7 Types of Sales Jobs: Which One Is Right for You?

7 Types of Sales Jobs: Which One Is Right for You?
Vlad Kovalskiy
October 28, 2021
Last updated: October 28, 2021

Of course, choosing your life-long occupation requires preliminary research and careful consideration. It would be a huge disappointment to end up spending at least 8 hours of everyday on something you are incredibly bad at or simply don't enjoy doing. If you're reading this, it means you're considering pursuing a career in sales. Indeed, this sphere has a lot to offer, ranging from promising career prospects and a competitive salary to a plethora of tasks that stimulate professional growth. Yet, this field has its fair share of pitfalls. 

What do sales entail?

Naturally, sales jobs deal with various aspects of selling products and services to potential or existing customers. Of course, depending on the sales job, you'll have to approach cold prospects, nurture warm ones, or convince hot prospects. If you succeed and score a managerial position, you'll need to upgrade your leadership skills and analytical thinking to guide your team effectively. However, regardless of the role you're playing, there is always a particular set of skills that everyone involved with the selling process should be able to display. Aside from a fair understanding of how sales work and an ability to apply selling techniques to actual leads and clients, sales jobs also require:

  • Being responsible. Selling often involves traveling and working independently, so you need to be able to demonstrate satisfactory results and manage your time effectively without constant supervision.

  • Patience and ability to listen. Being persuasive is important, but paying attention to customers words can become your key to understanding their preferences and behavioral patterns that you can use to create an efficient selling tactic.

  • Communication and negotiation skills. In sales, it doesn't matter whether you occupy an entry-level or senior management position, you'll always have to interact with leads and customers. If you don't know how to make conversation engaging and meaningful, you should master these skills or consider specializing in other fields.

Motivation and a positive attitude. The majority of people strive to get a sales job because they dream of big, profitable deals. In reality, failed deals are more common than successful ones, and you should be able to handle rejection properly. In sales, successful specialists win because they don't quit and learn from both positive and negative experiences.

Types of Sales Jobs to Choose From

If your eyes twinkle with enthusiasm when you encounter new challenges, and you're not terrified by the perspective of intense communication with people every day, you are likely to thrive at selling products and services. However, before making a final decision, it would be wise to spend some time and conduct an extensive research to determine which position will suit you the best. Here are 7 types of sales jobs that might be right for you.

1. Sales Development Representative (SDR)

Basically, Sales Development Representatives (Business Development Representatives) are the face of your company. They are the first people your potential customers will encounter because their main task is to approach both cold and warm leads, qualify them, and deliver the ones that seem promising to quota-carrying people (sales executives).

Job Description

It is a sales job designed to spot promising clients as they come through the funnel and to move them quickly down the pipeline, while disposing of the ones that won't be useful for the company. This way, SDRs sort leads at the early stages of the pipeline, presenting sales executives with enough time and resources to focus strictly on closing hot deals.

Responsibilities

●      Gather information on potential clients to identify their problems, preferences, interests, and behavioral patterns

●      Approach all existing leads via multiple channels, including e-mail, social media, or phone

●      Educate prospects on company's mission and products

●      Present the company's services as the most effective solution to the prospect's problem

●      Analyze interactions that took place and qualify or disqualify the leads

●      If the prospect is worth pursuing further, they should arrange meetings with sales executives.

Requirements

●      Familiarity with major sales instruments to find (LinkedIn), research (Datanyze), and communicate with leads (Bitrix24)

●      Ability to make a good impression, deliver smooth presentations, and work with objections

●      Understanding of major selling techniques and ability to use them to engage with both leads that have never heard of the company and those who already know about it

●      Analytical thinking

●      Proactive, competitive, and result-oriented approach to work.

Realistic Salary Expectations

~50K per year (commission is based on the number of promising leads delivered).


2. Inside Sales Representative

This sales job is similar to SDR. Their primary task is also to find, attract, and retain promising leads. The emphasis here is made on their working environment because they work solely from the office and reach out to prospects and customers remotely via digital means.

Job Description

Internal sales representatives deal with all kinds of clients and prospects. They can present a company's solutions to cold leads, nurture warm leads, and convince existing buyers to purchase additional goods or services.

Responsibilities

●      Generate leads, warm up prospects, upsell customers

●      Familiarize prospects with the company's products and answer questions about them

●      Qualify leads and schedule in-person meetings with sales executives for those who look optimistic in terms of sticking a deal

●      Contact leads and clients through multiple channels, such as e-mail, social media, and phone.

Requirements

●      Basic knowledge of the sales process and the ability to apply various selling techniques

●      Perseverance to sit throughout the day

●      Ability to spend nearly all day talking while still have meaningful and engaging conversations

●      Expertise in using sales software and its communication tools

●      Analysis and research capabilities

●      Excellent communication skills, including the ability to listen and work with objections.

Realistic Salary Expectations

~46K per year (commission depends on their contribution to closing deals).


3. Outside Sales Representative

This sales job is a sweet spot for those who don't like office space, enjoy traveling, or prefer to work on their own because the primary goal of outside sales representatives is to meet big, important clients and ensure that they are eager to continue cooperation.

Job Description

Travelling to conduct and attend meetings might seem like an easy job, but major clients are valuable and the stakes are high. They expect high-quality service and special treatment. Therefore, it is crucial to plan and strategize in advance to ensure that everything is organized perfectly.

Responsibilities

Basically, OSRs need to plan, schedule, and organize meetings with important customers. They should use every tool at their disposal to convince clients to strike a deal, including a friendly smile, convincing arguments, extensive knowledge of customers' background, product advantages, company success cases, and even tasty wine at a fancy restaurant (expenses are typically compensated by the employer).

Requirements

●      Excellent understanding of the sales process and selling techniques

●      Knowledge on how to approach and handle a high-profile customer

●      Attentiveness, patience, and ability to listen

●      Great planning, time-management, and organizational skills

●      Ability to remain productive without supervision.

Realistic Salary Expectations

~53K per year (commission can be substantial, it varies according to the number and scale of your deals).


4. Account Manager

This sales job exists to ensure a high level of customer satisfaction.

Job Description

AMs check on customers, collect feedback, offer to renew subscriptions, and lure them into buying additional products with cross-selling or up-selling.

Responsibilities

●      Contact customers to ask if they are content with the quality of delivered goods or services

●      Invents new ways to improve products and solutions

●      Cross-sell and up-sell additional products

●      Serve as an intermediary between buyers and sales executives.

Requirements

●      Desire to help people

●      Ability to relate to customers problems

●      Analytical thinking

●      Ability to find solutions to problems

●      Excellent communication skills

●      Familiarity with foundations of sales processes and techniques.

Realistic Salary Expectations

~59K per year (commission depends on the number or scale of your deals).


5. Account Executive

Every SDR longs for becoming an AE because these are the people who close deals.

Job Description

This sales job is aimed at applying readily available sales tools and selling techniques to turn warm prospects into successfully closed deals.

Responsibilities

●      Nurture and persuade contacts to finalize the deal through delivering presentations, contract negotiations, creating personalized propositions, and running product demos

●      Develop new strategies for approaching customers or adjusting existing ones

●      Writing down scripts and feasible scenarios for meetings, presentations, conversations, and negotiations

●      Working with possible prospects' objections.

Requirements

●      Motivation and ambitions

●      Experience as an SDR

●      Advanced expertise in sales processes and selling techniques

●      Strong leadership skills

●      Professional approach to planning, task management, meeting handling, and communication.

Realistic Salary Expectations

~72K per year (plus commission and bonuses for reaching quotas).


6. Sales Manager

This position is essential for every sales team because without it no one will be watching over sales representatives and they'll have to manage on their own.

Job Description

A sales manager is responsible for the performance of all sales representatives. That's why whoever occupies this position should spend plenty of time on ensuring that they match their quotas and help them to achieve required figures if they don't.

Responsibilities

●      Set and manage sales territories & team expectations

●      View reports and analyze data to find out weak spots or measure reps productivity

●      Conduct trainings for those sales reps who need to improve their performance

●      Approach prospects in case your sales reps need help

●      Meet with subordinates to discuss results and receive feedback.

Requirements

●      Experience as an SDR, ISR, or AE

●      Profound understanding of how quotas, expectations, and other sales KPIs are formed

●      Sales competence

●      Ability to support, help, and listen to your teammates

●      Analytical & strategic thinking

●      Management and leadership skills.

Realistic Salary Expectations

~90K per year.


7. Vice President of Sales

Vice President of Sales (Head of Sales) is the upper management position. These people are responsible for the performance of the whole sales team and, as a result, the company's profits. Remuneration for carrying the weight of this responsibility is impressive, yet many people are not cut out for surviving under such pressure.

Job Description

This sales job serves to help the sales team keep up with quotas, guide its members, and make sure that everyone operates at their fullest capacity.

Responsibilities

●      Interview potential recruits

●      Coach sales representatives

●      Develop, adjust, and execute sales strategies

●      Monitor sales metrics and study team's performance reports

●      Conduct regular meetings to follow your team's progress

●      Brainstorm ideas on improving sales figures

●      Attend public events for promotion purposes.

Requirements

●      Quick adaptation to changing circumstances

●      Ability to thrive under pressure

●      Expert level of management skills

●      Competence in dealing with figures, numbers, and statistics

●      Strategic thinking

●      Leadership qualities

●      Ability to teach, guide, and support.

Realistic Salary Expectations

~118K per year (plus substantial bonuses and commission).

Average Salary Evolution

Financial reward is one of the most powerful impetuses to pursue a particular career path. This table is designed to provide a visual representation of your potential financial status if you choose to apply for a sales job.

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