General Article

If you are looking for a job in sales

If you’re thinking of a job in sales, then you are potentially looking at an exciting and fast-paced career where the learning curve is steep but the opportunities are excellent. The role also has plenty of challenges. Here are some of the most obvious things you can expect:

A high income

Most people want to work in sales because it gives them the opportunity to take ownership of their earnings and to take home more money than with the majority of other jobs. Commission is an attractive proposition for those with the drive and passion to succeed in this challenging industry. However, it is important to be realistic. Most candidates will need to work for 3 years at an entry level role before they can expect to start earning big figures. Once there however, the total package can include elements such as commission, bonuses, car allowances, benefits packages and other perks on top of your basic salary.

High pressure

The industry is naturally stressful and very competitive, especially for high earners. Sales people will always be accountable for delivering their targets, and those who are successful in the role will tend to thrive on this kind of pressure. It isn’t for everyone however, so approach with caution if you don’t enjoy this type of responsibility.

Freedom and flexibility

Sales jobs often have a great degree of flexibility and freedom, without the need to sit in an office all day. Sales people will always be out travelling and meeting new people and they will be responsible for their own performance. This can be tiring too, however, and the job can be lonely at times, especially when unsociable hours are thrown into the mix. You must be able to self-motivate in order to define your own schedule and to keep achieving your targets. Most sales people will compensate for time away from their teams with regular social occasions and make use of digital media to stay in touch.


Yes, the role is about bringing in business and generating money for your employer, but you won’t be closing deals every day. A lot of the job involves administration, such as prospecting, updating spreadsheets, creating proposals and presentations and handling various daily tasks with a high degree of accuracy.

Still tempted? Here are some of the skills you will need to succeed.

1. Be honest

For every high earning sales rockstar there will be a dozen people struggling to earn a basic income in sales. You will need to be tenacious, thick skinned, hard-working, confident and self-motivating in order to have a chance of succeeding. If your skills lie in other areas, then sales might not be the best route for you. Find out more at:

2. Choose the right company

A high-growth business that has moved beyond start-up stage is ideal. Find an employer that has been in business for at least five years, with opportunities for growth. Established blue chips can also be attractive to many, but the entry level positions can focus heavily on administration rather than sales, and cumbersome corporate structures are likely to mean that you will progress in your career more slowly than if you were at a smaller and more nimble SME.

3. Grow a thick skin

If you take criticism personally and endlessly mull over your mistakes, then sales might not be for you. You need to be humble enough to recognise that your degree equips you with only the basic skills for the real working world. You need to be ready to work hard, and you must absolutely be prepared to hear criticism and to meet it by improving and developing your skills.

4. Be flexible

The more flexible you can be earlier on in your career, the more opportunities you can respond to. You will also gain the reputation of being someone who is committed to furthering their career and you are likely to be given more interesting assignments when you display your commitment to the job.

5. Be confident

Know your strengths and skills and be highly knowledgeable and confident about the product that you are selling. Confidence is a powerful attribute that helps your customers to believe in what you are telling them. Always go into sales situations with a positive attitude, a big smile and a warm handshake, and expect a good outcome.

6. Be prepared

Great salespeople do more than simply have the gift of the gab. They work hard in the background, learning everything that they can about their product, their industry and their customers. This gives them confidence in what they are selling, helps to position them as experts and gives their prospects and clients faith in the value that they provide and the recommendations that they make. Always go the extra mile to be prepared and to know more than your competition.