Things You Should Look for in a Sales Job
Unlimited Earnings Potential
While money may not be the most important reason people choose sales, most sales professionals are in sales for the income opportunities. If a sales job places limits on how much a sales professional can earn, it could be an indication that the company is not focused on being a true sales organization.
Having unlimited earnings potential is fairly standard so if you do come across a position that caps your potential, you may either want to walk away or investigate the reasons for the limitation.
After you made sure that the sales job you are considering offers unlimited earning potential, it's time to take a close look at the compensation plan. While most companies will not share the details about their comp plan with non-employees, the should be willing to answer some general questions. For example, find out if the comp plan is revenue or profit based. Ask about how common promotions are run and how often they are offered. Ask about any bonuses or over-achievement incentives.
The more questions you ask, the more the interviewer will think that you are interested in the position. And the more interested he is in you, the more he will reveal about the compensation program.
Viable Market Opportunities
There are several sales careers that have unlimited potential and amazing compensation plans, but the company's product or service is simply not very viable. To give you an example, imagine being offered a position that allows unlimited earnings and a comp plan that pays you 90% of profit and 50% of all your revenue. Furthermore, if you sell just two units, you automatically earn a bonus equal to half of your salary. Sounds fantastic. The only challenge is that the product you need to sell are typewriters.
While they may be great typewriters and you may just find someone in your sales area that still needs one, chances are you will either never make a sale or find that your sales are very, very far between.
Author and inspirational speaker Stephen Covey says that without taking time out to train, or as he calls it, "sharpen your saw," you will burn out and lose your edge. Training is a big part of sales. While some of the elementary sales skills may never go out of style, (prospecting, closing, etc.trainings) industry and market changes demand that sales professionals keep up to date with pertinent training.
If you can't find out about a company's training program from the hiring manager, talk with some of the employees. Many sales company's ask candidates to do "ride days," during which a candidate spends a day with an employee to see what a typical day looks like. If you have this opportunity, jump all over it and make the most of it.
Ask a ton of questions and make sure you ask about how often the company conducts training as well as how good the training is.
Sales professionals have a lot to do in a typical day. Premier sales companies understand that their sales staff is much more productive if they can focus the majority of their time in front of customers. To accommodate for this, these premier companies have employees whose sole job is to support the sales professionals.
The level of support will vary, but keep this in mind: When it comes to sales support, the more, the better.
You may be wondering why you should look for a competitive sales industry. The reason is simple: If your company has no competition, it could be that the market space does not support the industry well enough for more than one company to be in that area.
Competition is a fantastic method to make companies get better. Without it, businesses have a tendency to get lazy. If a sales company gets lazy with their market approach, they probably will get lazy when it comes to retaining their employees.
Unlike "Sales Support," however, more is not necessarily better when it comes to competition. Intense competition usually relates to lower margins, more lost deals, and quota-attaining challenges. Healthy competition is wonderful. Overly competitive industries are simply too cut throat for many sales professionals.
Personal and Professional Development Opportunities
Apart from sales training, a good sales position should offer you future possibilities. For some, this could mean advancement opportunities, and for others, it could mean working in an environment that fosters teamwork, work-life balance, and good health.
Unless you are just looking for a job to put money in your pocket until you find another position, making sure that the overall work environment is one that you feel you can flourish in is a wonderful way to ensure long-term job satisfaction.