Quit Your Sales Job or Just Quit Sales?
Sales, and specifically b2b sales, is hard. You’re going to be told no a lot, you’re going to get hung up on, you’re going to get ghosted.
I speak with many early career sales professionals that don’t know whether a career in sales is a great fit for them long term. Should you stay in a b2b sales role or should you take a career pivot into another field either inside their own organization, or possibly outside their organization.
Many professionals who start out in b2b sales roles, sometimes as sales development representatives, eventually make a natural transition into customer success roles, marketing roles, or even product roles. This is perfectly fine, and having a foundation in sales will provide value regardless of the direction a career may take.
A core issue for many sales professionals is that they don’t truly know if they are not satisfied in their role because it’s a purely sales role generally, or maybe the specific sales role or organization they are in isn’t a fit for them – but sales is.
When I have these types of conversations with sales professionals about whether or not they should stay on the sales career track or get out, I usually start out with the following key areas:
First of all, we talk through the end game. Is it sales leadership, is it eventually transitioning to another part of the organization, is it starting something on their own? What is it that is motivating them to potentially stay on the sales career track. What motivated them to get on that track in the first place?
Second, how much of a factor is money playing in the thought process. And this conversation isn’t all focused around actual dollars, moreso motivation of what’s behind it. Are there priorities that need to be met, such as buying a house or possibly even taking care of a loved one. We all know that sales can be lucrative, and there’s nothing wrong with that being a primary motivator.
Third, and more tactically, are you able to quickly and easily shake off losses, “no’s”, hang-ups, etc, knowing that the wins are more than worth it? There are a LOT of sales professionals out there who are willing to deal with the constant barrage of NO, because they know those few YES’s will be more than worth it. Others aren’t able to deal quite as well.
Fourth is related to interpersonal skills – is the person comfortable engaging with other people that they don’t know well on a very regular basis? This is not necessarily an introvert vs. extrovert thing – this is more related to a genuine business curiosity. If you’re driven to learn and be curious about other people, other situations, other businesses, just out of simple curiosity, this can be leveraged very successfully to effective prospect discovery, the most important part of the modern sales process.
The reality of most conversations with early career sales professionals is that their mild (or worse) discontent with their current career situation is less related to whether or not they should be in a sales role, but more specifically related to them being in the right sales organization.
At RepVue, our mission is to enable sales professionals to not only understand what’s important to them in their sales career, but also shine a bright light on specific strengths and weaknesses of sales organizations.
If a sales professional knows what they value in an employer, they can seek out those which excel in those specific areas. We’re working hard to build out this mission. Thank you for the support, and please consider adding a rating of a sales organization where you’ve worked, either a former sales org, your current sales org, or if you’ve not rated your current org in 4+ months, please add a new rating. Just click ‘rate now’ from our home page.