Despite the occasional bit of bad press, salespeople are vital for growth. And in the current economy, growth is imperative. Without salespeople, it’s impossible to scale fast, reach new audiences, and beat off the competition. So, good salespeople really are a vital resource in this day and age.
A career in sales is tough, but getting good talent through the door can be a make or break for some companies. However, there’s a lot of competition for those pursuing a career in sales or looking for new opportunities, so prospective salespeople need to make themselves as employable as possible, and sales leaders need to spend time sharpening their skills throughout the sales training process to help them reach their potential.
Here’s how you can get the sales job you want and what skills are important.
How you can stand out from the crowd
It’s really easy to apply for multiple jobs in one go these days. LinkedIn ‘easy apply’, job sites and recruiters make mass job applications a piece of case, with very little effort required. However, simply clicking ‘Apply Now’ to send an electronic version of your CV and covering letter to a prospective employer isn’t going to get the best results – for both parties.
Really, just like when prospecting, you want to find a good fit. Yes, the above process can make applying for roles quicker and easier, but the problem is everyone else with the same approach is in exactly the same boat as you.
Business, particularly well-known ones, get bombarded with applications when vacancies pop up. These applications are normally very ‘samesy’ and lack the human touch. A different approach is needed.
Good talent is hard to spot, so you want to make it as easy as possible to stand out from the crowd and get in front of a potential employer you want.
How to prove you are the best candidate
The good news for sales candidates is any business that is actively seeking a new sales job is in the same position as the candidate. Both need the other. The company needs good talent and the candidate needs a good employer.
When you find a position you want, rather than the quick fix application, think like a salesperson and treat it like a prospect call. Do your research thoroughly and sell yourself, your skills, and your experience.
Imagine sending a prospect an impersonal email with bullet points listing products and services you sell in the hope they pick one. It wouldn’t work. Similarly, sales job applications should focus more on why you are the best candidate for the role and why the business should select you for the next step.
It’s impossible for the recruiting company to know whether a salesperson will deliver the results required straight away, but they will be able to find out if the salesperson has the right attitude, mindset and initiative for creating new business opportunities.
If you want to do something really different (and prove you don’t mind using the phone), pick up the phone and call the company and ask to speak to the person responsible for the vacancy directly. That’ll show initiative, confidence and proactiveness. Show the confidence early and then back it up in the interview.
The sales skills to thrive today
While marketers will tell you that cold calling is dead, one of the key skills in sales is still making phone calls. It’s an art. And it gets results.
Every business will want their salespeople to be hungry to pick up the phone, call a stranger and successfully sell in a product or service. Finding people who are good at that is tough. However, cold calling isn’t the only skill required.
Alongside cold calling skills, prospecting, networking, problem-solving, listening and researching are all skills required to succeed. Sales training will help hone these skills, as well as being provided with sales enablement materials. Both are vital to helping salespeople improve and seeing business revenues flourish.
With the salesperson role remaining crucial to modern businesses, it’s understandable that good jobs are highly sought after. To get those opportunities, you need to stand out from the crowd, while employers must ensure they provide good talent with the resources and opportunities to encourage their growth.