Starting Your Career In Sales Isn’t What You Think
After landing my first real career job after college, I did not expect to be so unhappy.
Soon after starting at memoryBlue, I lost my grandpa, whose goal in life was to see his grandchildren happy and successful. During his funeral, our pastor spoke about his legacy of compassion and selfless grandchildren making worthwhile contributions to society: studying social work at Columbia, another working to become a diplomat and so on. Of course, the granddaughter in sales was strategically skipped.
For the next two months I beat myself up, wondering what I was doing at this job, calling people that seemed to do everything they could to avoid contact with me. I told myself that I graduated with the intention of making a meaningful and positive impact on society, yet here I was in sales and I questioned how I could make my impact in the role.
To make matters worse, I was actually successful in my new role, and I struggled with taking pride in an accomplishment that I believed others might see as self-serving.
We all know there are many negative stereotypes associated with a sales career. But throughout my tenure at memoryBlue, I have realized that some of these stereotypes are frequently and unfairly applied to sales professionals. I now hold the opinion that good sales professionals are vital in society, and that truly having a prospects’ best interests in mind is a characteristic that will actually propel you to the top and allow you to make significant and positive impacts within organizations.
Here are the sales myths I bought into and reasons I am now proud to be in sales at memoryBlue and on a path to a successful career:
You’re wasting a good college degree going into sales.
Perhaps, but only if you do not properly apply your education. While my major in Justice Studies and International Affairs had nothing to do with sales, my college degree left me a well-rounded woman with the capacity to not only develop rapport but connect with almost any prospect, on a cold call, in less than a minute.
My education also taught me the importance of a strong work ethic, doing the difficult research, and always setting goals. My job at memoryBlue has only strengthened these characteristics and while also developing others such as innovative thinking, perseverance and client relations.
If you want to go into sales, at least work in outside sales because it’s more worthwhile than inside sales.
Times are changing and this is no longer the case. As described in the Harvard Business Review’s article The Trend that is Changing Sales, the nature of a sale has drastically changed; 76% of VPs of Sales surveyed acknowledge that inside sales provides a better strategy to penetrate small businesses and mid-markets. This shift in thinking is in part due to buyers being more open to a remote selling process and societal changes, such as a mobile workforce and purchasing habits, among others.
The buying process has been completely disrupted by technology, and fortunately for us, technology is what we sell! memoryBlue’s high-tech inside sales model has the right idea at the right time, setting its clients and employees up for success as the tide of change continues to move our direction.
And lastly, the most important myth I disproved for me personally.
Sales is a selfish career path.
There’s no denying some people are in sales for the money, but you’ll find that at any job with a capacity for large paychecks. However, I believe that you will not find those only interested in the money consistently performing at the top.
Just as a doctor evaluates the pains of a sick patient, we strive to determine if our clients’ technology could help a struggling Finance, IT or Marketing department function properly and to its highest capabilities. Additionally, at memoryBlue we have the skills necessary to set innovative start-up tech companies on the path to success by delivering them new sales opportunities.
While a job in high-tech sales can be incredibly lucrative, if the job is done right you will have clients that trust you to help their organizations grow and thrive in whatever capacity that may be. In order for that to happen, it’s necessary to put the needs of both clients and prospects before your own. This is the type of sales professional I strive to be, and where I find myself having a positive impact on society.
Given the caliber of sales people I have seen develop skills at memoryBlue and go onto very successful jobs, it’s clear that sales is an ideal start for college graduates and memoryBlue is a great place for underdeveloped sales rockstars to flex their muscles and hone their talents.
Senior Account Executive Abigail Lacy has been with memoryBlue since August 2013. During her tenure she was the top performing sales executive for Q4 of 2013 out of 30 and has gone on to mentor seven current Account Executives. Her clients have included accounting software, business intelligence tools, network security, transportation and logistics software and data storage. Abigail graduated from James Madison University Cum Luade with a Bachelor of Arts in Justice Studies and International Affairs and a Russian Language Minor.