Starting guide: How to build a sales career
Do you want to start a career in sales and you are not sure how to get started.
Starting new can be scary and intimidating even if you have your career already planned out.
You want to love where you work and what you are doing. Finding that perfect match is difficult, but possible.
No two sales roles are the same, they always vary to some degree.
You must educate yourself on the different types of sales roles and ask the potential employer what the role specifically includes, what type of sales culture exists, and how the company supports a high growth sales department.
First, you need to define your career goals. This lays a great foundation for the decisions you need to make on which company to choose and in what direction you will focus your career.
A new career in sales could be the best choice of your life. But how do you get started in sales? And if you’re already in sales, how do you adjust your goals and take your career to the next level?
Define Your Career Goals:
Without goals, you have no direction on where you want to go. Before you start your job hunt, define what you want your future to consist of.
- Do you want to be selling to small businesses?
- Mid-market companies?
- Do you want to be selling software? A service?
- Or products like medical supplies?
- Do you want to stay in inside sales, venture into outside sales, or is your goal to become a sales manager?
- Do you prefer a pure hunting role where someone else does the closing? Or prefer a full-cycle sale? Or perhaps account management and working with existing clients?
You need to have a clear vision of where you see yourself at the peak of your career. Then you can break it down into the steps that you need to do to get there.
Let’s say your goal is to become the VP of Sales at a Mid-market software company. Your smaller goals may be:
- Land an SDR Position at a software company
- Be promoted to Inside Sales at the software company
- Transition to an Account Executive role.
- Enter a mentorship program for sales management.
- Successfully manage teams and grow revenue for 2 – 3 years.
- Find a 1:1 VP Sales mentor inside or outside your company.
- Apply and interview for internal or external VP opportunities.
- CRUSH IT in your dream role!
Find The Right Job:
Delon Jobs, ZipRecruiter, Indeed, and LinkedIn are great job search boards with a wide variety of jobs in different industries. Once your career goals are defined, hold the employer accountable for answering the additional critical questions listed earlier in this article to ensure the company is a great fit for you!
We can not express enough how important it is to get into the RIGHT company.
The top 5 things that you should consider when looking for a job are:
- Career development and progression
- Culture fit
- Competitive product, service, and go-to-market strategy
- Combination of visionary and tactical leadership team
- Willingness to grow and successfully compete in the market
Woo hoo!!! You got the job! They hired you because they believe in you. Now it’s time to show them what you are made of.
The first 90 days sales can be slow as you ramp, so you must show your employer your work ethic and culture fit during this time. They should be able to see your hustle. During this time you also need to be learning the product or service and the company inside and out! You can’t have a successful sales pitch if you don’t know about the product. Become a technical ninja.
Look for other ways to further your sales training. You could ask to shadow the other sales reps in the company to learn their successful processes or you can find outside sales training.
Good luck in your search for your next big step in your sales career!