Sales careers have long been misrepresented, thanks largely to the perception that it is the default career, i.e people get into sales because they can’t find another job that pays them well. However, this image is changing, and today, sales is now seen as a very viable career option for graduates.
People like to win and to feel as if their work makes a difference. While every job serves a purpose and is important, many people are in roles that are not emotionally rewarding to them. Not so in sales.
Sales – the core of every business
Ultimately, sales comes down to selling goods and services, and it forms the core of every business.
As a graduate myself, I never set out to build a career in sales but fell into it and found that I had an aptitude for the role, even more so since joining Parago Software, where I have found sales to be an incredibly rewarding career.
My rapid success and development at Parago
Parago Software is an ambitious and fast-growing software company, serving schools and multi-academy trusts across the world, and it has a great team of people. As a relatively small company, I gained a lot of exposure to directors of the business who gave me support and guidance, so although the learning curve was steep and fast, in less than a year I progressed from an internal to an external role whereby I had my own area to manage. Following this, I was made sales support manager and put in charge of the internal sales folks. I joined the business in September 2014 so you can see that my success and development has been rapid.
My five top tips
For any graduate considering a career in sales, here are my five top tips to help you assess whether this is the profession for you:
1. One of the first decisions to make is how much you like engaging with people. I spend most of my day out and about meeting customers, potential customers, talking on the phone and to my internal sales team, so not only is good verbal communications an imperative, but you can’t be afraid to have a conversation with a potential prospect.
2. Are you goal oriented and do you thrive in an environment whereby you are required to meet targets and deliverables? Sales careers typically start in an office on the phone all day. At Parago internal salespeople are rewarded by making appointments for consultants, but a very high percentage of people you’re calling will not even speak to you. So this takes a strong character to keep on going.
3. Are you a self-starter, do you have an entrepreneurial mind and would you generally describe yourself as a glass half full kind of person? Believe me, you can get knocked back 20 times a day, so you need to have the tenacity and drive to pick yourself up and start again. At Parago, you will probably spend the first year in the office making appointments, learning about the product, assisting with product installations over the school holidays so there will be other areas to focus on.
4. Do you thrive in an environment where there is a high level of freedom? Working externally, I had quite a large patch to cover and this involved not only meeting people, but a lot of driving around. It can be lonely and although there is a team on hand back at the office, there will be quite a bit of time when you are on your own. This also means that you will quite often need to make independent decisions and stand by those decisions.
5. And finally, do you enjoy winning? As I say, nothing beats the thrill of closing a deal and knowing that you have contributed to the business by helping it to grow and evolve.
Parago Software is recruiting right now, so if you have read this blog and like the idea of a career in sales, then please do get in touch, we would love to hear from you.
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