Got the gift of the gab?
Are you motivated by money and want to pursue a career with excellent progression prospects? In that case, a job in the sales industry could be your true calling. If you’re considering a lucrative career in sales but have no idea where to start, don’t worry – we’ve got you covered.
Here are some roles you could consider, and some of our top tips to help you get to there:
What they do: Handle key accounts, manage relationships, and ensure that clients are happy with the services and products provided. Depending on the size of the business and the weight of the account, Account Managers may work primarily on one account, or manage a number of clients at once.
What you need: Excellent listening skills are perhaps the number one key attribute, as being able to identify the needs of the clients and establish metrics for success is absolutely vital in this role. A friendly and approachable manner, and good organisational skills are also plusses. A degree is not necessary.
What you can earn: Typically around £24,000 as a starting point. However, when building key relationships with multi-million pound accounts, the sky is the limit for successful Account Managers.
Perfect for: People who just want to make people happy.
Our advice: Arguably more than any other sales role, this position is all about putting the customer first. Throughout your CV, demonstrate how you’ve gone the extra mile to show your commitment to the customer, and how you’ve helped manage (and improve) relationships to help ensure success.
What they do: Market, let and sell properties. This could range from showing clients around properties and conducting open-houses, through to viewing and valuing properties and negotiating a price which meets the demands of both the buyer and the seller.
What you need: Self-motivation, persuasive negotiation skills, and a friendly and approachable manner. An active interest in the property market and the ability to work under pressure to hit sales targets are also essential. A degree is not necessary.
What you can earn: £14,000 for a first or trainee position, rising to around the £30,000 range for experienced Estate Agents. As with most sales positions, commission can also be incredibly rewarding.
Perfect for: People who like to sell very big houses in the country (and small houses in the city…those too).
Our advice: Never underestimate the importance of research. Investigating local property prices for the area you’re applying for, for example, will quickly demonstrate your understanding of the market to interviewers, not to mention make sure you keep abreast of any up-to-date developments.
Field Sales Rep
What they do: Primarily working outside the office, Field Sales Reps travel to consult with clients around the country as representatives of their business, conducting meetings to generate new business and maintain existing client relationships. The job also involves a fair amount of client schmoozing (N.B. level of schmoozing will depend of the budget of the business).
What you need: This is first-and-foremost a client facing position, making excellent interpersonal skills extremely important. Confidence and networking skills will also be necessary, as will impeccable timekeeping. Nothing is as likely to lose an important contract as turning up to a meeting with the Managing Director 45 minutes late.
What you can earn: Typically around £20,000 as a starting salary, rising to the £30,000 mark with a good list of clients under your belt.
Perfect for: People who love being on the road (see also: in the sky and/or on a train).
Our advice: Although not necessarily a prerequisite for every role, a car is certainly a valuable commodity for anyone looking to become a Field Sales Executive. If you have a valid driver’s license and own your own car, stating this in your CV and updating your profile to reflect your credentials will only add value to your application.
What they do: Source the right candidates for a range of different roles. This includes writing job descriptions, vetting candidates and matching them to the needs of the role. It also involves a fair amount of ‘headhunting’ to find the best fit.
What you need: No formal qualifications are needed to become a Recruitment Consultant. However, as with many sales roles, excellent communication, good negotiation skills and a goal-driven personality are all musts.
What you can earn: Starting salary of around £15,000, rising to a few years of experience and a proven track record of hitting your targets, and your basic salary could top £30,000.
Perfect for: People who like to match-make.
Our advice: In all likelihood, you will have to spend a fair amount of time on the phone with current and prospective clients and candidates. For this reason, excellent telephone manner and a clear and confident speaking voice are absolute necessities. It also won’t hurt to brush up on your telephone interview tips – just in case.
What they do: Sell the products or services of their business. This could be face-to-face selling or telesales, and typical tasks range from generating leads and winning new business contracts, through to maintaining relationships with existing clients and getting them to renew their purchases.
What you need: No formal qualifications are necessary. However, excellent verbal and written communication skills, tenacity, negotiation skills and a motivation for hitting targets are all absolute essentials.
What you can earn: Starting salary will be around £15,000. However, add to that a few years of experience and a proven track record of hitting your targets, and the basic salary could be in excess of £30,000. Not to mention lucrative bonuses topping the thousands.
Perfect for: People who can sell ice (to Eskimos, or otherwise).
Our advice: Entry-level Sales Executive jobs can be highly competitive. To help stand out at an interview, make sure you’ve put as much research into the company (and their products or services you’d be selling) as possible. Not only will it demonstrate how much you want the position, it will also practically show off your research skills, something that will be absolutely essential in your career.
What they do: Manage a team of sales professionals, ensuring they meet their targets through the use of a range of coaching and motivational techniques. Duties could range from recruiting new staff and getting them up to scratch, through to call coaching and attending meetings with individuals who may need support during their sales pitches.
What you need: Excellent man-management skills, and the ability to motivate your team members. Building the respect of your team members is also a key step to success in this position, which makes experience in the field just as valuable as any formal qualifications.
What you can earn: Anywhere between £20,000 and £40,000 or so, depending on your level of experience in the industry. Not including bonuses paid for hitting any individual or team targets.
Perfect for: People who want to help others sell.
Our advice: Perfect your management skills in team leader roles and use your experience to help authenticate the key attributes on your CV. Take note of any important innovations you made or specific targets you hit and list these on your application. That way, you can put your money where your mouth is.
What they do: Buy and sell stocks and shares to get the best financial rewards for their clients, whether they’re private clients or huge corporations. This could either be in a discretionary capacity (managing all investments and making decisions on behalf of the client), an advisory capacity or execution only (buying and selling on instruction without input).
What you need: A natural flair for analysis, self-confidence and excellent decision-making skills. Stockbrokers must also be honest and trustworthy, working with the clients’ best interests at heart.
What you can earn: Initial salary may start at around the £24,000 mark, but successful stockbrokers are often incredibly well-paid. With this in mind, annual salaries of over £50,000 are a realistic target.
Perfect for: People who loved The Wolf of Wall Street – but realise the industry has moved on a bit since then.
Our advice: If you’re serious about becoming a Stockbroker, you need to know the market. Luckily, there are a number of free programs available which use real-time stock-market figures, and allow you to buy and sell just as you would if investing for real. That way you can learn the process and the trends to follow and, if becoming a Stockbroker still seems like it’s for you, you can start investing for real.
Other sales roles to consider: Business Development Manager, Sales Rep, Area Manager, Assistant Regional Manager, Assistant to the Regional Manager.
Here are some of our top tips for finding a job in the sales industry:
- Be positive – Many people work their way up from the bottom. Maintain a positive attitude and learn on the job. It won’t take long for you to move up the ladder.
- Be passionate – Sales isn’t a dirty word. Careers in this industry can be extremely lucrative, and are well worth pursuing. Never be apologetic at interviews or see sales simply as a fall-back option.
- Be focused – Where do you want your career to take you? Would you prefer to be in the field, or in the office? Are you best at winning new business or maintaining existing relationships? Have a rough idea of where you want to go, and figure out the perfect route there.
- Be sales specific – Use specific examples of how you’ve hit previous targets and goals to help quantity your CV, and demonstrate to employers that you have a proven track-record of success.
- Be confident – Self-confidence is a no-brainer in the sales industry. Always be assured of your own abilities, not arrogant about them.
- Be resilient – Even the best sales people in the world don’t have a 100% success rate. There will be a fair amount of rejection to deal with in the sales industry, so remember to remain resilient. The difference between a good salesperson and a great salesperson is often a combination of positivity and persistence.
Ready to find your ideal position in the sales industry? View all sales jobs now.