Why a career in sales is a good idea
The sales industry is vital to the functioning of the economy – if customers don’t buy, the economy would collapse. There are many benefits and rewards to a career in sales that far outweigh the often-misrepresented view of this profession.
Unfortunately, due to these misconceptions, some people prematurely dismiss a career in sales. Often, when you hear the word “sales”, you think about call centre agents cold calling people to try and sell their product, but this isn’t necessarily the case. From entry-level positions to top management, sales representative, account manager and account executive are among the most common positions.
What salespeople do
We all have to start somewhere and just like any other industry, a staff hierarchy exists within the sales field with Sales Trainee being the most basic position and Chief Sales Executive being right at the top. “Working in sales” can refer to a number of different types of sales roles; you may be surprised by the variety of options available.
Here is a brief description of five of the most common sales roles:
Outside Sales Representatives
Outside sales representatives make use of a variety of traditional sales methods that involves face-to-face contact with prospective and existing customers outside of the office. Outside sales representatives tend to spend more time in their customers’ offices that their own to nurture the relationship.
Inside Sales Representatives
Inside sales representatives are the main point of contact for clients and are responsible for maintaining strong relationships with existing customers. Unlike outside sales representatives, Inside Sales Reps typically work in-office without any physical contact with clients. While this role is often confused with telemarketing whereby the agent phones a client to sell a product, inside sales reps make use of phone calls, emails and virtual meetings (via skype) to systematically build relationships with clients before offering a product or service. Ultimately, inside sales is professional sales done remotely.
Client Service Representative
Client service representatives are responsible for working closely with customers to establish strong business relationships and ensuring that their needs are met. By satisfying customers, client service reps work to increase the business’s growth through the existing client base.
Business Development Managers
Business development managers are responsible for bringing in new business for the company. This is done using methods such as cold calling and door to door sales.
Account managers are responsible for maintaining existing accounts. In addition to ensuring customer satisfaction, an account manager must use innovative techniques to keep selling the company’s products and services. Ultimately, an account manager’s main priority is customer retention.
Who should consider a career in sales?
Unless you have your heart set on a particular career, you might be unsure of what to study after school. If this is the case, you’re not alone. With all the career options available, sales will pop up regularly and with good reason. Of course, a career in sales isn’t for everyone, but it may be the perfect career option for you if the following applies to you:
- You are a people person
- You are a good listener and questioner.
- The idea of ‘The more you sell, the more you earn’ excites you.
- You like to design unique solutions for the problems that you face.
- You are self-disciplined and able to work alone, and
- You enjoy working toward concrete goals and get excited when you meet or even exceed them.
The benefits of a career in sales
What are the benefits of a career in sales?
Great earning potential: The typical pay structure will vary across companies, but it will generally consist of a base salary, commission, and bonus. The commission is based on the number of sales a salesperson had made throughout the month.
Meet a wide variety of people: If you said yes to being a people person, this benefit applies to you. A career in sales will allow you to meet a variety of new people from all walks of life.
You never stop learning: The sales industry is always evolving and to continue to thrive within the industry, you will need to evolve too.
The bottom line is that, regardless of the position, the goal of a sales professional is to find new customers and persuade them to buy the company’s products and services. Sales is a fast-paced, demanding and exciting industry when you choose the right type of position.
Are you considering a career in sales? The IMM Graduate School has a BCom with a major in Sales Management and a newly launched short course in the Introduction to Sales. Find out more about the variety of courses we offer or call us on 0861 466 476 or submit an enquiry.