Let’s be honest. How many of your friends have said that they want a career in sales? Probably not many. Sales as a profession has always suffered from an image problem in the UK.
The idea of the fast-talking wide-boy trying every trick in the book to take as much money from his customer (‘victim’) is a tough one to shake off. The reality of working in sales, though, is very different to this image.
Sales is a rewarding, challenging career. Creating the most appropriate solution for your customer and then giving them the tools and motivation to buy from you needs detective skills, team work and an understanding of human nature – not to mention grit and determination. Here are nine reasons why sales could be the career choice for you.
1. Sales is a performance-based career. The more you sell, the more bonus you earn. For anyone with a competitive streak or the desire to be rewarded for their hard work, this is a key motivator and something that will drive a successful career for years.
2. Sales isn’t a combat sport, regardless of the impression given by films such as ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ and TV shows such as ‘The Apprentice’. Great salespeople work with their customers, not against them. Think of it as a team game; you are playing alongside your customers but against the competition.
3. You work with your customers to improve their businesses. This kind of consultancy work puts salespeople in front of lots of different people in a company; you rarely get the same day twice, and each department will have different needs and priorities.
4. Working in sales means understanding psychology. What is your customer thinking? Can you bring everyone together to agree to a sale? What can you do to motivate them to complete the deal?
5. For most sales jobs, there is no requirement for a degree to enter the profession. A passion and enthusiasm for learning is essential but the skills required for success are more often learned on the job or through bespoke training.
6. Most salespeople start their career in an ‘inside sales’ role. This usually means making business development calls and selling over the phone to prospects. If the office environment suits you, then this type of work can provide a rewarding and sustainable career.
7. You can gain plenty of respect for your industry knowledge from your colleagues and customers, but you must work hard to earn this and keep it. A career in sales rewards those who love to learn.
8. Have you ever wanted to be your own boss? And not be stuck inside at a desk? Salespeople often travel to meet customers face-to-face, as well as to maintain relationships with existing customers. Managing your own time and being responsible for the revenue you generate is as close as any professional will get to running their own business. Sales can be a great training ground for going out on your own.
9. Let’s face it, the money is good. Salespeople earn commission based on results. If you are interested in getting paid a good salary, few professions offer more opportunities than sales.
It’s not all sweetness and light, though. Every sales professional must learn to deal with daily rejections from customers and there are few salespeople who will tell you that their job is easy. Long hours and the pressure of deadlines and targets are not for everyone.
As a salesperson, you are a consultant, psychologist, team builder and customer service representative all in one. You will draw on your expert product and industry knowledge, colleagues, contacts and influencers to make the best deals for your clients. Understanding your customer’s strategic goals, their market, the financial and economical influences is endlessly fascinating.
Depending on your career path, you can work in an office, competing against colleagues or out on the road, working closely with your customers on site.
For those who love competition, who value rewards for effort and want a role that recognises success, a career in sales awaits you.
Intequal (formally IT Skills Management) has a wealth of experience in training and apprenticeships stretching over many decades. We help employers to participate in the Microsoft Partner Apprenticeship Program with consultation, shaping of apprenticeship programme as well as reactive/proactive recruitment activity of both employers and apprentice candidates. Intequal offer Technical Sales Apprenticeships with leading IT companies throughout England.
For information on how to recruit a technical sales apprentice, contact 023 9244 9730 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would to apply to become an apprentice, send your CV and a covering letter to email@example.com.