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          Helping you find a career in sales industry

          Sales is at the heart of all businesses. If a business is going to make money, it usually needs to sell something and there are numerous ways that this can be done. Many sales roles offer travel, account management and creative elements that make it an exciting career choice. You can work within sales in a range of different areas - for example business-to-business (B2B), business-to-consumer (B2C), telesales, export sales. Each will have different demands on your working life. Some will predominantly mean working on the phone, whilst others might involve elements of international travel to meet potential clients and represent your brand. There's a huge element of choice within the industry.

          Usually your academic background does not particularly matter in sales, although some companies do ask for a degree. In this industry it is your personality and people skills that'll help you to thrive.

          Although the basic skillset for a salesperson is the same across all of the different industries, you are more likely to progress and be successful by specialising in a particular product, service or industry. This is simply because you'll be more knowledgeable about what you're selling and have a better understanding of the marketplace.

          Sales can be a particularly challenging industry to work in because it is performance based, but many do their best work under the pressure of targets. You'll most likely have weekly, monthly and yearly targets. Typically you will be on a base salary and then earn commission if you exceed your targets. This means that a career in sales can be very lucrative, although basic salaries are usually relatively low, particularly in businesses that offer uncapped commission.

          The sales industry demands you be resilient to deal with setbacks and rejections - what's crucial is having the determination to pick yourself back up after them and remain positive.

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          Skills & interests required for a career in Sales industry

          You have to have a very delicate balance of skills to work within the sales industry. One sales technique isn't going to fit all potential customers, so you need to have nuanced people skills and also to be very quick-thinking.

          What Sales industry work experience do you need?

          Some large companies offer summer placements or one-year industrial placements in sales that would provide you with hands-on experience in this industry and an insight into how the sales team contributes to the business.

          You could also benefit from an intensive sales course, which can be accredited by the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM), and offer an introduction into sales techniques that could help if you have not had any experience of this role before. However, this is not necessary for the majority of entry-level sales positions.

          Any role that involves customer-service and an element of persuasiveness will benefit you in the sales industry - even if it's online influencing.

          Sales industry Industry Bodies

          Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM)

          Institute of Sales and Marketing Management