Not all sales jobs are created equal. In some jobs, you might earn a decent salary and get a few bonuses here and there, but maybe you never land major clients or experience much excitement. Maybe you find the product boring, or the team isn’t motivating. Maybe you find yourself waiting to leave work after a thoroughly dull eight hours.
Meanwhile, other opportunities might offer excitement and opportunity. Maybe it’s because you like the compensation structure, or that the team is innovative, supportive, and enthusiastic. Maybe the product is exciting, and sales staff feel drawn to get to work early and stay late because the job is that good.
The question, then, is how to land a spot at your ideal sales job? This guide should help.
Understand Your Ideal Sales Job
Not everyone’s ideal sales job is identical. Your dream might be to work in medical sales, while someone else might fantasize of working in fintech. While you probably want to consider the position with the highest potential earnings and the most opportunity for advancement, you should also look for the industry and vertical where you find the greatest fulfillment.
Fortunately, there are sales jobs in nearly every field. If you love sports, you can probably find an open sales position for team sponsorships, tickets, or at a sports tech startup. If you are interested in contributing to education, you can research options in edtech sales. Once you identify the vertical you want to work in, start researching the skills and knowledge you’ll need to attain it. If your experience and education are appropriate, you can begin the application process.
Know Your Strengths and Weaknesses — and Be Able to Sell Them
While you consider whether you are qualified for your dream sales job, you should evaluate your strengths and weaknesses. Ultimately, you need to be able to sell yourself to your prospective employer. As every good sales professional is aware, knowing the product inside and out is essential to a good sale.
This is a good time to review your resume, your cover letter and any public social media profiles or other personal brand assets. You should tailor them to suit the job you are applying for. You might consider using an executive resume writing service to ensure your materials are high-quality and tailor made to the positions you want.
Practice for Your Interview
During your research for open sales positions in your desired field, you should spend some time reviewing important companies. Just as you would expend effort learning about potential clients, you should dig up pertinent information about potential employers. You might even call the company’s sales department and explain your interest in becoming a team member. You could ask questions about sales procedures, trainings, short- and long-term goals, and hiring processes.
Once you have the information, you can begin practicing for your interview. While speaking clearly and eloquently is certainly important, your goal should be to ask more questions and gain more information about the company and sales practices. An effective sales professional is inquisitive, and your thoughtful questions will show your meticulousness, your competence, and your interest in the job.
Prove Your Value to the Company
Throughout the application and interview process, your primary goal should be to prove that your abilities will benefit the sales team and the business as a whole. You should come prepared with evidence of this, such as metrics from your previous sales job or recommendations from previous employers.
You should also gain an understanding of the team’s culture, and come prepared to offer examples as to why you’d be a good fit. Hiring managers aren’t just looking for raw talent and skills. They’re looking for someone who will work well with the existing team and structure.
In sales, these things are your value proposition: the feature that makes you most attractive to the company. Your past achievements are incredibly important to sales managers, so highlighting them with data or verification is a powerful move.
Follow up Quickly and Thoroughly
At this point, if you had been working with a client, you would certainly send an email to the person you spoke with to express your gratitude and provide additional information. You should do the same for your interviews — except instead of an emotionless email, you should send a personally handwritten note. This letter should be in your interviewer’s hands as soon as possible to cement his or her memory of you. Then, if four days go by without word, you should call the company to verify you are still under consideration.
Just as you would be persistent with a client, you shouldn’t rest until you know whether or not you got the job. Sell yourself in every communication. Talk about your plans for improving the company’s sales funnel or new skills you’ve acquired since the interview. If you are a good sales professional, you’ll land your dream job in no time.