Transferable Skills that are Ideal for a Career in Sales

With the continuing growth of business-to-business (B2B) spaces, the time has never been better to start a career in sales. B2B sales is not the same as retail sales; as such, it requires more talent, skills, and work on the part of the sales professional, but the rewards are extensive. If you are someone who wants a creative, exciting job with frequent challenges, and one that lets you work with people, sales might be right for you. With high income potential, as well as job security and flexibility, a sales career in the business sector can be profitable and a career stepping-stone.

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Personality traits that are useful in sales

High performing salespersons in business sales tend to have transferable personality traits that are useful to their careers. Some of those traits include:

  • Problem-solving: A salesperson should use creative questioning to provoke critical thinking responses from business customers. By carefully listening to the responses, a salesperson can confirm the customer’s needs and help them to see the impact the salesperson’s product will have on their organization.
  • Passionate work habits: A salesperson who is an enthusiastic self-starter is more likely to have a strong commitment to go beyond a customer’s expectations. The salesperson’s passionate and innovative attitude paves the way for their success.
  • Attention to detail and preparation: Meticulous planning for every customer contact means a flair for and attention to detail and preparation. A high performing salesperson will research the customer’s company and the industry trends. Their preparation will help them establish respect and trust with their clients.
  • Professionalism: Approaching each customer contact with the utmost professionalism is a critical part of a successful sales career. A high level of motivation, intelligence, optimism and competitiveness are personality traits that many successful salespeople share.

How to prepare for a job in sales

Preparing for a job in sales starts with studying and practising the sales craft.Sales training courses can be an excellent first step for people beginning a career in this field. After you earn a diploma, the next step is applying and interviewing for jobs.

You can prepare for a job in sales by preparing for your interview for the position. In essence,you are selling yourself and your skill set at the interview; as such, it is your first chance to show how you can sell a commodity. Approach the interview like a sales meeting and prepare to discuss what you can offer the company and how your skills and abilities will improve the business’ bottom line.

Other ways to prepare for a job in sales involve taking an interest in innovations and current trends in sales. Research news, contemporary online sources, and infographics, so you know what is current and future in the sales world. Make sure to devise a list of possible questions you want to ask the interviewer, as that will help your interview be more balanced and comprehensive.

How to excel at a job in sales

When it comes to B2B sales, a successful salesperson is one who doesn’t focus on hitting any specific number but focuses more on how they make the customers feel. To excel in a business sales job, you need to do the following:

  • Prove how your product will benefit the customer’s company.
  • Show how your product can help the buyer; for example, will it improve productivity or ease stress on the buyer?
  • Boost the customer’s feelings of self-worth. How are you making them look to other businesses?

To excel at sales, you need to motivate the customer. You need to rely on much more than just your proposal; you need to inspire the customer and prove to them the added value your product can provide at both the company and individual levels.

Flexible sales jobs leave time for pursuing other interests.

Although the amount of flexibility offered in sales positions depends to some degree on the company and job, the majority of sales positions benefit from a flexible schedule. For the salesperson, that means more time to spend on other, equally valid interests. Most sales positions have weekly goals that every seller must achieve. Provided you hit those numbers, you have the rest of your time to yourself, allowing you a healthy work-life balance. With this situation, you can work at your own pace, in the environment in which you’re most productive, and on a schedule that works best for your lifestyle.

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Gladys is the Associate Director of Admissions & Student Services with over 10 years of experience at the International Career Institute.