The wide scope of sales
Every business involves an element of sales and promotion, even if it is not always obvious. Take a bank, for example: you might not immediately think of it as an organisation with a sales function, but bank accounts and related commercial services are products that need to be sold. That’s the reason why you are offered incentives to switch bank accounts! Sales typically fall into two main categories: business-to-business (B2B) sales, where salespeople sell to another business, and business-to-consumer (B2C) sales, where the salesperson sells directly to the public. Your potential product range is vast. You could, for instance, sell advertising space through a job in media sales or properties as an estate agent. It can be a lot to take in, so we’re here to break down everything you need to know – including tips on making your sales CV stand out, common interview questions and the key skills you need to succeed in sales. But if you’re ready to go straight to the job search, head here .
Landing yourself a sales career
Getting a sales job
Large employers across various sectors offer graduate schemes specifically for sales, or you could join a commercial graduate programme in which you rotate around different functions within a business (including sales), but it is also common to apply for individual entry-level sales vacancies with a while range of employers. But what else goes into getting yourself a sales job? Read our article to gain insight into the qualifications and skills that can boost your career prospects in this sector and learn more about the recruitment process for sales jobs.
Succeed in sales
You might think that to do well in a sales job, all you need is a positive attitude and the gift of the gab. Well, not quite. There are five key skills that can bolster your sales CV. Find out what these are and how to talk confidently about them at interview in our key skills article.
Selling your sales skills
CV and application tips
The first test of your sales skills is actually how you sell yourself on your CV. This is your chance to demonstrate to employers that you have the fundamental qualities needed for a career in sales. Ensure that you do this well by following our four top tips (five if you include our bonus tip) by checking out our article on how to stand out in your sales CV and application.
Access online learning
Build your personal brand
Our free online mini-courses, known as Pathways, are designed to help you proactively develop your job-hunting skills. We have a Pathways specifically for developing a strong personal brand (and why you need one in the first place). We take you through what a strong personal brand looks like and how to create and improve yours. By the end of the course, you’ll learn how to create a ‘professional’ personal brand that is authentic to you while also supporting your career ambitions
Prepare for your sales interview
In a sales interview, the interviewer will be figuring out if you are the whole ‘sales package’: someone with the skills, attitude, knowledge and outlook that suit the role and the employer. they’ll also be assessing your understanding of what would be expected of you in the role (‘how would you sell this product?’ for example). Learn how to answer this question, and seven others, in our advice article on the common sales interview questions.
Employers in Sales
Our top employers
Industry leaders with a large annual graduate intake.
Active employers looking for graduate talent all year round.
And many more
Other employers who are active on targetjobs , regularly posting new opportunities and events during peak seasons.
FAQs in Sales
Is sales a good career?
Successful sales people are confident, motivated and knowledgeable of their chosen sector. If you’re a sociable personal who wants career growth with high earning potential and thrives in a competitive environment, sales is definitely a ‘good’ career for you. Working in sales is heavily results-based, so you should have the satisfaction of seeing your efforts pay off. If you’re looking for lots of variety, different challenges and targets to meet – sales can be a satisfying, rewarding and exciting career to be in.
Are all sales jobs commission based?
It's rare not to earn commission or bonuses in a sales role. However, if you are legally defined as an employee or worker, you are entitled to a base salary in line with the national minimum wage regulations in addition to commission or sales-related bonuses. Check with gov.uk for more information on the definitions of employees and workers and for more on your minimum wage entitlement. But what about those brand ambassadors that you see starting side hustles online? In these cases, it’s likely that they are self-employed contractors who have bought an initial starter pack and then gain commission for anything that they sell – they would be commission-only.
Do you need to gain professional qualifications in sales jobs?
If you want to take extra qualifications while working in sales, there are various options. However, sales is a job where results are most important, so there’s no obligation to study in order to progress. To find out about the different on-the-job sales qualifications you can gain and some insight into the pros and cons of them, take a look at our advice on the on-the-job sales qualifications for graduates .
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