A career path as a sales professional not only offers the possibility to earn a good salary with unlimited bonus or commission-based potential on top, it can also be a truly rewarding career choice for those with first-class language skills. Organisations looking to hire sales professionals are often looking for bilingual or multilingual professionals – and for good reason, given that many have a presence abroad and need language skills to cater for their global customer base.
So, if you’re considering working in sales and looking for your next entry level role, here are some of the key reasons why a career in sales could offer excellent long-term prospects:
1. Job security
Sales is the driving force behind any business, generating the revenues and profits that enable companies to grow and expand their footprint. All types of organisation across all sectors will be hiring for their sales teams, especially now that restrictions are easing and economic activity is getting back to normal. The demand for sales reps and sales managers will pick up with gusto in the coming months and those looking for a new career where they can utilise their language skills should certainly consider a sales role. If you can prove yourself, working in sales can offer an excellent level of job security and with remote working changing the world of work, bilingual sales professionals will be much sought after.
2. Earning potential
One of the big lures of sales jobs is the money on offer. You’ll typically receive a competitive base salary but your earnings really take off with the bonus and commission schemes that companies offer. These can be generous depending on the company and industry, but if you hit your monthly, quarterly or annual targets, you can really see your take home pay increase significantly. On top of that, you’ll be in the running for individual and team incentives such as trips abroad, another of the big perks of working in sales. As you rise up the ranks to sales manager or sales director, you can expect those bonuses to rise too, so longer term you can become a high earner, comparable with any other senior role in any other function.
3. Developing skills
Sales is arguably like no other job and you need to have exceptionally good interpersonal or soft skills. You’ll need to learn and master sales techniques for closing deals – the art of persuasion is key to the success of your sales pitch. Successful salespeople also need to be creative in coming up with new ideas to boost sales and, of course, ensure they are collaborating with their own colleagues and team-mates as well as with existing and new prospects. Time management is absolutely essential as you’re juggling calls and meetings; you have to make every minute count. Building strong relationships is vital so that you can get repeat custom, as is a flair for dealing with customer complaints and objections. You need to also be empathetic with a high emotional quotient (EQ), actively listen, and be able to manage stress and conflict. Perhaps more importantly, though, these skills are highly transferrable across every sector, so developing these attributes can open up a wealth of career opportunities.
4. People relationships
Working in sales is about people. And not just customers, but your own colleagues too! Whether you’re working predominantly over the phone selling products or out in the field or on the shop floor, you will be interacting with people. That’s the fun part of the role, putting all your skills into practice and stretching yourself to make that all-important connection with the end buyer. As we all know the best salespeople aren’t pushy, they want to really listen and understand the buyer’s dilemmas so that they can offer them the best products or solutions. Interacting with people and closing the deal can be challenging but when it clicks, the ‘buzz’ is addictive!
When it comes to securing a sales role, the advantage you have over other applicants is that you’ve got language skills! Clearly, working for a global sales organisation will allow you to use those skills, which is why sales often appeals to language graduates. Working in a multicultural environment and speaking to customers in their native tongue will enable you to make a big difference to your organisation. No matter which languages you master, there will be demand for your talent, and your skills are transferable – you can work across different industry sectors, whether it’s working as a sales rep in the tourism sector or in IT sales.
There are many reasons why you ought to consider a career in sales. As well as the ones mentioned above, you’ll be able to build and manage your own client portfolio. You’ll be allowed to work autonomously so the flexibility means that you’ll have a better work-life balance. And it’s not just about the money – providing a high level of customer service will give you a lot of satisfaction and is a major reason why people decide to stay in sales long term.
And finally, working in a sales role is a great springboard for senior corporate positions. Many C-suite executives often come from a sales background. That’s not surprising given the breadth of skills that working in sales gives you and those highly developed interpersonal skills which will make you stand out in the workplace.