Sales skills and sales techniques is a transferable skill that can be applied for different sales jobs. In my sales career, I have learned that by focusing in an industry, I become a sales specialist and the benefits of being a sales specialist can over time help you command a higher salary and also develop a targeted network that helps you navigate your sales career as it grows. This article explores the benefits of being a sales specialist.
THE VALUE OF TIME
Later in my sales career as I focused within an industry and niche market within sales, I have experienced how with time and experience, it helped me develop laser focused specialization and skill within an industry. As I was seeking my place in sales, I hopped from one job to another, thus becoming a generalist but as I outgrew a job, I had to start all over when looking to jump into another industry or niche market. Time provides the sales professional with the many benefits of a growing network, in depth knowledge of a market and a polished knowledge that time can only provide.
SALES SPECIALIST NETWORK
As a sales specialist, you can develop a network of both others within an industry as well as customers. I found the value in this as I progressed in my career and companies value those who have established relationships and customers as it helps the sales professional hit the ground running with better performance from those who start from square one.
A specialized and laser focused network also comes in handy when looking for a new sales job. Many sales professionals that have more than 3 years experience within a niche market have a much better chance of landing another job in the same industry than others who come in from another industry or market. One of the best way to get a sales job is to come recommended, and with a specialized network, the sales professional is usually sought after or recommended in from the "community" within the industry.
IN DEPTH KNOWLEDGE
As a sales professional spends time within an industry, market or selling a product category, specialized knowledge and valuable experience is gained. If you compare this to a generalist who can always learn, a sales specialist's ramp up time in their new position is much faster and sales managers seek out sale talent that have this depth in knowledge and experience. I have hired sales reps over those with equal backgrounds and ability due to their in depth knowledge and the experience they will bring to the new position.
A sales specialist bring added value to a sales team by bringing their experience and unique approach to a sales process. Sales generalists also bring different perspectives, but with a focused knowledge within a market, best practices and unsuccessful approaches have been tested.
If a sales professional matches their passion with a focus in a niche market or industry, over time the benefits of being a sales specialist will help in career progression as well as pay and job satisfaction. Sometimes as we seek our niche, we try out different industries and markets, but the ones who make the most in the sales industry are those with a deep network and experience within an industry.