Do You Want to Improve Your Career?
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Do You Want to Improve Your Career?
Adam Purvis provides our guest blog, Do You Want to Improve Your Career?
Improve Your Career
How I Changed Careers From Recreation Management To Tech Sales
If you had told me three years ago that I’d be working as a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) sales rep, I wouldn’t have believed you. Today, I wanted to share my experience of shifting from a “cushy” government job that I could have stayed in for 30+ years to the field of SaaS sales and how I managed to do it successfully.
For ten years, including as a teenager, I worked varying part-time jobs in my hometown’s Recreation & Culture department. Eventually, I became a mid-level manager overseeing my hometown’s summer camps, youth center, and skatepark.
My role involved hiring and managing over 200 part-time staff and a team of 7 office staff. I also oversaw a business portfolio of ~$1.3m and was responsible for planning and operating all programming. During the summer, we accommodated around 7,000 children in our camps. Despite being only 23 years old, I managed this team responsibly.
In March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and I, being a full-time contract worker, was let go due to the cancellation of camps. At this time, I realized that I did not want to work in recreation management for the rest of my life, as I was feeling stagnant and demotivated, so I began to think about my next move.
I started applying for jobs for remote work, looking for something that would allow me to move and live in Toronto. After several applications, I secured the final interview for a customer success position with a B2C Software-as-a-Service startup selling to realtors.
In the final interview with the CEO, he influenced me to move to the sales team. I was hesitant but jumped in head first and immediately loved it. I immediately crushed my quota of setting appointments and was promoted twice in six months, where I remotely led a team of 6 other SDRs across Canada.
I then transitioned to my current company and was promoted twice, and I’m happy and thriving. While I still have so much to learn, I’m now an Account Manager and have built a solid foundation for a successful career in SaaS sales.
Tips that Helped Me to Advance My Career.
“How Can I Break Into Tech Sales?” is a common question on r/sales (Sales Reddit) and other Sales communities. The purpose is to share my perspective on successfully transitioning from another industry for you to do similar should this be your desire.
Be Humble And Be Prepared To Take A Haircut
To gain experience in tech sales, I started from the bottom and had to take a significant pay cut. If you’re changing careers, expect to do the same. However, remember that your income will substantially increase once you advance to a role that involves securing the business.
Almost anyone can begin as a Sales Development Representative (SDR) at a tech company. It’s an entry-level role that only requires a little experience other than the willingness to be coachable, work hard, and pick up the phone.
The job involves cold calling, cold outreach, and setting discovery meetings for your company’s Account Executives (AEs) daily. It’s a grind, but if results drive you and you’re indifferent to rejection, you’ll advance quickly. Be prepared to take feedback and learn from it as well. Set your ego aside and take the blunt feedback from your colleagues on how to get better. It’s essential for quick progress.
A Successful Career Change Requires Consideration of the Following:
- A possible pay cut or bravery to request 100% commission in a sales role.
- A contact either working at the company or who knows someone that can make an introduction for you.
- Weigh the pros and cons of changing roles and companies to further your career.
- Consider whether you will take the risk of lesser benefits to prove yourself and advance your career.
Make An Irresistible LinkedIn Profile
Some people may not like to hear it, but your appearance matters to recruiters and prospects. Posting a professional-level, DSLR-quality https://www.adobe.com/creativecloud/photography/discover/dslr-camera.html headshot that portrays you as warm, trustworthy, and inviting can make a huge difference in getting someone to read your LinkedIn profile.
Optimize your LinkedIn Profile
- Quantify everything in your job experience.
- Fill out every section possible; be succinct and speak to your desired position.
- Be authentic and showcase your personality in your job descriptions or profile header. Sales depend upon being likable and at ease in connecting with people.
- Showcase a compelling story; a brief bio is a great way to do this.
It’s essential to optimize your LinkedIn profile fully because LinkedIn Easy Apply is a great way to apply for entry-level sales positions. Without sales experience, applying and interviewing with every company you believe may be a match is best.
Caution: With LinkedIn Easy Apply, you can apply to dozens of jobs per day. Be forewarned that you must tailor the introductory cover letter to the individual company, mission, and applicant search.
Accept Every Interview, Even If You Have Doubts
Practice, Practice, Practice is a motto to keep in mind at all times!
Doing so gives you the necessary experience for an interview to acquire a better offer ultimately.
Know that not all interviews are successful or personalities compatible. Use the lessons from each experience and apply them to the following interview. The effort will pay off, making it worthwhile.
- Could you have asked better questions at the end of the interview?
- If the interviewer asked you about quota attainment and you didn’t know what to say, come prepared for the following interview with an answer to that question.
- Your home mirror is the perfect practice tool for speaking and watching your facial expressions and body movement. All gestures must be in sync and compatible with your words.
Changing careers can be a daunting process. But, with focus, determination, and the right attitude, you can open a new world of experience and opportunities. Committing to learning, trial, error, and never giving up will be your differentiator for achieving your desired success.
For More Insights: Visit Elinor’s Amazon Author Page
‘Communicate to Attract Interest‘
Authentic Relationships Are Essential
Be A Story-Teller
“Believe, Become, Empower“
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Sales Tips: Improve Your Career
- Embrace the fact that interviewing can be highly frustrating on multiple levels.
- After each interview, take time out to enjoy an activity that allows free-flowing thought to consider the pros and cons of the conversation.
- Realize how you may improve after each interview.
- Before the following interview, review how you may do better to move the process forward.
- If applying for a sales position, ask to meet with a team member.
- Become adept at story-sharing, notably how you overcame a previous career obstacle to rise above.
- Upon meeting with a team member, do so off the premises (buy them coffee) to receive honest input.
- Prepare to negotiate the offer because they typically differ from what you expect.
- Always send a thank you message, email, and-or a handwritten note to the person interviewing you to stand out from the crowd.
- Celebrate Success!
Today’s insights are provided to help you achieve the Smooth Sale!
RESOURCES FOR PERSONAL AND BUSINESS GROWTH:
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SalesPop! Purveyors of Prosperity; How to Compete against Yourself to Excel in your career.
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