Start your career in sales

Start your career in sales

Leadership & Management

Parikshit Trivedi

Parikshit Trivedi

17 Aug 2019, 10:00 — 5 min read

Background: It has been aptly said, “Sales is not about selling anymore, but about building trust and educating.” Parikshit Trivedi opines that starting one’s career in sales enables one to polish the soft and hard skills required to lead any business.

 

It’s no exaggeration to say that sales is the oxygen for a business to survive. Sales is critical in expanding customer base, building customer loyalty and generating revenue. A career in sales can build a strong foundation for one’s knowledge, training and professional growth.

Sales representatives are often called the ‘foot soldiers’ of a firm because they are the ones who are most aware of the pulse of the business—how it is perceived and accepted by customers.

 

Here are four (transferrable) skills you will learn in a sales job.

 

Knowing the pulse of the business

Sales representatives are often called the ‘foot soldiers’ of a firm because they are the ones who are most aware of the pulse of the business—how it is perceived and accepted by customers. Being connected to customers, gives sales personnel a definite advantage over other team members in a firm. Therefore, it is no exaggeration to say that a good sales representative who has a sound understanding of the product, customers and the skill to expand market share, is likely to make rapid progress in their career and reach senior management positions.

 

Also read: Is your salesperson doubling as a sales manager?

 

Acquiring knowledge of finances

Even if a sales representative does not have training in finance, they acquire excellent on the job understanding or product pricing, costs and profit margins. This in turn gives them a good understanding of company expenses and driving business revenues.

 

Developing inter-personal skills

Sales personnel interact with all kinds of people and this makes them adept at handling relationships with customers and team members alike. The ability to build a rapport with customers and build lasting business relationships helps them at every stage of their career.

 

Also read: 5 critical questions for leadership success and life happiness

 

Handling rejection

Those who work in sales have to often deal with rejection. This helps them develop the ability to weather storms and bounce back stronger. The ability to overcome big obstacles and disappointments helps sales representatives become mentally and emotionally stronger. This resilience stands them in good stead in the long-term.

 

Now that we have examined some of the qualities that a sales job helps to hone, here is why I recommend a job in sales:

  • 80% of the times a CEO is required to use soft skills and only 20% of the times job specific skills need to be utilised. People management is an asset at this stage wherein the soft skills of a salesperson are deployed with decision making enhanced through possession of sound product knowledge. Great leaders that exhibit exemplary people management and interpersonal relationship skills have often developed these attributes as sales personnel.

 

  • Successful sales professionals seldom retire. They either end up being consultants or executive directors in large organisations sharing their knowledge and experience, which is very valuable.

 

  • Senior roles demand time for expansion (either new projects, increasing existing capacities, or diversification to name a few) which again are time bound activities which are concluded and completed through soft skills deployment (sales skills) and JSS (technical knowledge to make the right choice of specifications etc.). These roles demand a high capacity of PR, communication and analytical skills to complete successfully the responsibility of their position, traits that sales personnel have in spades.

 

  • The non-technical early beginners of sales as a career evolve through their hunger for enhancing their knowledge on marketing, mass communication and administrative skills to progress to the higher echelons of large corporate businesses; be it product, concept or service industry business enterprises.

 

Being a sales representative ensures that you get experience in the frontlines of the business, enables you to hone your people skills, gives you a good understanding of the market and makes you strong enough to weather rejection. All these factors can be the building blocks of a successful career. Therefore, my advice to eager youngsters is: Start your career in sales!

Also read: Do you have what it takes to be a sales shark?

Image courtesy: shutterstock.com

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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views, official policy or position of GlobalLinker.

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Parikshit Trivedi

We represent Global Companies in the East African Region ( based out of Nairobi, KENYA) to identify right partners and ensuring sales of goods and services.

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