Find, Get, and Excel in Your First Sales Job

In 2009, I was desperate

I spent six months looking for a new career after I realized that my dream job of being a spy with the Department of Defense didnt work out. How can I excel in my career?

I was a year past my last semester of college, newlywed and expecting our first child. I needed to find an income but also wanted it be in something that I loved as well.

Jammony was a small startup (I didnt know it at the time, but they were only one person) that made getting fair mortgages more streamlined and fair.

I liked the idea of helping people not be taken advantage of, and I knew that in order to do so, there needed to be strict guidelines. When I applied for a mortgage industry job, even though it was outside my experience level on paper and qualifications-wise–I got hired.

But Im very happy with my career today.

If you’re looking to start a career in sales, this article will give you some tips and help guide your decision. If you already have experience as an employee or entrepreneur with the goal of making it into management, that’s great too.

I explain how I got into sales and give advice on getting your first job. Let’s get to the answers on how can I excel in my career.


Need Help Automating Your Sales Prospecting Process?

LeadFuze gives you all the data you need to find ideal leads, including full contact information.

Go through a variety of filters to zero in on the leads you want to reach. This is crazy specific, but you could find all the people that match the following: 

  • A company in the Financial Services or Banking industry
  • Who have more than 10 employees
  • That spend money on Adwords
  • Who use Hubspot
  • Who currently have job openings for marketing help
  • With the role of HR Manager
  • That has only been in this role for less than 1 year
Just to give you an idea. 😀

4 Steps on How Can I Excel in My Career

  • Define your career goals.
  • Find the right company.
  • Get the job.
  • Excel in the role.

Step 1: Define Your Career Goals

Even if you’re ready to start sending out your resume now, wait for just one second. You need goals in order to succeed.

Let’s start by talking about what you’re looking for in your career. This way, it will be easier to answer the question, ‘How can I excel in my career?’.

I was looking for a job that would help me grow as an entrepreneur, so I wanted to have the freedom of being able to work on my own projects.

As you near the end of your career, it’s so important to have a clear idea about where you want to be. It will make all the little decisions between now and then much easier!

So ask yourself,  ‘How can I excel in my career?’.

Once you know where in 5 years, 10 or when you die that is, think about how to back into the plan.

Jamie Scarborough, a senior vice president at the American Society for Quality (ASQ), talks about how to build your career path.

One of my favorite candidates ever was looking for an SDR role and willing to take a pay cut because he wanted to be promoted quickly.

He was so focused on his goals, I didnt even question when he told me that in 10 years he would be running an entire revenue organization.

When people are asked in an interview where they want their sales career to go, most say something like “I’d kind of like be a manager” or “Hopefully I’ll make it as far as enterprise.”

I see a lot of people who dont think about what they want. They just go for the first job that comes along.

To help you with your goal, think about why it’s important to you. Always go back to the question,  ‘How can I excel in my career?’.

Step 2: Find the Company and Goal That Fits Your Goals

Even if you love sales, a job might not be the right fit for your skillset. It’s important to find a company that matches what you’re looking for.

Finding the right company is very important. Once you find a good fit, it will be easier to succeed.

The job description for Jammony seemed perfect. They said they would teach me sales, marketing automation, CRM skills and customer support.

I knew this job would make me a better entrepreneur. I was also attracted to the mission of the company, and liked working with someone who had hustler-like qualities.

It was a perfect fit.

I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to find the right company. The companies you work for will determine your career trajectory.

Ive made a few bad employer choices in the past, and I paid for it dearly. For example, some companies pay great but will drive you to depression because of jerk bosses or crazy commute times.

I’m a big believer that if you love what you do, it will show in your work.

When you’re applying for jobs, make sure that the company is a good fit. Be honest with yourself and know what’s important to you.

If you are in a dire financial situation, take the first sales job that comes your way. It’s better to take an extra month or two than get evicted.

This list will help you focus on the important aspects of your hiring process.

  • Do you believe in the company’s mission?
  • Do you think the CEO is worth fighting for?
  • Would you be willing to go into battle for the person who would hire and fire you? Would it depend on their bosss position in the company hierarchy?
  • Would you be comfortable in a work environment?
  • When you leave, will you be much closer to the long-term goals of your career?
  • Will your experience at the company be seen as a positive or negative?
  • Is the product innovative and different from anything else on the market?
  • Are you satisfied with our offer?
  • Is the person happy and excited to be there?

Make a ‘must have’ list of qualities you would love to see in your first sales job. If the company doesn’t meet these requirements, take a hard pass.

Step 3: Get the Job

Once you figure out what job you want, its time to start looking for that perfect opportunity.

For this, youll need:

  • To create a killer resume
  • Tell everyone that youre looking for a sales job.
  • Get (and nail) your interview
  • Be persistent with your follow up, either you’re hearing a definite yes or no.

Heres how went for me

I had no experience for this job and there were many other applicants with the same qualifications. I was unemployed at that time.

When I first met Matt, he told me that the only reason why I was there for an interview is because of my previous experience as a waiter.

After reading this, I knew he wanted someone who was very customer-centric and had a good hustle.

I knew I had to do something different, so I told him what it was that initially interested me in the company and promised him how hard of a worker I would be.

The next step is to have your resume reviewed by a recruiter. The ideal candidate should find someone with experience in the field who can give feedback on what needs improvement and if they are qualified for the position.

He was a one-man shop. He had to do everything my role would take on, as well as website development and other projects.

I left him a voicemail to make sure he got my message.

I emailed him, but he didnt reply.

Then I emailed again.

After a couple of interviews, he called back and said that I was the perfect fit for this role. He offered me the job.

Listen

I know there are a billion blogs out there telling companies its an employee’s market. Unemployment is at its lowest and companies can’t hire salespeople fast enough, but that doesn’t mean they’re all good.

I had over 60 applicants for a recent job opening, and only 3 of them did anything to stand out.

Here are some tips to make sure you stand out when applying for a job.

  • Apply anyways and dont wait for a response.
  • A lot of people don’t put in the effort to write a cover letter, which is really sad.
  • If you want the role, be creative and stand out like you need to when selling.
  • Follow up.
  • Dont ask questions that are irrelevant to your decision. I once interviewed someone who only wanted to know about the onsite fitness facilities, which told me where his mind would be while he was at work.
  • After interview, phone screen and any other steps in the process make sure you ask what’s next. If it seems like a good fit for both parties then express your interest to continue.
  • I always ask about what people read and listen to. I want salespeople who are eager to learn new things.

Read this article and learn the 27 most common interview questions. Once you read them, practice answering them in different ways so that you can be ready to answer any question when it’s your turn.

Step 4: Excel in Your Role

After you get a job, it’s time to show the company what they’re getting in return.

Bottom line, your company hired you because they believed that with you on board, their profits would increase. So its only natural for them to want the best out of employees.

After I started my new sales job, I made calls right when the company allowed me to. By the time 3 months had gone by, I was exhausted from working all night on several different things – including getting comfortable around a CEO.

If I didnt know how to do something, I would go on Google and find the answer myself. When it came time for me to succeed, there was no one else who could help me but myself.

I got what I wanted. In addition to being able to train a small staff, the experience of recruiting and hiring my own employees was also invaluable.

I was great at my first role, and the experience I gained in those three years has been some of the most valuable to me.

Here are some things I learned when I first started a sales job.

  • In the first 90 days, it’s important to make a good impression on work ethic and culture fit.
  • If you start with a clean slate, it will be easier to grow your business.
  • Introduce yourself to everyone you work with and ask them for help. Find mentors who will guide your career.
  • Dont be afraid to ask for help when you need it. Know that your boss will understand and work with you if they notice a problem.
  • Figure out what sales methodology you think will work best, and make sure it’s something that can be executed.

Visualize yourself succeeding in your new job. Give it all you have by resting up.

I want to share 7 habits of highly successful sales development reps.

Summary

You dont deserve a high-paying job just because you want it.

When you apply for a job, it doesnt mean that the company owes your position to you.

To find the dream sales job, you need to be strategic and stand out by showing initiative.

Successful salespeople always make sure to stay up-to-date on the latest industry trends and learn as much about them as possible.

Its not complicated, but it can be tough. Remember that you are special once you make yourself stand out.

When youre looking for a sales job, what do you want? What qualities are important to have in the first few years of your career? Through this questions, you will have the answers to  ‘How can I excel in my career?’.


Need Help Automating Your Sales Prospecting Process?

LeadFuze gives you all the data you need to find ideal leads, including full contact information.

Go through a variety of filters to zero in on the leads you want to reach. This is crazy specific, but you could find all the people that match the following: 

  • A company in the Financial Services or Banking industry
  • Who have more than 10 employees
  • That spend money on Adwords
  • Who use Hubspot
  • Who currently have job openings for marketing help
  • With the role of HR Manager
  • That has only been in this role for less than 1 year
Just to give you an idea. 😀
Editors Note:

Want to help contribute to future articles? Have data-backed and tactical advice to share? I’d love to hear from you!

We have over 60,000 monthly readers that would love to see it! Contact us and let's discuss your ideas!

Justin McGill
About Author: Justin McGill
This post was written by Content at Scale, a solution that uses AI + a team of optimization specialists to publish hundreds of high quality, SEO optimized content straight to your blog. It’s the first and only solution that allows you to truly scale content marketing.