Check to see if you have the “three P’s”: must-have qualities for anyone on the search for a sales job.
While it may sound simple to most people, working in sales can actually present a significant challenge. Examining the numbers paints a clearer picture of how the sales industry works. To start with, the turnover is some of the highest in any industry, with around 40% of staff members not lasting a whole year. In fact, most sales reps hired by sales recruitment agencies or other companies don’t even meet the minimum standards for the job. In North America alone, around 40% of sales employees will miss quota and 22% are untrainable. Only 10% of all sales employees will provide a valuable return on investment to their employers.
Yet for those who can handle the job, there are enormous rewards. Think you’re right for a career in sales and marketing? Check to see if you have the “three P’s”: must-have qualities for anyone on the search for a sales job.
It may not sound like much, but people applying for sales jobs really do require the right personality in order to be successful. While relevant experience, education, training, and skills are all good predictors of suitability for most jobs, sales requires that and more. Even showing up to a sales call with a warm smile and solid handshake can work wonders in your favor. Working in sales means dealing with actual people, and that human element of sales jobs can easily throw you for a loop. If you do decide to work in sales, make sure you have the ability to keep smiling even when clients throw you a curve ball or a sales opportunity falls through.
Because sales involves speaking with people day in and day out, persistence is key. Making a sale—and earning commission—can depend heavily upon how well you work to follow up on sales leads. According to research estimates, only 20% of sales leads are ever followed up on. Four out of five non-routine sales occur only after a sales rep has made at least five follow-ups with a client. Virtually all sales jobs will require this attention to detail, so be prepared to work to meet those quotas.
Above all, a sales recruitment agency will look for individuals who have demonstrated sales experience, but they’ll also want someone who’s looking to grow in their career. Companies looking to hire new sales reps and individuals who want to further their careers can both benefit from the sales management and training courses offered by sales recruiting firms. Sales isn’t just a job, after all, but a career that can be a rewarding profession for anyone looking to put in the time and the work.
Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 11+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and two daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day, tropical vacations and cottaging.