skills.
- Sales Operations Manager
While many sales jobs revolve around selling, there are still sales positions that focus on helping to support the growth of the organization. A sales operations manager helps to minimize frictions in the company’s sales processes, so entry-level professionals can thrive.
In this sales position, you’ll focus on managing and simplifying processes and steps for other team members, using organizational, process management, and business acumen skills. If you have a strong understanding of process management and sales in general, this could be the role for you.
- Sales Engineer
One of the most interesting career paths for sales professionals, sales engineers combine technical skills with business acumen. They answer in-depth product queries, work with prospects to determine their needs, and help give demonstrations. You may also need to collaborate with other staff members. In this role, the pay can be high, averaging around $97,650 per year.
This sales role may be a good pick for you if you have both technical knowledge and people skills. You’ll need to be comfortable with technology, communication, and presentations.
- Director of Sales
The Director of Sales is an executive in the sales landscape, responsible for working with sales managers to determine sales objectives, develop quotas, forecast earnings, maintain sales volumes, and even hire new professionals.
In this position, you’ll have a more strategic role than an average sales manager, and you’ll be held responsible for the performance of your department, so there can be some stress to overcome. However, this can be a great position if you’re already well versed in leadership.
- VP of Sales
Another executive-level sales position, a Vice President of Sales is responsible for contributing to the overall growth and strategy of the sales team. They identify strategic hiring opportunities to strengthen teams and aid in recruiting top talent. Plus, you’ll research markets and opportunities to help your business grow.
This role usually requires around 10 or more years of experience in sales, but it offers a high salary, averaging around $152,114 per year. If you’re already confident in your ability to drive business success, this could be a great role for you.
- Chief Sales Officer
Usually found in larger, enterprise companies, Chief Sales Officers oversee complex sales strategies for their teams. They report directly to the CEO of the company, and usually have several years of experience in the sales landscape.
If you have managerial, or VP-level knowledge of sales, and you know how to drive revenue growth opportunities for companies, then you could thrive as a chief sales officer.
What Sales Career is for Me? Choosing your Path
There’s no one-size-fits-all strategy to choosing the right job in sales. There are countless positions available to explore, from entry-level to managerial roles. Plus, you can get involved with numerous industries, from real estate to technology.
However, if you have a passion for business, a growth mindset, and an excellent ability to connect with others, you might find sales is the perfect job for you.
Learn more about the nuances of different sales roles, and interact with other sales professionals today, by joining the Hard Skill Exchange!
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