Is sales really a career? Isn’t sales cold-calling and getting customers to part with their money?
The sales profession is changing rapidly. Cold-calling and transactional selling are largely being replaced by solution-selling and problem-solving. Today’s salesperson is a consultant, well-versed in both hard, analytical skills and soft, relationship skills. In short, wheeler-dealers are out and problem-solvers are in. Moreover, the boundary spanning role of the salesperson tends to be a fertile environment for future leadership positions.
What is the industry demand for sales professionals?
Some industry observers project that nearly 50 percent of all college graduates, regardless of their major, are intimately involved in the sales profession. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 1999 there were 12.9 million workers in sales occupations. By 2014, that number increased to 14.25 million. In addition, continued growth is expected as industries become more technology driven and service intensive.
I have heard that sales jobs are primarily commission-based. Is that true?
Yes, some part of compensation is based on commissions tied to delivered sales results. However, in the vast majority of industries, the variable component is less than 20 percent of the total compensation package.
Why do I need a certificate in professional selling to enter a career in sales?
A certificate in professional selling will expose you to the context, skill sets and experiences associated with a career in sales. Sales graduates are prepared for their roles through the highly specialized education and cutting-edge opportunities provided within the certificate. This ensures a high probability of success in sales. More importantly, recruiters greatly value the training and self-selection exhibited by graduates of sales programs. In fact, according to a survey of sales managers, sales program graduates ramp up 50 percent faster than their non-sales educated peers. They also experience 30 percent lower turnover.