7 months ago
February 21, 2017

Thinking of a Career in Sales? Here’s What to Expect

Not sure if sales is for you? Learn everything you need to know about a career in sales, including the benefits, the drawbacks, and the daily tasks.

Rhys Metler

While you search for your first career, your second, or your fifth, you might come upon sales as one of your top options. After all, the allure of earning a great income is probably enough to have you thinking about a career in sales.

Many professionals get into the fast-paced and rewarding industry of sales for the money and then realize that it’s really not for them. So before you jump in and start applying to sales job, here are a few things you need to know to make sure it’s the right path for you.

Income

Let’s start with what you really want to know about: cash money. One of the most attractive and enticing reasons people want a career in sales is because of the potential to earn a lot more money than most other jobs. However, although the most successful sales people can end up making more than $100,000 per year, the average salary for sales comes in at $41,224. As an entry-level candidate, you should expect to work a few years before getting the high salary rate that you might expect.

However, many sales jobs also come with bonuses, sales incentives, commission, benefits packages, car allowances, and other perks, which can make the total compensation package quite valuable. The income you make will, of course, depend on the company you work at, the type of sales job you get, and the sales compensation plan offered. A compensation plan that offers commission is ideal if you want to earn a lot of money from your hard work.

Pressure

A career in sales is also very competitive and stressful, especially if you’re making the big bucks. You’ll have a lot of responsibility and accountability on your shoulders to deliver on your numbers. Some people thrive within this type of high-pressure environment, but it isn’t for everyone.

Flexibility

Another great advantage of a career in sales is the high level of freedom and flexibility that comes with the job, particularly if you’re an outside sales commissioned sales person. If you hate being stuck in a cubicle all day, then sales would be a great industry to get into. You’ll be out, travelling, and viewing the outside world, so your work life will never be boring. You also won’t have a boss breathing down your neck every day.

The extra freedom, however, isn’t always a great thing. It can get lonely to be on the road all the time. It can take you away from your family, friends, and social life. You could be working at all hours of the night. You also need to have a strong sense of self-motivation and accountability to set your own schedule.

Daily Tasks

The daily tasks of a sales professional are varied and dependent on the role, the industry, and the company. But the main goal is always the same: it’s your job to bring in business and make the company money. Sales involves a lot of prospecting, which could be mundane. You could also spend a lot of time on administrative tasks, like creating presentations and maintaining spreadsheets. You could have to cold call people every day. Or you could be out travelling the country. The smaller the company you work for, the more likely it is that you’ll have a lot of tasks to handle.

A career in sales isn’t for everyone. Though some people become sales rock stars, others are mediocre at best while others still can’t sell a thing to anyone, no matter how much they try. Look beyond the income and consider the job as a whole—the pros, the cons, and the daily tasks—to ensure that it’s right for you.

Rhys Metler

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.