What do you see when you envision a career in sales and the traits required to be a skilled salesperson?
Probably someone charismatic, quick-thinking, articulate, and engaging. And maybe you’ve got all that in the bag!
You may wonder how much experience and education it takes to reach that level. How many years in the field? How much in education costs?
Or maybe you’re a bit on the shy and quiet side, wondering if you have what it takes to thrive in sales.
It may surprise you to learn, then, that Zippia found only 43% of salespeople in the US have bachelor’s degrees, followed by 27% with high school diplomas and 17% with associate’s degrees. While experience and education can certainly affect one’s journey in sales, it’s a more accessible career than most realize. Not to mention, often, the highest-paid employees in a company are the salespeople—some with salaries exceeding that of the CEO!
Perhaps that’s why many seem to land in a sales role seemingly out of the blue. People often don’t have their eye on this field but end up learning and growing significantly on the job in a way that opens up many doors.
So, is a career in sales right for you? You’ve likely heard the many stereotypes and misconceptions, from the used car salesman trope to limited opportunities. Read on to discover three overlooked and unexpected reasons to consider a role in sales and bust those myths.
Many entry-level sales positions allow new reps to train on the job, obtain practical experience and skills while making income, and avoid excessive higher education costs. A high-quality company focused on employee development typically offers a specialized training program or includes training in its onboarding process.
While select industries, such as pharmaceuticals or technology, may require degrees in a related field, there are many other areas and options that do not.
In fact, there is an excellent opportunity to niche down into a field you are passionate about! A career in sales can serve as the catalyst to enter an industry you enjoy and thrive in long-term—whether you stay in sales or not.
As you contemplate the best sales job, consider the following:
Remember that not every sales position looks the same due to industry diversity. The beauty lies in the opportunity to pick the “flavor” that best suits you! Even those who tend to be soft-spoken and introverted often surprise themselves by excelling at sales when they find a role that fits their personality.
Plus, according to Geoff Booker, Chameleon’s Director of Sales, sales skills carry over into many other aspects of your life and future career. He explained how many trainees improve their communication skills after just a few sessions—and noted how they’ve also helped him in his own life!
Once you find a career in sales that sparks your passion, you’re likely to grow and perform better. Fortunately, the scalability of sales positions based on performance means lots of room for growth!
Entry-level sales positions are gateways to both linear and non-linear career growth. And while high performance generally leads to higher pay, it also means the opportunity to work with preferred clients and pursue positions such as sales manager or trainer. You could even move into:
Sales Operations: In this more strategic, research-based role, you’ll support the sales team with new technologies, techniques, and changes to promote growth.
One article by The Best Schools notes, “Many professionals choose a sales career for personal satisfaction, freedom from the office, growth, and high income potential. Salespeople are paid for their performance.” No wonder the most driven sales pros are constantly striving for more!
Our very own Deb Clark, VP of Sales & Ops, previously shared the importance of sales experience. Deb began her career with Chameleon splitting her time on the phone and as a sales trainer, with the goal of becoming a manager.
“There’s no better way to figure out what that entails than by doing the job itself!” she said. Deb understood that having first-hand experience as a sales representative would lend itself to her success as a leader. She not only learned the ins and outs of Chameleon, but she also honed the skills necessary for a leadership role.
Geoff and Deb’s experiences are just two clear examples of how having sales skills on your resume can pave the way for a successful future career in various roles and fields.
Although there is often significant room to grow within sales, much of this will depend on company-provided opportunities and environments. Effective mentoring is crucial to support the personal development necessary for a successful career in sales.
As you search for the right job, also be sure to find the right company. An organization might:
Keep this in mind throughout your sales job search and interview process. Ask the right questions to find out what kind of support and resources the employer provides to new associates. If it’s the third, it likely won’t be an ideal sales force experience.
Chameleon fosters a positive company culture to ensure all employees feel welcome. We do this by:
The best part? This has created a fun, interesting team of talented individuals with wide-ranging backgrounds. Everyone adds value by bringing their unique experiences to the table, complementing one another.
When researching a company, keep an eye out for these signs of a positive workplace—and specifically, sales team—culture:
Appropriate compensation and aligned job duties are vital to a great career in sales—but nothing can make up for a poor corporate culture. Consider the above before jumping into your first sales role.
If you are seriously contemplating a career in sales—whether you’re a young professional searching for your first job or transitioning from a completely different field—know that this road can open so many doors!
A sales job is a powerful way to:
You can even find a sales job from home to fit your lifestyle! So as you consider this new field, remember that a career in sales has a more accessible point of entry than you may think. It’s mainly about finding a company and position that best suits you.
Please contact us today to learn more and discuss Chameleon’s latest job opportunities! We’d love to share our sales experiences and show you what we’re all about.