If you’re keen to begin a career in business you may be faced with the decision of where to start. Whatever you’re considering as an entry point it’s worth remembering that almost everything in business leads back to sales. The sales process is the backbone of most organisations across any industry and starting a career at this point has some great benefits.
Learning to keep it simple
Sales cold calling is one of the most challenging tasks there is and becoming successful at it requires the development of some key skills that are essential for any business career. Identifying and understanding a target market, learning how to be concise and being able to streamline a message to make it effective are all key, basic skills you’ll start to hone straight away.
Understanding the business and its products
There is no position in which you will gain a better understanding of why the business does what it does – and what the products mean to customers – than sales. Being able to sell well means understanding how products function, their pros and cons and how they can deliver value for customers. Sales also provides direct contact with customers and the opportunity to understand how they think and what they need. Whether you go on to HR, marketing or management, the skills you’ll acquire in sales provide a firm foundation for a great career.
Sales is not easy and can result in some bruising of the ego when it comes to rejection, especially with cold calls. However, this is also a great way to start building resilience, understanding that you don’t have to take “no” for an answer and that often the only way out is through. Starting off in sales helps many people to develop the ability to cope with problems and setbacks and to keep going in tough situations.
Developing an essential network
Networking is crucial for business and you will start building this from your first day in the sales team. You’ll learn how to network and see the value in a broad range of positive interactions with lots of different types of people. The network that you start to establish from Day 1 in sales will be something you can take with you and develop as you move beyond an entry level position. It could lead to new job offers, connections and insights that you simply wouldn’t have access to without that kind of network in place.
Honing essential qualities
Starting a career in sales will teach you a lot about yourself and the qualities required for success in business, including:
- How to self-motivate and ensure you remain driven
- Being able to hold yourself accountable
- Learning how to innovate sales strategy to produce better results
- Knowing how to manage your own productivity
- Understanding what works for you in terms of routine
Starting a career in sales is a gateway to virtually any other role you’d like to have within a business. It provides essential insight, skills and networking that many other positions simply can’t offer at this level.