The first twelve months of a sales career is hugely important. If you can get through your initial year with tried-and-tested technical and personal skills that demonstrate your value to the company's bigger sales objectives, then you're well positioned to become a valued and successful member of the sales team.
So how can you survive the first year of a sales career with the tools and experience which will help you succeed? In this second of a two-part article we offer four practices you should embrace to develop a successful sales career.
Be Tech Savvy
Gone are the days when salespeople could rely on just strong personal skills, good organizational skills, and tenacity. Today's salespeople also need to be tech savvy. In an era of AI and machine learning - whereby many of the traditional duties of entry-level salespeople are being automated - it is essential in year 1 that salespeople can demonstrate the technical education and marketing skills to understand and action ways to use a plethora of tools which will part of a sales and marketing funnel.
Build Your Personal Brand
To survive your first year in a sales career, you need to grow your personal brand. In the office, this means building relationships with colleagues and showing your bosses that you have the aptitude and skills to succeed in the longer term. In the online sphere, this equates to successfully portraying yourself as a go-to resource for those looking for avenues to help them understand the benefits of adopting processes and solutions offered by companies like the one you work for.
Listen and Learn
It might not feel like it when you enter your first sales job but, actually, not much is really expected from you in terms of sales revenue. While pressure might be greater in smaller companies, most medium and large organizations often see the first year of a sales role as a time to settle in and show to the companies that you have the attributes to success in the longer term. Sure, you'll need to demonstrate that you can prospect and close effectively at some level but more important is the ability to listen and learn. Embrace the sales training opportunities offered, learn from the time your colleagues will offer to get you up-to-speed and consistently show that the lessons offered are being remembered and acted upon.
Embrace Outside Training
In addition to the internal training on offer, be sure to jump on any opportunities to gain new accreditations and deeper sales knowledge from outside sales training. If there’s a course or accreditation on offer which means you may need to invest a few extra hours each week, do it! Making the time for personal professional sales development in year one will 1) demonstrate to your employer that you have the will to grow and achieve and 2) give you the extra technical, strategic and social skills which will take you through year one and onto a successful sales career.
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