Hi everyone, I’ve decided to make a little informative series on the various Job Types and Industries, for those that may be curious about what a different career or field could be like. We’ll start with overview type posts, and add more specific focused articles to the series gradually. First up in this series, one of the job types that has the highest demand. I’m here to share the general basics of Sales.
Sales Careers: An Overview for the Uninitiated
Sales is a vital function of virtually every business, as it involves the process of promoting and selling products or services to customers. Sales professionals are responsible for building relationships with potential and current customers, identifying their needs, and persuading them to make a purchase.
Sales jobs can be found in a wide range of industries, from retail and consumer goods, business-to-business (B2B) sales, custom engineering, and technology. The specific duties and responsibilities of a salesperson may vary depending on the type of product or service being sold and the target market.
A salesperson is responsible for promoting and selling products or services to customers. This can include identifying potential customers, creating sales pitches and presentations, negotiating prices, and closing sales. The specific job functions and responsibilities of a salesperson may vary depending on the type of products or services they are selling and the industry in which they are working. However, some common tasks that a salesperson may be responsible for include:
- Identifying potential customers through market research and outreach efforts
- Creating and delivering sales pitches and presentations to potential customers
- Responding to customer inquiries and providing information about products or services
- Negotiating prices and terms of sales with customers
- Closing sales and ensuring customer satisfaction
- Keeping track of sales and customer interactions using sales software or CRM tools
- Providing feedback to management on market trends and potential new products or services
- Attending industry events and conferences to stay up-to-date on industry developments and build professional relationships.
There are two main types of sales roles: inside sales and outside sales. Inside sales professionals typically work in an office or call center environment, making sales over the phone or through other forms of electronic communication. Outside sales professionals, on the other hand, are responsible for meeting with clients and prospects in person, either at their place of business or in the field. Depending on the specifics of the company and product, there may also be possibilities for remote roles as a salesperson.
How much do salespeople make?
The pay of a salesperson can vary greatly; depending on experience, products sold, the industry, and on how much of the product or service is sold by the salesperson. There is a very real potential for big earnings for those willing to put in the effort.
Salespeople often receive a commission as part of their compensation. A commission is a percentage of the sales that a salesperson makes. For example, if a salesperson has a 10% commission rate and they make a sale worth $100, they will earn $10 in commission. Commissions are often used as an incentive for salespeople to sell more, as the more they sell, the more they will earn in commission.
Some companies pay their salespeople a salary in addition to a commission, while others rely solely on commissions to compensate their salespeople. Commission rates can vary widely depending on the industry, the type of product or service being sold, and the experience and skill level of the salesperson.
What qualities lead to success in sales?
To be successful in sales, it is important to possess a number of key skills and personal qualities. These include excellent communication and interpersonal skills, the ability to build and maintain relationships, problem-solving and negotiation skills, and a strong work ethic. Sales professionals should also be confident and self-motivated, with the ability to handle rejection and setbacks.
For those who are interested in a career in sales but may not possess all of these skills naturally, there are ways to develop and improve upon them. One way is to seek out sales-related training and education opportunities, such as courses or certifications.
These days, there is also a wealth of information online from professionals willing to share their experience and tips on websites like YouTube that you can use to supplement the gaps in your knowledge. It can also be helpful to seek out mentors or role models in the sales industry, and to practice and refine your skills through role-playing and other exercises.
How can I find a job in sales?
There’s always demand for salespeople. A quick search on Indeed for “sales representative” yielded 268,578 results in the United States, and over 4,000 results within 100 miles. There may be different options elsewhere though, so be sure to check out resources like LinkedIn, Facebook, ZipRecruiter and more. (while you’re here, why not take a look at our current Sales jobs?)
To get a sales job, it is important to have a strong resume that highlights your relevant skills and experience. Identify your strengths and accomplishments that suggest an ability to perform well in sales, and be sure this information is intentionally focused on in your resume. Networking and building relationships with professionals in the industry can also be helpful in finding job opportunities as well as to get some company specific insights.
Many sales positions require a bachelor’s degree, although some may only require a high school diploma or equivalent. Some employers are willing to forego an education requirement if you already have applicable experience.
Overall, sales is a diverse and dynamic field that offers a range of career opportunities across a variety of industries. To succeed in sales, it is important to possess a range of skills and personal qualities, and to be willing to continually develop and improve upon them. With hard work and dedication, anyone can build a rewarding career in sales.
If you liked this article, stay tuned for information on other industries and job types!
In the future, I’ll dive into more specifics on what a sales job may look like within different industries and specialties.
If a career in Sales interests you, take a moment to check out the Sales jobs we have currently available.