What to Expect in a Sales Job

What to Expect in a Sales Job

The opportunity to add significant extra cash to payday is why competitive people can find sales jobs as a great match for their personality. The better you do, the more money you stand to make.

 

Like me, you can probably name at least a handful of people you know who left the military to sell medical devices, heavy equipment, RVs or any number of products or services. Veterans working in sales jobs is a pretty common scenario — for good reason. Many of the skills you learned while in the service can serve you as a sales associate.

Generally speaking, sales jobs are competitive, have room for growth, and are fast-paced. If that sounds like something you’re seeking in your next career, read on.

Salary

Most places won’t hire you above the sales representative level (which is entry level) unless you have proven sales experience. Unlike the Army, the civilian world doesn’t hire or promote based on potential. Instead, you have to have a solid track record so that the company feels comfortable about paying your salary since you’re expected to deliver from day one.

As a new sales representative, you might be put on a training probationary period where your pay is just above minimum wage (not all companies, but some do this). After the period is up, you’ll likely have a base salary in the $30,000 to $50,000 range, with room for commissions or bonuses after hitting sales goals. The opportunity to add significant extra cash to payday is why competitive people can find sales jobs as a great match for their personality. The better you do, the more money you stand to make.

Hours

When my husband worked in a sales position, he was never home before 8pm. While this isn’t a hard and fast rule — it’ll depend on your company’s culture — most sales jobs have hours that extend past the regular 9 to 5. You’re expected to meet with clients after work for drinks, dinner, events or other networking opportunities. Again, if this sounds like something you enjoy (putting food and drinks on a company credit card), you might be perfect for sales. But if you like to keep regular hours, or have after-work hobbies, it might not be the career for you.

Travel

Many sales jobs come with the perk of travel. This could mean going to conferences, client meetings across the country, or even just visiting multiple offices within your corporation. Of course, not all sales jobs require travel, but a good many will require at least some time out of the office.

Day-to-Day

Hate calling people? You might not make it through the first stage of sales: cold calling. Most entry level sales jobs will have some aspect of cold calling prospects to try to drum up business and sell your company’s product or service. It’s one of the most dreaded parts of sales. You get cursed out, hung up on, or you’re stuck for hours trying to talk people into a sale.

While it’s not for the faint of heart, for most careers, it doesn’t last forever. As you climb the sales ladder you generally move away from the initial contact stage and work more on established relationships or referrals. However, if you happen to be a superstar on the telephone, you could have a lucrative career right from the start.

Last Word

While working in sales can be a grind, on average, you stand to earn increasingly more money the longer you stay in the sector. It’s a job where you get to work with many different people and hone your problem solving and customer services skills — all valuable experiences, for any career. Lastly, you don’t need an advanced degree to progress. Sales is based on execution, not academic expertise. It’s one of the most level playing fields you’ll get in the civilian world.

So why not apply and see what happens ? We have thousands of veteran job postings for sales positions, right here on Hirepurpose.