Want to learn how to get a job in sales? We put this guide together to help. Sales is an incredible career option that is extremely well-paid. Meaning you can make well over $300,000 a year. Plus, you usually get reoccurring commissions on the deals you close. If you have strong communication skills and are good with people, there is almost certainly a job in sales waiting for you. Whether you’re looking at tech, advertising, media, software, or another type of sales job, your talents are in demand. We’re here to help you go from zero to hero by showing you what those jobs look like and what steps to take to land one.
What Is A Job In Sales?
A sales rep sells services or products for a company and represents their brand as well. They are responsible for managing relationships between the company and the customers, serving as the key point of contact, from initial lead outreach to when a purchase is ultimately made.
Sales Job Industry Statistics
- Nearly 13% of all the jobs in the U.S. (1 in 8) are full-time sales positions.
- The median salary for U.S. sales representatives is over $55,000.
- Today’s sales professionals spend just 34% of their time selling.
- Nearly 6 in 10 salespeople say that when they figure out what works for them, they don’t change it.
- Curiosity, intelligence, and an agile mind are the biggest predictors of sales success.
- Male-led sales teams are 76% men and 24% women vs. the general population 50/50 split.
Why Get a Job in Sales?
Learning how to get a job in sales is a great option for several reasons:
- First off, the job gives you what you give it. The more motivated you are and the more willing you are to learn, the more income you can gain.
- Sales jobs can be highly lucrative and offer great career growth opportunities. If you know how to sell products, you have the very skill nearly every company needs.
How To Get A Job In Sales
Step 1: Learn About the Industry You’re Trying To Enter
To succeed in any job in sales you need a strong understanding of the product or technology you’ll be selling.
Note that this doesn’t necessarily mean you need to be a technical expert. Rather, having a solid foundation in the product can help you communicate with potential clients more effectively and answer questions that may have them on the fence.
Consider taking online courses or attending workshops to learn more about the technology you’re interested in selling. There are plenty of free or low-cost educational resources available on the internet.
Step 2: Leverage Any Past Sales Experience
Sales experience is a valuable asset when looking for a job in sales. However, most of us don’t have such experience, and you may need to build up to the job you want with a “starter” sales job.
If you don’t have any sales experience, consider taking on a sales role in a different industry to build your skills. Alternatively, you can rack up hours by volunteering to help with sales at a nonprofit organization. You can also start your own side business to gain some sales experience.
Step 3: Make Connections
Networking is one of the most important skills to have when it comes to finding a job in sales. Cold-calling and submitting your resume unsolicited can work, but nothing is more powerful than a personal connection.
Attend industry events and conferences, join online communities, and connect with people on social media platforms like LinkedIn. If you don’t feel confident reaching out to strangers
for business reasons, focus on finding similarities and shared interests. Perhaps the person lives somewhere you used to live or loves a sport you also love playing.
Build relationships with people in the industry and stay in touch. Be friendly, open, and eager to learn. This will help you learn about job opportunities and get your foot in the door.
Step 4: Craft Your Resume
Many companies now screen applicants’ resumes using automatic, AI-powered programs. That means you may not even have a pair of human eyes touch yours before it gets screened. What does that mean? You need to make sure it shines!
Your resume should highlight your sales experience, technical knowledge, and any relevant achievements in and around the industry. Make sure it’s easy to read and tailored to the specific job for which you’re applying. You can also include any relevant certifications or awards you’ve received.
Make every word count in your resume. You don’t want it to be too long and certainly not too short. Check out Business News Daily’s tips on how to write a great resume.
Step 5: Practice Your Interview Skills
No one is bad at interviewing — they’re only bad at practicing.
Yes, folks, interviewing is all about practice, practice, practice. It all starts with “getting smart” about the company with which you’re interviewing. What position is it? When was the company started, what have they achieved, and what’s on the horizon for the future?
Try to find out who will interview you and learn about them on LinkedIn. Maybe there’s some common ground you can connect on. For example: “In my free time, I absolutely LOVE playing underwater hockey.” You get the point.
Now practice answering common interview questions. Be prepared to give examples of how you’ve used your sales and technical skills in the past. You never know what they’ll ask, but there’s a bell curve of interview questions, and you want to aim for the middle chunk.
Step 6: Be Enthusiastic
Salespeople need to be passionate about what they are helping share with the world. Hiring managers are looking for candidates who care about the technology they’re selling. Make sure to convey your enthusiasm for the technology and the industry during your interview. Show them that you’re eager to learn and willing to put in the hard work to succeed.
Step 7: Persist
Don’t get discouraged if you keep getting rejected — landing a job in sales can be competitive. Keep applying for positions and reach out to people in the industry. If you don’t get the job you want, ask for feedback and humbly use it to improve your skills and your application.
Examples of Sales Jobs
Here are some examples of sales jobs and what they pay:
- Tech sales: The average base salary for a tech sales representative in the United States is around $60,000 – $70,000 per year, with the potential to earn additional commission and bonuses based on performance. Senior positions can exceed $100,000 per year in income.
- Advertising sales: The average base salary for an advertising sales representative in the United States is around $47,000 per year. For more senior roles in advertising sales, such as sales manager or director, the salary can range from $70,000 to over $150,000 per year.
- Media sales: A media sales representative in the United States makes around $49,000 per year on average. Senior sales reps can make $75,000 to over $150,000 per year.
- Software sales: Software sales offer an average base salary of $60,000 to $80,000 per year, and senior sales reps can make as much as $200,000 per year.
There are plenty of jobs out there, and by following these steps, you’ll be well on your way to landing one!