Since I started my career in sales about 7 months ago, a lot of my friends have asked me about what a sales job is like. Sales is one of those professions where most people think they know what the career entails, but in reality, their assumptions couldn’t be further from the truth. Before I started at Bullhorn, even I was bit confused as to what to actually expect with a career in sales. Below is the top 5 myths I have heard about sales careers and what the reality is actually like.
Sales is 100% commission based with no guaranteed salary.
This couldn’t be further from the truth! Most sales jobs out there will give you a base salary, and a generous one at that. Our contracts work like NFL contracts. We have guaranteed money and incentive packages. The way I see it, if a company isn’t willing to invest into you with training/base salary, then they do not value you and you shouldn’t work there.
Sales is all about “selling ice to an eskimo”.
Sales is NOT about screwing people over. Good salesmen (and women) take a consultative, empathetic approach to sales. It’s all about figuring out the customers “pain” and diagnosing a solution for them, not about selling them up a river with something they don’t need. You might be able to convince some uneducated shoppers to buy things they don’t need, however, you will not be successful if that is all you rely on.
Sales is just a place to start your career.
While sales is a great place to start your career for a number of reasons, it is not just a jumping off point. There is SO much room for growth in sales. You can move on from “inside sales” (small market) to “outside sales” or “field sales” (mid market). From there, there is multiple areas your career can go. You can turn into a sales manager or continue on up into enterprise level sales. No company in the world doesn’t need sales people and sales is at the core of every successful company.
Sales is all about cold calling and just hammering the phone.
While cold calling is certainly a part of sales, about 90% of what I do at Bullhorn is dealing with inbound leads generated by our marketing team. An inbound lead is someone who has expressed interest in our product and has asked to be contacted. If you do sales at a reputable company, odds are, you’ll be dealing with mostly inbound leads.
If you don’t hit quota, hit the bricks.
- While hitting quota is very important, you don’t get immediately fired if you miss quota once. It all boils down to the company you are working for. If you work at reputable company, they likely are not just churning and burning sales people. I’ve actually seen a person get promoted after a quarter where he missed quota!
Don’t just believe everything you hear out there about what a sales job is like. For all you know, sales could be perfect for you!