Whether you are entering the job market for the first time or looking for a new job to excel in your career we bet you are interested to learn more about different sales opportunities out there. That’s why you are reading this article, right? You are on the right path. Sales can be one of the highest paying jobs and offer great benefits such as flexible hours and opportunities for advancement.
Before you apply for any sales job, you should know what to expect on an average day in the position and whether it’s an ideal fit for your skills and personality.
Here we invite you to take a look at different types and seniority levels of sales job opportunities.
What do salespeople do? What are different sales jobs?
1. Sales Development Representative (SDR)
Sales Development Representatives (sometimes referred to as Business Development Representatives) are at the forefront of a sales team. The role involves approaching potential new prospects and making sure they are a good fit for the company.
What is a typical day like for a Sales Development Representative?
A Sales Development Representative is typically the first person on a sales team responsible for filling a pipeline for prospects. A big part of an SDRs day is researching, prospecting and qualifying leads. So if you want to become an SDR, you probably spend a lot of time chasing leads on LinkedIn and making cold calls.
Sales Development Representatives are also responsible for following up on leads that have entered a sales funnel via a mailing list or information request. Once an SDR has qualified a lead, they pass it on to a salesperson in the company who can develop it further down the sales funnel.
It is important to note that an SDR is not involved in closing sales and rarely has a sales quota to meet. Instead, most often, an SDR’s daily job performance is measured by the number of calls and emails they make.
This position is a very good entry point into a career in the sales field. There is not just one promotion path but several, and you don’t need much experience to get started either. Since 2010, the number of companies hiring SDRs with less than one year of experience has quadrupled!
You should be a Sales Development Representative if:
You love to talk and can hold a conversation with a stranger without any problems or inhibitions;
You would enjoy spending most of your day on the phone looking for leads who may or may not have already shown interest in the product;
You have excellent oral and written communication skills.
Feel free to download our Sales Role-Play Sheet to make a killer impression on your sales job interview.
2. Outside Sales
With the Outside Sales role, you are either on the road or in an office away from the head office.
What is a typical day like in an Outside Sales role?
Outside Sales Representatives service and meet with large clients.
It takes more time and effort to land big accounts. Therefore, companies typically rely on Outside Sales Representatives to be out and about making an effort to meet people face-to-face. They are generally responsible for a company’s biggest customers and making sure they are happy.
Outside Sales suits you if:
You love to work at your own pace, you hate micromanagement but are well organised and have stamina.
You are on the go and organise your own time, but if you stay on top of things and manage your schedule properly, you can plan your day however you want!
3. Account Executive
This role is the career destination for Sales Development Representatives. Account Executives are the ones that SDRs hand off prospects to after they have been qualified and are ready to move on to the next step of the sales process. Account Executives are also involved in negotiating contract terms and preparing proposals.
What is a typical day like for an Account Executive?
Account Executives wear many different hats. With previous skills as an SDR, Account Executives spend their days conducting product demos and making presentations to prospective clients.
When they are not giving presentations, they spend their time looking for potential obstacles that potential customers may face in buying the product and how to overcome them. To attract larger clients, Account Executives are also responsible for creating customised proposals, persuading potential clients to make a purchase, and negotiating any finer details that signing a contract might involve.
Account Executives usually work to quotas. They are expected to bring in a certain number of new customers each week or month and are usually paid a commission when this target is reached.
You can be an Account Executive if:
You love sales and are very ambitious. An Account Executive role is a natural progression for anyone in an SDR role. But being good at sales is only half of the skills you need to become an Account Executive.
You also need to have a leadership personality, like to spend part of your day in meetings and on the phone.
4. Account Manager
Every sales team needs an account manager.
Account managers are responsible for building and maintaining customer relationships. They are also responsible for generating ideas and identifying how the company’s products can be improved.
What is a typical day like for an account manager?
This role is very customer-focused. On a typical day, an account manager spends their time contacting customers. They ask their customers about their overall satisfaction with the product, as well as constructive criticism.
A typical phone call with a customer may also include asking them if they would like to renew their subscription service and purchase additional products. Essentially, account managers become the customer’s main point of contact and help negotiate future purchases from companies.
Similar to SDRs, Account Managers are measured by the number of calls they make in a day. But they are also measured by how much information they can gather from a customer and how much additional revenue they can generate through upsells and repeat product subscriptions.
Account Manager role fits you if:
You are good at dealing with people! Once a prospect becomes a customer, an Account Manager is the key point of contact. Account Managers need to know how their customers are doing and be ready to deal with any issues that might arise when using their products.
Nurturing relationships and keeping customers happy are important to you.
5. Head of Sales
The Head of Sales is the top dog of a company’s revenue stream.
If you’re looking for a high-pressure sales job, this is the one for you. A Head of Sales is responsible for the overall revenue of a company and the performance of a company’s entire sales team.
What is a typical day like for a Head of Sales?
A Head of Sales has a lot of responsibility. A typical day can be so busy that sometimes there is no time for lunch.
Besides interviewing potential recruits and looking at the previous day’s sales figures, this person attends (numerous) sales meetings to discuss the company’s sales pipeline. They are also responsible for building, optimising and implementing sales strategies. In addition, you will also be responsible for coaching salespeople and attending events outside the office to promote the company.
A Head of Sales also needs to dive into numbers like quotas and commissions to see if a sales rep is performing to the expected standard. Finally, if the company is trying to win a big client, they may even need to step in and take part in a pitch to make sure the deal gets done.
This role suits you if:
You like to surround yourself in a fast-paced environment and want to be challenged every day. Obviously, you should be comfortable leading a team and be able to handle the pressure of controlling the bottom line of a business. But you also require to enjoy analysing numbers and targets and identifying new opportunities for the business.
You are committed and invested in the growth of a business.
6. Sales Manager
A sales manager is a key player in any successful sales team. They are responsible for leading a team of representatives to ensure they achieve growth and hit sales quotas.
What is a typical day like for a Sales Manager?
A typical day in the job role involves meetings (both with prospects and colleagues), analysing data and conversions, and setting team expectations. But the responsibilities don’t end there. A Sales Manager is also responsible for setting and managing sales territories and training SDRs to ensure they are compliant.
This role suits you if:
You were once in the sales trenches yourself. The backbone of a good Sales Manager is a strong understanding of the sales pressures faced by SDRs and Account Executives, and how to analyse and build on quotas and expectations.
Since Sales Managers can be relied upon to train and get the best out of everyone from SDRs to Account Executives, management experience is a must. If you don’t have any, it’s best to take a course or ask someone to take you under their wing and teach you. Without it, you will not be able to succeed in this role.
Which sales position suits you best?
Even if you start from the bottom, you can make it to the top! The great thing about choosing a career in sales is the versatility of job roles and the promise of career progression.
Many of the highest-paid salespeople started as SDRs. In the sales world, you can often advance beyond a degree with determination, hard work and resilience.
Choose a position that suits your strengths, and don’t be put off if a job requires a lot of time cold calling or pitching to potential clients. All of these skills are needed to advance your career in sales, and if you focus on building your skills, a Head of Sales role is attainable for anyone with a knack for sales.
Are you interested in getting a new job in Sales?