The Top Sales Career Advice Articles of 2019

Sales is a challenging but equally rewarding profession. Navigating a career in sales can be tricky. Good thing there are plenty of excellent resources to rely on for some advice.

Here, we have compiled some of the most helpful articles on navigating and advancing a career in sales we’ve seen this year.

Our Criteria: These articles received the most clicks from our weekly roundup posts and weekly newsletter throughout 2019. If you have a post you’d like to have considered in future roundups, let us know at content@closeriq.com 

1) What Do You Want? Learning How to Advocate for Yourself Professionally

By: Liz Cain | Source: Women In Sales Everywhere

“I started my career in technical support as a Customer Success Associate and today, 11 years later, I’m a partner at venture capital firm, OpenView. Not the most traditional career path. Hard work (and a little luck!) was certainly pivotal in setting the stage for my career, but learning how to advocate for my own interests, personal development and career opportunities was truly how I made a few pivotal leaps.

Early in my career, I made the common mistake of failing to articulate my career goals to my manager. Instead, I assumed my boss was constantly looking for ways to help me grow.”

2) The Ultimate LinkedIn Profile Checklist for Sales Professionals

By: Shaye Smith | Source: Center for Sales Strategy

“There are many benefits to using LinkedIn as a sales professional that include everything from personal branding and thought leadership to prospecting, lead nurturing, and recruiting. The problem is, oftentimes, sales professionals don’t have time to set up or update the basics of their LinkedIn accounts to best represent them and their company.

You can’t build a great building on a weak foundation, and the LinkedIn profile is just that: the foundation that could affect the success of your social efforts. Use this checklist to ensure your profile is updated and the best representation of your personal brand, the products you sell, and what you have to offer a prospect.”

3) How to Successfully Negotiate Your Salary (Script Included)

By: Caroline Forsey | Source: Hubspot

“You’ve done it — after countless informational interviews, phone calls, and in-person interviews, you’ve finally landed your dream job.

But as you peruse the contract, you find yourself a little hesitant about what they’re willing to offer you.

You’re torn. You know you’re going to love this job. Shouldn’t you just accept their first offer?

Unfortunately, your inability to negotiate now won’t just affect the next year or two of your life — instead, it will create a snowball effect that could result in major losses down the road. In fact, you could lose anywhere from $1 million to $1.5 million over the course of your lifetime if you don’t negotiate early.”

4) 7 Lessons from Game of Thrones To Advance Your Career

By: Brandon Redlinger | Source: Engagio

“Game of Thrones is one of the most highly anticipated and entertaining series this year, and arguably the most popular show of all time. But what can it teach you about how to advance your career? It turns out a lot!

Business can be competitive, even cutthroat. As we head into the final season, the characters, settings, and plot twists throughout the series offer a rich education on how you can climb the career ladder.

Whether you’re negotiating a deal at the deadline or simply battling to keep your small business afloat, here are 7 lessons you can take away from Game of Thrones.”

5) Your Career Path is Your Own: Promote Your Sales Career

By: Team Salesloft

“It’s the first day of your sales career. You’re ready to take on the world sales, one cold call at a time as a Sales Development Representative (SDR). Your new manager congratulates you and says, “Alright, you’re here. Tell me about your goals.”

How does one uncover what the next step in their sales career should be? (Beyond learning 8539 acronyms, that is.) From everyday best practices to the secrets for finding mentors, a panel of sales rockstars at this year’s Rainmaker inspired us to loft our careers.”

6) What Sales Professionals Should Look For in a Tech Startup

By: James Meincke | Source: CloserIQ

“We’re currently living in the golden age of startups. San Francisco, New York, Boston, Seattle, and many other American cities are home to many innovative startups. This presents a wealth of opportunities for sales professionals.

Working at a startup can offer many opportunities to learn new skills and assume significant responsibilities. But before accepting a job offer at a startup, you should thoroughly vet the company so that you can better determine whether it’s a fit for your professional aspirations. Keep in mind that you will be responsible for selling a product or service. You want to make sure that the company is poised for success before staking your future on it.”

7) 5 Things Job Seekers Do That Sabotage Their Interview Chances

By: Peter Yang | Source: Glassdoor

“The job search process is unforgiving. It doesn’t matter how many things you might be doing right, it just takes one wrong move, one misunderstanding, or one poor decision to entirely ruin your chances of getting the job.

As a job seeker, this reality can really be frightening  especially if you find yourself in a situation where youre simply not getting interviews no matter how many job openings you apply to, and yet you dont have a clue what youre really doing wrong. So with that being said, here are the most common things I see job seekers doing all the time that actually end up sabotaging their chances of getting that all-important interview.”

8) Build Your Career in Sales: How to Find, Get, and Excel in Your First Sales Job

By: Zach Barney | Source: Saleshacker

“In 2009, I was desperate…

I had just spent six miserable months trying to become a financial advisor after my dream career of being a spy for the DoD didn’t pan out.

I was a year past my last semester of college, newlywed, on crutches from major knee surgery, and we were expecting our first child. Desperate for an income, but also desperate for a career I loved, I scoured job boards and my very limited Linkedin network for leads. Nothing really stood out until I stumbled across a “Director of Sales and Client Relations” role with a company called Jammony.”

9) 13 Critical Things to Consider Before Switching Careers

By: Vicky Oliver | Source: Lifehack

“Do you have a path not taken? Maybe you had big career dreams when you were younger, but somehow they didn’t materialize.

Maybe you took your first job, thinking it would be a stepping stone to a better job. It seemed like a good idea at the time, you recall, except the better job never came along. Or perhaps, saddled with student loans, you took a job that helped you pay them off. You paid them all right, but now you feel stuck in a career you don’t really like.

The average person spends 90,000 hours in their lifetime at work.[1] That’s too much time to be doing anything you don’t love!”

10) The Best Cover Letter Examples for Every Type of Job Seeker

By: Alyse Kalish | Source: The Muse

“We love having examples. It’s so much easier to follow a recipe, build a puzzle, or yes, even write a cover letter when you know what the end product should look like.

So that’s what we’re going to give you—all the cover letter examples and tips you need to make yours shine (we’re unfortunately not experts in recipes or puzzles).”

11) Use Failure as an Opportunity to Reflect on Your Strengths

By: Susan Peppercorn | Source: Harvard Business Review

“In a presentation to a group of executive job seekers in transition, a recruiter made the point that after years of reviewing C-level résumés, she had noticed a commonality: None of these top professionals had escaped having some setbacks, rejections, or missed opportunities. This information surprised the audience of recent layoff victims, who realized that they were in good company when it came to career misfortune. The recruiter was right: Failures and regrets need not derail your career, and, in fact, can propel it forward if handled wisely.”

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Ystine Ompad

Ystine is a Marketing Associate at CloserIQ. Previously, she was a Recruiter at The Berkner Group. She loves traveling and all things sci-fi.