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Different Types of Sales Roles

By: Maggie Lonsdale BA (hons) - Updated: 20 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
Sales Sales Jobs Careers Corporate Sales

There are vast numbers of different types of sales jobs. It’s not just those instantly recognisable jobs with targets and bonuses that require sales skills – there are plenty of jobs nowadays that have an ever-growing element of sales.

This means that it is a good idea to brush up on your sales skills (let’s just call it ‘being more convincing’) whatever job you are in, as the increasing corporate culture of employment and the need to prove ourselves in our jobs means that there are very few easy rides.

There Are No Jobs for Life Anymore

Business experts have been quick to recognise that the job for life doesn’t really exist anymore – and certainly not a job for life with a final salary pension. More and more people are finding that elements of sales are creeping in their jobs where previously it would only have been a concern for the sales reps.

It is true to say that there are a lot more careers nowadays that have at least some element of selling – very few companies can afford to just employ people without a clear understanding of what ‘added value’ they each bring to the operation.

How Non-Sales Jobs Have Become More Sales Focused

If you take a job such as being a head chef, we can illustrate how the sales aspect of the role has developed in the last few years. Perhaps previously, a chef would have been expected to create a cost effective menu, alongside the kitchen manager, but then get on with the business of cooking. Whereas today’s head chef is expected to devise a menu that adds value (why do you think offal is suddenly trendy? It’s so cheap!) Negotiate rates with suppliers, make do with less kitchen staff to save costs and then make sure they use all the leftovers in something inventive. Not to mention training waiting staff on promoting the dish of the day (which invariably has the biggest mark up).

Classic sales roles have responded to this trend by being even more target driven than ever before. Sales roles are really hard going, but the rewards can be incredible. If you think about it from the employer’s perspective, sales jobs that pay commission mean that the more their employees earn, the happier they are because they make more commission and the more commission they make, the more money the company makes. It’s a win, win!

Get It In Writing

Before you start a sales role it is very important that you are clear about what is expected from you in terms of performance and targets. Get it in writing – both what you will be expected to do and what commensuration you will receive. Don’t wait until you have made a fortune for the company until you question your commission – corporate sales are a hard business so you need to push your own interests first.

If you feel as though your job is changing into a more sales based role and you are uncomfortable with it, you perhaps need to appreciate that this is a very modern phenomena and is unlikely to be that different in a comparable role in another company.

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