6 things to learn at the beginning of your sales career

coffee cup at the office

ExP recruits a lot of recent graduates for sales positions in the SaaS/ Tech start-up industry. A lot of the graduates we place had never really considered sales as a viable career path. One of them recently asked us to write them some survival tips for someone starting out in sales. We thought it would be a great idea to share them with the rest of our prospective candidates. So, here we go…

1. No one is born a salesperson. 

In fact, most people suck at sales when they first start out. As Morgan J Ingram says, ‘Sales is straightforward, but hard.’ Great SDRs make the job look easy, but their performance usually indicates a lot of training, studying, and practice on their side.

So how do you become a great salesperson? The short answer is hard work, investing in yourself, and practicing. 

2. Don’t take rejection personally. It will happen. A LOT.

The prospects you reach out to can’t reject you, they don’t know who you are. They can only reject the proposition. 


How will your products make a difference to your prospects’ organisation?

Before reaching out to your prospect, make sure you understand exactly how your product will provide a solution for their pain points. No one cares how innovative your product or service is, if it doesn’t improve any aspect of their organisation. Consider what tangible outcomes or results they’ll get from using your product or service. 

Consider your sales approach from your customer’s perspective 

It doesn’t matter how many fancy words you use, if your prospect doesn’t like the message they’re getting.  Always have your prospects’ needs at the centre of your message. The best way to make sure your message has the right content and tone is to listen to it first. Before making phone calls or leaving all those voice messages, record yourself and listen to it. Trust us, it will do wonders for your confidence, as well as help you understand how prospects feel when they listen to your pitch.

3. Do your research. 

There’s nothing as annoying as someone calling you to offer a service that you clearly don’t need. Or even worse, someone so eager to foist their ill-matched product to your company that they didn’t even call the right number, or the right person. 

Rushing to close as many sales as possible may sound like a brilliant strategy but can come across as desperate. The more you try to force a prospect to buy your service, the more likely they are to resist moving forward with the sale. The more you try to wow them with your great product knowledge, the more they’ll find obstacles to throw your way. Chances are, you won’t make that sale. Slow down, learn your prospects, it will come in handy. 

4. Prospect, Prospect, Prospect!

The only way to find solid leads is to search for them. Prospects won’t be handed to you on a silver platter (the majority of the time). Try to schedule time for prospecting every day, without fail. Don’t limit yourself to one channel. We recommend adopting a multiple channel strategy — phone, email, referrals, social media, etc. This will keep the top of your pipeline as full as possible. 

5. Know what’s expected of you. 

Let’s talk KPIs. Scary, right? Not really. Key performance indicators are there to help you know what the company expects of you.  It is critically important to understand what is expected of you in order to fulfil and exceed those expectations. During your onboarding, you should always be told how your performance will be measured, and KPIs should be able to tell you quotas, and how often you should hit them. It’s important to sit down with your manager and work out those details.

6. Ask for Help! 

As an SDR, your job is to help your company develop new business. Nobody ever said you have to do it alone. When you first join the office, you will be assigned a mentor. You have a line manager and the rest of the team to help you close your first deal. Everyone wants to see you succeed. Use them as learning opportunities; shadowing them will give you insights on how they approach their prospects. Talk to them about their experiences, we are positive that they have experiences all the challenges you’re facing. Even after you’ve closed that first sale, don’t be shy to ask for help when you meet fresh challenges, or obstacles above your experience level. 

So, there you have it. Starting a new career is tough, especially in sales. That being said, working in sales won’t be as scary as people make it out to be. It’s a fun, challenging career path with a lot of growth. If you adjust your mindset and follow the tips above, you’ll enjoy your role a lot more.

Now, go out there and change the sales world, you’ve got this.


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