Sales has sometimes been called ‘the ultimate default career’; meaning when you cannot find another job, a career in sales can be a great alternative. However, being a salesperson may get you a bad rep because up until a few years ago, popular culture often represented salespeople in an unflattering light. And as a society, we’re only just beginning to recover from that.
Regardless, in today’s world, sales is a very exciting career path because the sales industry has changed quite drastically, along with the role of the salesperson. Today, a salesperson would be considered an entrepreneur who is credible, creative, independent and knows the risks of running a business. They no longer push products but are expected to be trusted advisors, especially since consumers have so many ways to reach the products they want to buy.
In fact, according to a report, 94% of B2B customers actually research online before purchasing, and the vendors chosen (95% of customers) are often the ones who provide enough content to navigate through the buying process. Thus, buyers don’t need to be forced into action, instead, they need to be advised based on their challenges and goals. And that is the present role of the salesperson.
So now, without further ado, let’s take a look at a few of the reasons to consider a career in sales:
In sales, the more you work the more you earn. That makes the earning potential of careers in sales almost unlimited. There will probably be a monthly, quarterly and annual goal or quota to hit, but when you do the reward is great.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median wage for a role in sales is USD 54,550, but there are plenty of opportunities to earn double that. You just need to know what those opportunities are. An analysis by Glassdoor showed that gigs in wholesale and manufacturing sales and property sales offered the most potential for six-digit salaries.
Businesses hire sales reps to increase revenue. Without sales, doors close and so employers do whatever is necessary to keep their sales personnel motivated; usually in the form of income.
Considering that sales is the most essential department in a business for the all-important cash flow, you can imagine its fundamental importance in the job market. This is so much so that nearly 15 million people work in sales in the US alone. That is approximately 5% of the population.
Thus, if you’re an effective seller with a record for bringing in business and building relationships, you’re very unlikely to be laid off. Moreover, there will always be a demand for experienced salespeople in the business world. In spite of new technologies and business models, skilled salespeople are always needed to build relationships, close deals and find new opportunities.
A flexible schedule is one of the best benefits of a career in sales. It allows you to have a good work-life balance, often so elusive in other career opportunities. This is because salespeople usually have the option to set their own schedules as long as they meet activity requirements. For example, you may have a weekly quota to hit, and as long as you hit it and don’t abuse your freedom, you’ll be free to plan your days as you please.
Moreover, any additional sales that you do is just added extra commission, and you’re free to work on that as much or as little as you please. This freedom also allows you to choose your most productive work environment, work at your own pace, and schedule your day around your personal life instead of vice versa. That in turn allows for the work-life balance mentioned earlier.
Continuous Skill Development:
Sales is a field that offers continuous opportunities to learn, grow and develop your skills. In fact, it is almost mandatory that you keep up-skilling and sharpen old skills as a sales professional, especially due to the continuous emergence of new technology, techniques and trends.
Decision-making and pipeline management are two skills that are particularly important to keep working on. There are always new processes and techniques, and buyers change. So, you need to be able to assess your pipeline and forecast your results, and you’ll need to get creative about filling your pipeline and getting prospects to move to the next step.
Sales is a social profession, meaning it offers a great chance to build a professional network. You learn to network in different fields, manage business relationships and build a good reputation. You can seek out leads in any situation and make lasting connections with different people.
The above has the added advantage of opening up doors if you’re looking for a career change as well. What’s more, the skills you learn as a salesperson often come in handy in other professions as well, considering that they’re mostly soft skills.
As mentioned above, the skills you pick up as a sales professional are often transferable to other careers and other areas of your life. This is because the most important skills required in sales are soft skills like creativity, persuasion, adaptability, collaboration, time management, conflict management, stress management, emotional intelligence, storytelling, etc.
These skills are hard to teach, and prior experience in them always provides you with a better chance with possible employers in any chosen career.
Sales offers a competitive environment that also lets you help your customer solve their business (and sometimes other) issues. It is rewarding both monetarily and emotionally.
Moreover, if you enjoy the thrill of a challenge, the flexibility afforded and knowing that you are creating and securing employment for others, sales is a really great career option for you.
Sales is all about meeting the needs of your clients. This means each day will be different for you as a salesperson. Moreover, there is always variety in the type of work you do, and as a salesperson, you are required to interact with different people from different industries across the country or even the world.
Thus, you learn to adapt your knowledge to face whatever new situation you’re in, which in turn makes for a really stimulating and rewarding work environment.