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Thinking of Changing my Career to Sales. Any advice?

Reggs

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Hello friends,

My whole career has been in marketing. I have a degree in it and I'm good at it. This was mostly in the capacity of being a Marketing Manager and Marketing Director. It was always direct marketing too, meaning my performance was based on specific KPIs.

I had a change when I got into consulting. Suddenly I was speaking with people on the phone all day long. Clients just really liked me, and coworkers said I was great at talking with clients, and I upsold them more than anyone else, and the only people I'd talk to were C level or Directors.

Now that I have more confidence in my ability to be charming, informative, and persuasive, I really think I would do well in sales, and I would like to consider trying it out.

There are many unknowns to me. I'm 33 and don't want to do this and find myself working in a boiler room cold calling anyone, I don't want to start off at the bottom of the ladder shoulder to shoulder with kids who just got out of college. Can this be done? Can I reply to these job advertisements with no sales experience and expect this to go anywhere?
 

Jason Sather

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Just like you have KPIs in marketing, you'll have similar goals/quotas when it comes to sales.

Can you handle management breathing down your neck? Watching every move? Can you handle getting critiqued after sales how you could have been performed better? Can you handle people telling you "no" over and over again until you finally get a yes?

This is how my sales environment is currently which is why I'm trying to get away from it. I enjoy working with customers, turning their frowns upside down, and ultimately getting products they need. However, I dislike the "fear" of bringing up non-essential products to consumers because as a company we've decided to push them this month.

Is it possible to shadow one of the sales reps for a day at your current company?

It's one thing to enjoy sales for 1 day or an hour per day, but all-day everyday is different.

I would just double check that it's an avenue you want to go. Yes sales can be very rewarding mentally and financially, but it also can be stressful, long hours, abnormal travel, and kissing weekends goodbye if it's in retail.

It's funny because us sales reps always talk about wanting to get into the marketing department...

Anyways hope this helps,

Jason

Sales-rep for last 6+ years
 

globetrotter

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I don't know if this is still relevant, but I was away for a while so I figured i'd answer.

people get into sales at pretty much any age, and if they are good they make it, providing you can get somebody to give you a chance. if you have a good relationship with your company and your management or with some other companies you work with you could probably get somebody to give you a fair chance. i'd think carefully about what type of sales you want to get into, though - there are many types, and different people fit different sales types.

a couple of other options - if you look on linked in there are many people and organizations that offer sales training. I would suggest that even if you have a good personality and history in marketing, you might want to take some training. the one that is probably "best" for beginners is sandler - look up david sandler, pretty much every city in the English speaking world has a sandler branch. they have a 7 week one morning a week "intro to sales" and then a "masters" program. it is systemic - you learn to follow a system an if you follow the system you can do alright but that course and a background in marketing and a good personality could get you started

another, not so much fun option - take 2 months sabbatical and get a tough sales job - selling phone plans or cable tv or something. those are brutal jobs but you learn a lot. then you go back to your company and can say that you picked up some sales experience


sales is tough, though, you basically eat what you kill
 

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