7 years ago
April 27, 2017

6 Common Types of Sales Jobs: Which Is the Right One for You?

There are many different types of sales jobs to consider. Here are 6 Common Types of Sales Jobs: Which Is the Right One for You? Compare your career options.

Claire McConnachie Recruiter
Claire McConnachie

Saying that you work in sales is a vague description. There are countless types of sales jobs in the industry, and the key to success for many sales professionals is understanding the differences between sales jobs and where your skills apply best. Knowing which sales position is best for you can be difficult to determine. There are nuances for each position, such as skill requirements, and some require a certain level of experience.

As Matthew Cook said in a previous blog post, “Whether applying to sales jobs for the first time or re-entering the market, it is important to understand the types of sales jobs that are available, and to know what your responsibilities will be. There are many different industry terms for sales jobs, and the job that you are applying for may not be the kind of job that you want.”

To help you gain a better understanding of your sales career choices, we’ve put together a list of 6 common types of sales jobs:

1. Inside sales 

This role involves working out of your office and generating sales via the phone, email, and online. You may spend a lot of your time working on cold leads.

2. Outside sales

This role involves spending a lot of time visiting prospects and clients in person. You may be in charge of a particular territory. You should have strong interpersonal skills, be comfortable with face-to-face interactions, and be self-motivated, as outside sales reps tend to have minimal supervision.

3. B2B or B2C

Sales jobs are also defined by who you sell to. Selling to businesses (B2B) or to consumers (B2C) is a large distinction. Your level of comfort selling to these groups will help you focus on which area of sales is best for you.

4. Prospecting or sales development reps

Also referred to as hunters, these reps are responsible for the first, and one of the most important, aspects of the sales process – prospecting and qualifying leads. This role often involves a lot of research and interaction with prospects. Once the lead is qualified, you pass it on to the appropriate sales rep in your company. Rather than quotas, you are commonly measured on performance metrics such as number of calls made or emails sent.

5. Account management

Many sales reps move on to sales management positions. Sales manager roles are focused on managing existing accounts and ensuring that current customers’ needs are being met. Retention is often the major measurement of success for these roles.

6. Account Executive 

As an account executive, your role shifts from prospecting and retention to focusing on the sales process itself. Aja Frost on Hubspot explains this role:

“As an AE, they’ve got a brand-new set of responsibilities: Running demos or giving presentations; identifying, surfacing, and addressing potential buying obstacles; crafting personalized value propositions; getting the commitment to purchase; and negotiating the actual terms.”

As you can see, there are many similar, yet different, sales jobs. Which one is right for you will depend on your skills, experience, and level of interest.

See More Types of sales jobs here:

5 Personality Types That Are Great for Sales Jobs

7 Different Types of Sales Roles, Explained

SalesForce Search is a sales recruiting company which specializes in the recruitment and placement of sales professionals. We recruit sales people in every sector of the economy including, software, manufacturing, financial services and medical devices. Find the right sales person for your organization, start your search here.

Claire McConnachie Recruiter

Claire McConnachie

Claire has 4+ years of experience in sales and recruitment. As a Director of Client Services, her main objective is to connect great people to great companies by building strong relationships with both top clients and candidates in the sales industry. She specializes in sales roles of all seniority levels for both enterprise and start-up clients North American wide. When Claire isn't networking with top talent, she enjoys being outdoors, traveling and spending time with friends & family.