Sales School Leaver Jobs - Careers Guide

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Do you have the personality, drive, stamina and skill it takes to be a successful, star sales person?Sales

If a business is going to make money, it needs to sell things. And not all business can just stock shelves and let people go around to pick out what they want - they need other employees to give advice (like the people who helped you pick out your mobile phone), or even travel around to promote their products.

What’s it all about?TOP ^

The sales industry encompasses lots of kinds of businesses, so you can specialise in selling anything from food or medicines to gadgets or services. It's important that you build up experience from working in similar businesses - while basic sales techniques apply to everyone, you'll find it easier to move up the career ladder if you're selling the same kinds of things in each role.

You've also got choice in the kind of sales role you want to take on. Some are based in an office with most of the business done over the phone, some work from a shop where customers come to them, and others travel around as a representative of their company, trying to sell items to other businesses.

People who work in sales often liaise with other departments to let them know what the customers have to say about the products or services. This is a big part of understanding the market, and knowing how to develop the products and services to better fit what the consumers want.

There can be a lot of high pressure in a sales job, as you'll have specific targets to achieve on a daily or weekly basis. It can also be a very high-paying career when you meet and exceed these targets, which will lead to job promotions and higher commissions. You'll also need to know you market and customers well, which will help you be better at selling.

What will I earn? TOP ^

Sales assistants can earn £13,000-18,000, with sales managers and senior staff earning over £40,000 and more depending on the company. Most sales jobs also include performance-related bonuses, as well as commission on the items sold.

Where can I work? TOP ^

While you can enter this profession without a degree, experience is very important - the more experience you can show, the more a company will want to hire you. It takes a while to perfect sales skills, but there are plenty of training courses that can help you.
Sales roles are available in almost any industry, from media and publishing to retail to pharmaceuticals. Almost any product you can create can be sold.

What skills will I need for a career in sales? TOP ^

You need lots of confidence in both yourself and what you're selling - being comfortable around people in a variety of situations, and not being swayed by rejection is important if you want to have a successful sales career. It also helps if you're a goal-oriented person, which will be useful as you motivate both yourself and, if you progress up the career ladder - your sales team.

The skills required of sales people are multi-faceted. Whilst being persuasive and often borderline pushy, it is important not to come across as aggressive out of fear of losing the deal. Drive and resilience are two of the most important skills that you must have in order to succeed in a sales environment, as well as the ability to deal with high pressure situations, tight deadlines and frequent knock-backs.
From a business perspective, you must be fully aware of the market that you are selling into, as well as having a strong commercial awareness.

Other important skills for those working in sales include:

What entry level sales jobs can I do? TOP ^

Sales is an industry all about persuading customers to choose your products. You will need to be persuasive, knowledgeable and great at communication. Sales jobs can be anything from a shop assistant to a high pressured account executive cold calling potential customers.

Some entry level sales jobs include:

  • Account executive
  • Sales assistant
  • Call centre sales assistant
  • Cashier
Browse all Sales jobs for this guide