Want to find your first sales job but not sure where or how to start?
When looking for a sales position, asking the right questions can help you find a job that suits your goals and your skillset. These questions will better prepare you to find a job you can excel at.
1. What do you want to sell?
Let’s face it – we are not wired to sell everything. What you sell matters. Ask yourself: Do you want to sell a product or a service?
Product-based selling and service-based selling techniques differ. True, at the heart of all sales is the skill of customer interaction. But with a product-based business, you’re selling a physical, tangible item. In a service business, you’re selling intangible expertise.
2. What products or services align with your interests?
In 2021, 85% of employees were reported as “not engaged” in the workplace. They were not cognitively or emotionally connected to their work and workplace, and therefore, they did the bare minimum amount of work to stay employed. The bare minimum is not enough for a successful career in sales.
If your interests aren’t aligned with the product or solution you plan to sell, it’s going to be tough to hit your targets. So before you pursue an opportunity, think about whether it aligns with your interests.
If you’re not sure whether you can be engaged in a potential role, make a list of the elements of the product or service that intrigue you. Do you have a personal connection to any of those elements? Do some research to learn more about how the product or service was built. What you learn might surprise you and help you feel more invested in what you’re selling.
3. Which companies suit your expertise and interests?
Make a list of companies whose values align with yours and where you believe you have the best chance of growth.
Research each company that looks interesting. Resources like Glassdoor are a good place to start. But do not limit your research to just reviews. Remember, people with negative experiences are often the most vocal. Instead, look at the size of the company, the number of employees, and what training they offer. Try to find media stories about the company. Some company websites also feature employees and specific things their employees like about the company in their Careers section.
4. What specifics can I learn about a company I’m interested in?
When you’ve identified a company of interest, investigate these areas to help you decide whether or not to apply:
- Company stage
- Size of the company
- Team dynamics
- Do they invest in training?
- What is the success rate of the sales team?
- What is the career path like?
Your first sales job is going to set the stage for the rest of your career. Doing the right research ahead of time will help you find the perfect place to enter the sales world and avoid the confusion and regret that comes with making the wrong choice.
Note: this post was originally published on June 16, 2020 and has been updated for accuracy and relevance.