Ever wondered how real life adults get jobs in industries such as PR, entertainment, finance, or even sales and business development? Lucky you, Singapore recruitment firm, BGC Group will be making guides to help you break into these respective fields.
This week, we will be focusing on the sales and business development industry. Here’s everything you need to know about breaking into the sales and business development industry.
Experience and Skills Needed
In order to break into the sales and business development industry, employers are on the lookout individuals with both soft and hard skills.
Soft skills in demand include:
People skills: In order to survive in sales, you need to have great people skills. Or any other soft skills that revolve around human interaction is crucial in order to survive this job.
Emotional skills: Whilst a good IQ is revered by many, individuals with great EQ scores are desired in the sales industry. Someone with empathy will make a great salesperson, due to the customer’s increased need for human interaction.
Listening skills: Unfortunately we’re not yet able to read minds. Similarly, you can’t assume that each customer would want to buy a product or service for the same reasons you do. So what can you do to find out what your customers want? Well, just do nothing but listen to them.
Creative skills: When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. What happens when life deals you with oranges or worse, grapefruits instead? Sometimes, in this line of work, you’ll realise that some problems require creative solutions. Additionally, you might be required to “think outside the box” in order to market the products and services you’re selling to your clients.
According to Linkedin, other skills that will help you stand out in the sales industry to include social media skills, business management, time management, and leadership skills. However, the business networking website also places a strong emphasis on human interaction. Which is ironic in a world that’s becoming increasingly reliant on technology and automation.
One way to build up both your soft and hard skill set is working relevant jobs, whether it is a full-time or temp job position. However, different sales roles will require different levels of experience. Find out more below:
Candidates with little to no experience can still find work as a retail sales assistant. However, those with less experience should know that they will be earning a slightly smaller salary. Data shows that more than 40% of those in retail sales have between one to four years of experience.
Employees rarely stay within the sector for ten years or more. This suggests that experienced retail sales assistant often move up the career ladder or transition to other fields.
Sales Development Representative
A sales development representative (A.K.A business development representative) is someone who is responsible for the first part of the sales process. In this role, you will be required to research and identify prospective leads. Once a lead is qualified, they will then pass it to a sales representative who will handle the presentation and demo, as well as the rest of the negotiations.
A sales development representative is an entry-level position. Generally, these require anywhere between 1 to 3 years of related experience.
An outdoor salesperson is someone who spends most of their time in the field visiting potential clients all over the country. However, due to the advancements in technology, social media, and digitisation, there is a lesser demand for an outdoor salesperson.
Due to the tough nature of the job, employers often look for more experienced individuals with previous experience in sales.
Not all sales positions require its employees to have high qualifications. Depending on the type of role, job seekers looking to break into the retail sales industry usually require an O level degree. However, other more niche sales roles might require formal qualifications:
Bachelor of Business/Science (Marketing)
A degree in Marketing would greatly benefit students looking to break into the sales industry. Marketing and sales often go hand in hand. In order to successfully sell a bucket of water to fish, you need to know how to market it first.
Bachelor of Finance
A finance degree is one of the best degrees to take for those looking to break into the sales industry. With this degree, sales professionals are able to understand the financial impact of a transaction. This skill provides sales professionals with the ability to build better rapport with their clients.
Additionally, a finance degree will provide aspiring sales professionals with the skills required to deal with more complicated financial transactions.
Bachelor of Arts
There is a misconception that those who choose to pursue a Bachelor of Arts degree will have a tougher time landing a job. Especially one in specialized or niche sales roles. You can prove that you have a fighting chance by taking other concentrations within the Business, Marketing, and Finance course to supplement your Arts degree.
Those looking to break into other niche industries as sales professionals might need additional qualifications, other than their standard university degree. For instance, those looking to work as sales professionals within the IT industry will need to undergo other IT related courses to help supplement their skills and knowledge.
The salary for those in the sales industry depends on their experience, qualifications, and sales roles. To learn more, download Singapore recruitment firm, BGC Group’s 2019 Salary Guide here.
You might be studying for a sales position, but do you have the foundational experience needed to land a job within the sales industry? Browse through our BGC job boards for full-time, part-time, or temp positions to help you build the experience required to land a position in the competitive sales industry.
What are some industries you’re interested in breaking into? Let us know in the comments section below and we’ll try our best to write about them!