Regardless of the type of sales job you may be considering, though, you have to like working with people and you have to focus on giving them the best product or service possible. We all know that there are "shysters" out there who simply want to take our money and sell shoddy products or services, but truly honest salespeople believe in their products or services and want the best for their customers. Let’s look at some typical sales jobs and so that you can consider which ones might be right for you.
Sales Manager Jobs
As a sales manager, you usually don’t participate in direct sales yourself. Instead, you train, oversee, and direct other salespeople in a supervisory capacity. In general, sales managers also keep track of market trends so that they can tell what customers need, track sales volumes, and set prices that are adequate for company profits while remaining reasonable enough that customers will actually buy the products.
If you work for a large company as a sales manager, you may only work in one capacity as a sales manager, such as hiring, training, or supervising salespeople. You’re also usually responsible for assigning particular sales territories to sales representatives. You also continually evaluate salespeople's performance and meet at trade associations to promote products. You may also keep track of customer preferences or manage product research and development. In some cases, you may also set budgets for research and development.
If you’re hired as a sales manager for a very large company, you may only be responsible for a given department or sector; the company itself may hire numerous sales managers for its various departments. For very small companies, you may work both in direct sales yourself and as a sales manager for other, less experienced sales personnel. Regardless, though, as a sales manager, you’re going to have to like managing people, working with people, and helping people be their best.
Insurance Sales Jobs
This is one of the most common types of sales jobs available. Many people work as independent sales agents on their own, or work for companies as insurance sales agents. Regardless, this type of work allows for a lot of autonomy for those who prefer to be self-directed. Oftentimes, they are "hired" by insurance companies not as employees, but as independent contractors. This means that they are responsible for their own benefits, and their income is not fixed and regular as a salaried job is, either. Instead, they work on a commission basis so that the more sales they make, the more money they make. Those who work in insurance sales jobs usually sell a particular type of insurance, such as homeowners insurance, life insurance, or car insurance.
Media Sales Jobs
Those who work in media sales jobs usually work on a commission basis, too, as do insurance salespeople. However, for media sales jobs, representatives work with radio stations, TV stations, and other media outlets to sell advertising time to make revenues for that particular entity. This is a very high-pressure, fast-paced business and salespeople must be ready to meet with clients on short notice; in some cases, they also have to meet a certain quota every month in order to keep their jobs. In addition, they must be willing to spend a fair amount of time on the phone doing cold calling or other means to get the word out about their advertising opportunities.
Healthcare Sales Jobs
Representatives who work in healthcare sales jobs usually work directly with physicians and other healthcare professionals to try to get them to try and purchase new drugs, medical paraphernalia, and other medical needs. As with other sales jobs, this job, too, is usually done on commission basis. The healthcare sales representative must have a thorough knowledge of the medical profession, enough so that he or she can speak knowledgeably to physicians and other healthcare professionals about the product or service in question. As with every sales job, the representative's job is to convince the healthcare professional and that his or her product/service is something that that healthcare professional should want to try and use. It used to be quite common for healthcare representatives to provide incentives to physicians for trying a product, including free samples, free lunches, and so on. This has been frowned on in recent years, though, and is less common than it used to be.
Compensation and Benefits
Compensation for all salespeople is usually based on commission, meaning that they get a percentage of the profits from what they sell; in many cases, salespeople get what are called "draw checks" so that they have some money to live on while they wait for commissions to come in. Then, the amount given in the draw checks is deducted from the commissions they earn on a monthly or weekly basis.
Because compensation is entirely based upon commission, you can do very well as a salesperson or you can do very poorly. This depends on effort, your talent and aptitude for sales in general, whether or not you’re a good "fit" with the particular product or service you're selling, and market conditions. Because of this, there really is no set salary for salespeople. Many very successful salespeople can make incomes in the six-figure range quite readily.
Sales jobs can be very rewarding for people with the aptitude to do them. In addition, you may have an aptitude to do sales jobs for one product, but not for another. Discovering that you have an aptitude for sales and then discovering your niche within the sales industry is imperative for your success as a salesperson.