What Skills and Knowledge Do You Have?
The second thing you need to consider is your education level as well as your current skills. Most jobs in sales require at least some formal college education, such as classes in marketing or communication. Many employers today are starting to require sales people to have full associates or bachelor's degree depending on the particular industry. One way to improve your chances of getting hired into a sales job is to enroll in a formal education program. Even if you are still currently employed, finding and working through an associate's degree or certificate program that offers marketing courses or courses specific to becoming a sales representative may be most beneficial to getting jobs in sales.
Value of Practical Experience
Your current skills are of importance to employers as well. For example, working as a production manager in a manufacturing environment may give you the necessary knowledge to become a business-to-business wholesale or manufacturing sales representative. In addition, volunteer experience in a certain industry related to that of your employer may also benefit you during an interview for work in sales. For example, working in a scientific laboratory as an assistant may enable you to become familiar with a variety of equipment that is sold by a laboratory supply company.
Importance of Personalities and Interpersonal Skills
Obtaining work in sales positions also requires that you have high levels of interpersonal skills. These skills are all too important to jobs in sales as they can either make or break not only your potential salary level, but also the image of the company for whom you're representing. For example, a college-educated individual may have an easier time getting jobs in sales than a person who has barely completed a high school education. The overall college experience--in addition to specific classes-- improves your social and communication skills. Interpersonal skills that make getting hired into a sales job include an outgoing personality, an upbeat and friendly attitude, and a high level of self-esteem. In addition, an above-average confidence level helps you overcome rejections from potential clients.
Types of Industry Sales Jobs
Many different types of job opportunities for work in sales exist, and each person interested in sales jobs must choose the best one most suitable for him. The two basic types of jobs in sales involve working for companies who sell products to consumers and those companies who sell to businesses. Sales representatives working for companies that sell consumer products include car salesman, telecommunication company salesman working for cable and phone companies, internet sales people, and insurance sales agents just to name a few. These jobs typically require either selling products door-to-door in large outbound call centers. Low, but frequent commissions from selling these types of consumer products is common in these sales job environments.
On the other hand, business-to-business sales positions include wholesales and manufacturing representatives as well as pharmaceutical sales representatives. This type of work in sales requires setting up appointments with companies who need the manufacturer's product. Making live sales "calls" and in-person presentations is important to these sales representative positions. Sales reps who work in these types of jobs may make fewer sales over a given period of time, but commission amounts may be higher, especially if contracts are involved.
Once you have found the job in sales that you want, however, the next crucial step of the process is to apply and present yourself to the company for which you want to work. A sales representative needs to not only display their personal qualities to their potential employer, but also "sell" their knowledge and sales abilities. Then, a sales representative needs to become intricately acquainted with his company's products and services in order to begin a successful career in sales.