Many people often ask me why I chose to work in Sales, below I explain my 'why':
1: Level-Playing Field
Sales is arguably the closest you can come to working in an environment where your background and qualifications don’t act as limiters to your ability to be successful.
Ultimately, your sales-record is your CV and beyond anything else, you will be measured by your ability to sell and deliver results. One of my former sales managers once said to me ‘numbers cure-all’ - I have often seen poor behaviour excused by reps that are able to deliver month in, month out. Not to say this should be acceptable, but it is equally a reality for many firms with increasing pressures for companies to grow their bottom line while finding talent from a limited pool of top performers.
Having not started my career with a university degree, I felt a sales career would give me an even platform from which to showcase my capabilities without limitations and this has proven to be true.
Find me a fast-growing sales team delivering significant results that doesn't have competitive salespeople vying to be number 1 - Still looking? Not surprised, as you won’t find one.
To many people, sales is like a sport. You have a manager who operates as your coach and their role is to enable you and the wider team to perform to the best of your ability. As a salesperson, our role is to deliver strong results on a consistent basis to drive predictable revenue for the company we work for.
Sports teams compete against each other, although many also have a component of competitiveness within the team itself, with each team member campaigning to be their team’s MVP.
Sales is no different, there are regions, teams and individuals and at each level, there is a desire to be the best. On a personal note, I am a competitive person but never to the detriment of the team. The reality is, there is no victory in an individual win combined with a team loss and equally no better feeling than being the top performer for a highly successful team.
3: Real-World Skills
Salespeople practice the art of being effective listeners and negotiators along with having strong people and presentations skills. These are all real-world characteristics that can move the needle both day to day and in any corporate scenario.
Early in my career, I was keen to build a foundational skill set that would allow me to network effectively and connect with people to open doors from day one. Further to this, being able to host a meeting and address an audience are capabilities worth investing time and attention in, for anyone.
Effective salespeople are well-rounded, with an ability to listen, understand needs and requirements to then build a case for change. This pattern of behaviour allows salespeople to problem solve while always working towards a solution.
Finally, salespeople inherently have to be resilient, in order to hold firm through difficult times, remain composed and bounce back to do it all again the following day, week or month. In many ways, this applies to life and the need to weather the many challenges life throws with an ability to stay strong to move forward.
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Disclaimer: All views expressed on 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.
©2019 by Alex Alleyne