Warren Buffett, Mark Cuban, Anne Mulcahy, and many other Fortune 500 CEOs have one thing in common: they all started in sales.
American entrepreneur Mark Cuban, for example, worked as a salesperson for Your Business Software at the beginning of his career. A few years later, he launched his own business. Today, his total net worth is over $4.4 billion.
You, too, can achieve success and make your dreams come true. A career in sales will help develop the skills you need to start and manage a business. Think of it as an opportunity to build connections, learn new things, and acquire transferable skills that can be adapted to any industry.
This career path is also financially rewarding, as sales professionals have unlimited earning potential. Depending on the job, they may receive commissions, bonuses, incentives, and other perks. Plus, they always get to meet new people and do exciting new things. No two days are the same when you work in this industry.
Still not convinced? Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of a career in sales to help you make the right choice.
Why choose a career in sales?
Former Xerox CEO Anne M. Mulcahy joined the company as a sales representative in the ’70s. Over the years, she climbed the career ladder and made her way to the top. American investor Warren Buffet started his entrepreneurial venture at age six. Back then, he sold chewing gum, newspapers, and soda. By age 15, he earned enough money to buy a 40-acre farm, reports CNBC.
A career in sales does not guarantee that you will become the next Warren Buffet, but it can open up a world of opportunity. First of all, it serves as a training ground for great entrepreneurship. You will not only develop your skills but also learn to prioritize tasks, manage your time, and stay organized.
As part of your role, you’ll have the chance to wear multiple hats and gain insights into a variety of areas, from marketing and technology to consulting.
This kind of job isn’t just about selling, points out Alyssa Merwin, Vice President of Sales Solutions at LinkedIn. Those who work in this industry also need to be good consultants and analysts, she told Forbes.
Merwin has been working in sales for over two decades. What she enjoys most about it is that she has the chance to solve customers’ problems and make a difference in their lives. Plus, it’s a career with unlimited potential. Junior sales reps can transition into senior roles and train new hires, work with bigger clients, and manage entire teams. They also have the opportunity to continuously improve their skills.
Interested in finding out more? Here are five compelling reasons to choose a career in sales.
#1 Low barrier to entry
Starting a career in sales is much easier than breaking into other industries. Most employers only require a high school diploma or an undergraduate degree in marketing, sales, business, or a related field.
Generally, new hires receive training on the job. At Frank Recruitment Group, we offer bespoke learning programs tailored to every level of experience.
The exact requirements depend on the role you apply for. A pharmaceutical sales representative, for instance, may need a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, biology, or healthcare administration. However, a business major may be enough. If you’re applying for a mid- or senior-level position, you will need at least five years of work experience.
Sales is one of the most accessible professions for fresh grads and people looking to switch careers. You just need to have the right skills for the job.
As Forbes notes, successful salespeople have the ability to understand and deal with different types of customers, build genuine connections, and find solutions. They know when to speak and when to listen, what questions to ask, and how to convey their message in a way that is meaningful to the target audience.
#2 Unlimited earning potential
A career in sales has unlimited income potential. How much you’ll earn depends on your performance.
Most sales professionals are required to meet monthly or quarterly quotas. These may include activity quotas, profit quotas, volume quotas, and so on. About 85% of those who work in this industry say their quota is fair, reports a Salesforce survey.
For example, you may need to bring in at least 30 qualified leads per month. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t bring in 50 or 70 qualified leads.
Sales professionals who meet or exceed their quotas may receive quarterly and annual bonuses, paid trips, gift cards, and other incentives. More than a quarter of salespeople always beat their quota, according to the above survey.
#3 The chance to develop transferable skills
If you’re a network engineer or a scientist and decide to switch careers, it won’t be easy to find work in a different field. In many cases, the skills required for a specific role can only be applied to that particular job or industry.
Sales professionals, on the other hand, learn transferable skills that prepare them for a wide range of jobs across various industries.
For example, they develop the ability to persuade others, plan and coordinate tasks, set goals, work under pressure, and negotiate effectively. These highly marketable skills could lead to a career in marketing, management, business consulting, real estate, or other fields.
A career in sales can open up new doors and make you more appealing to employers. As you gain experience, you may use your skills to start a side-hustle or launch your own business. All in all, you will never run out of options.
#4 Job security
Nearly 90% of professionals say that sales operations play a key role in business growth, reports a 2020 Salesforce survey. The role of sales ops is increasingly strategic in this hyperconnected era.
The U.S. sales industry employs more than 13 million people. Organizations across most industries rely on these professionals to attract customers, market their products, and generate revenue. Therefore, they make an effort to keep them on their teams and ensure their hard work is recognized.
And if you ever lose your job, you can use your transferable skills to move into almost any industry and get a fresh start.
#5 Fun and flexibility
As mentioned earlier, no two days are the same for salespeople. Most times, these professionals work in a stimulating environment and perform a variety of tasks that motivate, inspire, and empower them.
In this role, you will have the opportunity to grow your network, learn from the best, and work with people from different backgrounds. Depending on the job, you may also travel to meet your clients and close deals. When you meet or exceed your quota, you’ll experience a sense of pride and accomplishment.
About 30% of those who pursue this career say that job satisfaction is the driving force behind their motivation to close sales.
Approximately 40% are motivated by the financial rewards, whereas 12% cite recognition as their top motivator, reports Salesforce.
A career in sales is just as challenging as it is rewarding. At Frank Recruitment Group, we provide the training and resources you need to excel in your role.