Sales Careers are Tough! Here are 4 Reasons Why

Being in a sales professional can be one of the most rewarding career paths a person can take. You can earn well, control your own destiny and connect with influential stakeholders.

With all of the above said, it can also be one of the most challenging environments. Below, I explore what I feel are the 4 toughest aspects of being in sales:

1: Facing rejection

A former sales manager once told me that sales is the only career in which you have to hear the word no more than yes in order to be successful.

Being rejected isn’t easy, especially early in your career and very quickly you have to find a way to navigate how to deal with the word no. The majority of the time, I use it as an opportunity to be curious and ask more questions to understand why.

That said, there are instances where no means no and you need to be able to leverage that as fuel to flame a desire to get back on that phone to make that next call.

2: Pressure to perform

In sales, there is nowhere to hide. You’re typically measured by the results you deliver, it’s as simple as that.

There isn’t much ambiguity, you’re either in the top echelon or otherwise. This can breed a constant need to perform in order to keep pace with colleagues and excel.

For many, this sense of pressure is overwhelming and challenging to internalise. When you’re having a bad month and you’re at the bottom of the leaderboard, you need something deep-rooted in you to stay focussed while continuing to drive activity.

3: It’s demanding

Sales careers demand a lot of you mentally and in many instances physically too when you factor in travel. Many feel as if they’re spinning 10 plates at any 1 time and it can often be a challenge to understand where time should be invested to yield the most meaningful results.

Beyond this, it is rare that demands will slow down or cease. If anything, demands tend to grow over time with higher targets, smaller territories and more responsibility.

You need to be able to strike a balance both personally and professionally to ensure you’re working at optimal capacity while avoiding any risk of burn out.

4: Gratification doesn’t last

For a salesperson, hitting quota can be one of the most amazing feelings in the world. At the end of the month when you’re 200% of your number, you feel unstoppable and delighted at having reached such a milestone.

Unfortunately, this feeling is often short-lived. By the time the 1st of the next month arrives, your sales manager simply wants to know how you’re going to do it all over again.

The feeling of gratification rarely lasts very long and you have to have a deeper sense of purpose driving your activity to retain high morale throughout the course of a financial year.


If you would like to scale your own sales results, don't hesitate to contact me directly via my website for an initial discussion.

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Disclaimer: All views expressed in this article are my own and do not represent the opinions or views of my current employer or any entity whatsoever with which I have been, am now, or will be affiliated. This post is for informational purposes only and any advice should be followed at the reader's own discretion.

©2020 by Alex Alleyne |

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