How To Be Successful In Your First Sales Job

Your first sales job can be the best decision you make. It’s the start of a fulfilling career, filled with challenges, new people, travels and monetary rewards.

Mind you – it’s going to be a bumpy ride. You have a lot of road to cover. No one wakes up an awesome salesperson. This is something you work on; it is something you become.

Here are seven sales tips to get you started.

Sales Tips For Success 1: Sell to Yourself First

Venture capitalist and author Guy Kawasaki once said: “Enchantment is the purest form of sales. Enchantment is all about changing people’s hearts, minds and actions because you provide them a vision or a way to do things better. The difference between enchantment and simple sales is that with enchantment you have the other person’s best interests at heart, too.”

Enchantment – minus its fairy tale implications – simply means “a feeling of being attracted by something interesting, pretty, etc.” It is something you achieve personally first, when you believe in your product. You can’t enchant others when you yourself don’t believe in what you’re selling.

So, want to be a success in your first sales job? Then, sell to yourself first. Know your product, inside and out. Believe in it and understand its value to your potential customers. Be passionate about it, and people will identify with your enchantment.

Sales Tips For Success 2: Know Your Company

Each company is unique. It is driven by its own vision and “reason for being,” core values that factor into how you sell to your prospects. It also has its own processes, some of which directly affect your customers.

Know these values and processes. Your company’s values can help you better frame your sales efforts. You can sell to your leads more effectively by knowing exactly where you fit in within their own values and processes. By knowing your own processes, you also communicate confidence. You won’t need the help of your manager for details, such as delivery dates, invoicing, and support.

Sales Tips For Success 3: Dress The Part

Take it from Zig Ziglar: “You cannot climb the ladder of success dressed in the costume of failure.”

Sure, you will be spending a lot of your time on the phone, especially on your first sales job. So, why dress up?

What you wear affects how you feel and how you are perceived. And, you communicate this even through the phone.

Just imagine a day in the office, wearing a burlap sack. Anyway you wear it, you still have an unflattering burlap sack on. Now, put on a nice suit instead. Doesn’t this simple act of wearing something that looks and feels good make you feel better?

You need confidence when speaking to your prospects. Your clothes help.

Sales Tips For Success 4: Understand The Sales Process

Sales is always a process – for companies, big or small, and their products. Leads go through the so-called sales funnel, in which they go from being aware of your product to actually buying it. How the funnel goes is different per company/ per product.

Knowing the sales process for your product and your company is crucial to a successful career in sales. When you know the process, you can qualify your leads more effectively. You know where they are in the funnel and the push they need to take the next step.

Sales Tips For Success 5: Identify Your Market’s Needs

Unless you’re a girl scout selling thin mints, you can’t go around knocking on every door when you want to sell your product. You have to qualify your leads and make a little more effort in knowing your market.

Learn about your market’s pain points. Which business processes do your solution help with? How would your product improve their business/ life?

As Brian Frank, LinkedIn Global Head of Sales Operations, says: “When you have a multi-tiered sales effort, the first thing you want to do is understand the market. You want to go out there and map the competitive landscape. You want to know what your customers are saying.”

Sales Tips For Success 6: Measure Your Progress

In sales (or in any job, for that matter), always measure your progress. Know where you started and how much better you are today. See areas where you can improve.

Do you take a longer time closing sales? Then, turn to data to see where there are gaps in your performance. You may take longer in following up or submitting presentations/ proposals. You might not be fully optimizing available sales automation tools.

The best person to talk to about this is your sales manager. Your manager has access to tools that track the team’s individual performance metrics. Ask for his guidance and advice on how to improve in your job.

Sales Tips For Success 7: Get a Mentor

A mentor, such as your sales manager, helps make navigating your first sales job a little easier. They can guide you through your company’s many processes. You learn from their experience. You can also get feedback on your efforts.

If you want more – or if splitting your manager’s time with the rest of the team is not enough – then turn to the greats. Business and sales gurus, such as Dale Carnegie, Jeffrey Gitomer and Zig Ziglar, have come out with books that help you improve your craft. Take time to learn what they have to say. Consider how you can apply this to your job.


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Dan Sincavage

Dan Sincavage

Dan is a Co-Founder of Tenfold and currently serves as the Chief Strategy Officer. Dan oversees the Tenfold sales organization, manages strategic partner relationships and works with key enterprise accounts to ensure their success with the Tenfold platform.

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