Need help finding a job or how to write and perfect your resume? We have hand selected some job search books to help you learn and prepare yourself to land the job you are going for. The categories we have selected include: resume, cover-letter, interview, online job search and sales career related books. To take a look at our suggestions click here: job search books!
In the past it was much easier to find sales jobs and get calls for phone interviews with multiple options for the sales professional. You would simply visit a large job board, post your resume and wait for the calls to come in. Nowadays with the economy hitting every sector and job category negatively, as well as technology changing the way we communicate and interact has created a perfect storm that has changed the way we search and land sales jobs. The problem is, most people are doing the same thing, without getting any results. If this is you, read on and learn how you must change things up so that you are evolving with the changes in how people are getting interviews and landing jobs.
CHANGES IN TECHNOLOGY
Are you only depending on your resume to land your next sales job? If so, take a look around and see how people around you communicating with one another. Do you have a Linkedin account, and if so, is it doing you any good? In today’s market, you have to evolve with technology as it has changed the way we find, and land jobs. One of the blessings of technology changes and improvement is the sheer volume of options you have to choose from. That is why it is so important to mix some of the old techniques with the new, and to develop a strategic job search strategy that will land you an interview. If your resume doesn’t get in the hands of the hiring sales manager, how would you ever expect to be considered for an interview?
The major shift in technology and the way we communicate is through social media. Take a look at this cool social networking recruiting infographic that shows you the numbers. For example, in 2012, companies are expected to social media to recruit for 80% of job openings. Recruiters have even changed the way the look for talent, with 98% using Linkedin, Twitter and Facebook. If you are using the old method of passively sending your resume and waiting for things to happen, you might be waiting for quite some time. Not only that, you will limit yourself to the available jobs that are posted if you keep using the same old technology.
It is time to evolve and change the mix of how you find, and pursue a sales job opportunity to land an interview and a sales job offer. Don’t ditch the old method all together, but do mix it up and find other ways to get your resume in the hands of the hiring decision maker or get more interviews.
You read about it in the news everyday, layoffs here and layoffs there. No sector or industry is immune to the effects of change happening. With many qualified sales professionals looking for jobs, you will be up against many others going after the same jobs that are posted on the job boards. Give yourself a competitive edge by changing the way you approach your job search and get back in the game of building your network, meeting people face to face and developing it over time. Technology and all the advances is not the single answer, you will need to reach out and connect with people online as well as in person. For those sitting at home sending out their resumes, it will sit in a database with hundreds of thousands of others vying for the same job. Develop a strategy that will get you in front of the decision makers or those connected to the decision maker to help get you an interview or learn about jobs that are not even posted.
Heres and example, I recently spoke to a sales professional who has a very successful career of 9 years. When he got laid off from his last job, he went 6 months without even getting a call for an interview. When he asked me for some advice, I simply asked him, how has he been searching for a job and since he hasn’t been in the hunt for the past 9 years, he reverted back to the way he landed his last job 9 years ago. I then coached him to mix things up and to develop a strategic plan to use new technology, social media and face to face networking to help with his chances. We also worked on getting his resume customized for each sales job he went for, created a brag book, practiced for the phone interview and he landed a job within 3 weeks of the changes.
CUSTOMIZE FOR THE BEST RESULTS!
When you send out your resume for an opening, do you customize it based on the job or do you still use the shotgun approach and hope it hits something? Now more then ever, you have to focus on quality over quantity and to customize everything, your resume, your cover letters and approach to finding and landing the best sales job on the market. Believe me, there are many jobs available as companies still need revenue and sales talent is the way to make things happen. But if you using the wrong approach to a new system, then you will be the one not being considered for the job.
Customize your entire job search strategy and analyze the results. If you do not have a job currently, then your job is to find a job. So you must treat it as so. You now must put some effort in your job search, because many others are figuring it out.
SHARE YOUR STORY
How did you land your last sales job? Please share by voting on a quick survey and view the results. Thanks for sharing and good luck with your job search.
Cast Your Vote: how did you get your last sales job? Or Contact me so we can do a quick phone or email interview so I can share with others to help them find and land their next sales job. Click here to contact me.
I recently did an interview with a medical device sales representative who has been in sales for the past 6 years. I will be sharing different interviews with sales professionals in different industries to help those looking to land their first job in sales to learn from their experiences.
INTERVIEW WITH K.C. From Denver Colorado:
SC: How did you get your first job in sales and what did you do prior to landing your first sales job?
KC: My first job in sales happens to be in medical device sales with a global medical company selling to pharmacies and physicians. Prior to landing my first sales job, I was a pharmacy tech at a pharmacy.
SC: Did you have any prior sales experience?
KC: No, I have never held a professional sales job before.
SC: How did you land your first sales job with a major medical device company? I understand that it is hard to land one of these jobs.
KC: I actually learned about the position from one of the reps that used to visit our pharmacy. I would ask him about what he does, what his day looks like and built a trusting business relationship with this sales professional over time.
The sales rep got promoted to another role within the company and asked me if I was ever interested in a sales job or possibly taking over when he left. I thought about it, and it seemed very interested so I called him and told him that I was. Before he had left, he had helped coach me about the position and what the hiring sales manager wanted. It seemed that my resume did not meet the criteria for the position, but he had stated that my attitude and knowledge of the end customer will come into value when going for the position. He also mentioned that I had a lot of transferable skills that I can demonstrate sales, since I do work with customers when they come to the pharmacy and help them with their medications or training of medical devices.
I also got the opportunity to meet the hiring sales manager and have developed a business relationship over time.
SC: So when the sales rep got promoted, did you get the position?
KC: Actually, no.
SC: Really! What happened?
KC: The hiring sales manager did interview me, but felt that at that time, there were other candidates that had a more experience and established relationships in the territory. I did learn a lot in going through the interview and I had done a post interview review with the hiring manager to help me understand how I can do a better job in the future.
SC: Then, how did you land your first sales job?
KC: Good timing! The rep that the hiring manager had hired, went for another opportunity within the first two weeks of being hired. Because I had shown commitment and true interest in the position even after not getting the job, it demonstrated to the hiring manager that I was very serious about the job opportunity.
I had taken the sales manager’s advice on preparing myself for the next opportunity and because the person who was hired quit, I was ready and much more prepared. Since the hiring sales manager, had already interviewed me and we have been in communications throughout, he called me and asked if I was still interested. I also want to add that I was very persistent but not annoying in calling the rep and the communicating with the sales manager that I am interested in pursuing the position. Prior to even getting the interview, I had called or emailed every other week once I learned that the rep was getting promoted and really prepared myself.
SC: What advice would you give others out there without sales experience, to land a sales job?
KC: My advice is that if you truly want a sales job, do your homework and know what you want to do. Just like in sales, you will be rejected and a job interview is basically a sale, where you sell yourself. Persistence and timing really helped as well as relationships, when those factors are blended together, it helps to get in front of the hiring manager.
I also did my homework and learned the sales model the company used, learned about the product, the competitors, the market etc. I showcased what I learned to the hiring sales manager and convinced him that I was serious and able to do the job.
SC: Thank you for sharing your story, I am sure this will help others learn from your experience.
Have a story to share? Help others learn about your experience. Please contact me to have a quick phone or email interview: contact me!
How to correct a medical rep who is following an action plan and not sending report in time? How do I improve a medical rep who is not achieving his/her target for several months?
My Stab at this Question
AD, Thank you sending in your question. Based upon the question you sent in, I am guessing that you are a sales manager. In the topic, you also put pharmaceutical sales but this question could really apply to any sales situation. I selected this question because, sales managers have challenging situations to manage, coach and lead their sales team. With the good, comes the bad as well.
Late with Administrative Items
In my experience, with a rep who is consistently late with their administrative duties, it is a bad habit that will continue if not corrected. Most sales professionals hate doing the administrative items, but it is part of the business and it needs to be done. One of the dangers that the rep runs into when they lack good administrative skills and not balance their time to complete items due is that it shows the inability to manage their business. It also looks bad because most companies keep a list of individuals who are late, and this does not help with the perception from the senior leadership team who only sees reports and have limited visibility to the field sales team. This is why it is important to communicate this to your rep to help him/her understand why it is important for them to keep up to date with their administrative items.
Another thing is that it is a requirement of the job. This has to be managed and communicated by you as the sales manager. Set clear expectations and when a rep falls late, you have to communicate this to them immediately and ask them to email you when completed. Ask the rep if they need help and coach them by giving suggestions on how to have better time management skills and to commit to get things turned in on time. You do have to treat all team members the same, so take some time to write a clear and concise team expectations and periodically remind the team of your expectations. What I have done is that I run a tracker on an excel spreadsheet and use color codes, green means on time, red means late. Communicate with the team that this will be used for the end of year performance review and set the understanding that administrative duties are included in the rating which could affect the sales rep getting a raise or promotion.
Not Achieving Sales Targets for Months
The second part of your question has more to do with sales performance. I suggest working with your Human Resource department on how your company handles performance issues. For me, I work with my HR partner, but as the sales leader, I do my part and try to coach the rep to help lift their performance. If sales targets are not being reached, then a review of what is being done should be talked through and to look for different approaches.
If sales performance consistently under-performs, then a formal performance plan should be put in place with clear expectations with dates and weekly phone coaching conversations to track how the rep is doing until performance gets better. I usually start with an informal process with just the sales rep and myself, but if too much time passes by, suggestions are not being executed, then a formal performance plan needs to be put in place. Remember to include your HR partner to ensure you stay with the law. The main goal here should be for you as a sales leader to not have the sales professional get to this point and use this as the last resort only. This is why it is very important to hire the right person for the job.
A lot of conversations will be needed with you and the sales professional but they are hired to bring in sales and if it is consistently not being met, then action needs to be taken to change things around. If the performance has just been slipping for a short period of time and the sales rep has historically performed well in the past, then a business review and change in strategy might be needed. Sometimes it just might be a motivation issue, but it is your job as the sales leader to uncover this and to set a specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound goal (SMART) goal.
Start with a meeting to discuss this with your rep, be transparent, but approach it with the goal to help lift and help the under-performing rep.
Have a question you want to ask a sales manager? Click on the button below to submit your question.
When looking for a sales job, sales professionals have numerous options to search and find quality sales jobs. With the hundreds and thousands of job boards on the Internet today, you could spend a lot of time looking for a good job board that lists the good sales job opportunities. We have hand selected and partnered with a handful of job boards and resources and have combined in into one page to provide you convenience for searching and looking for your next sales job.
Take a look at our list of quality sales job search partner sites and if you find something of interest, please do register and start searching for your next sales job. The list provided here is the same list I provide for my clients that I coach for their sales career job search.
The focus is on sales jobs, and each of the sites have either a sales niche or quality sales job postings that will help you find the best sales job for you. Click here to get started now >>> Sales job search resource page!
SALES JOB SEARCH STRATEGY
A good sales job search strategy is one where you are doing the hunting and also one where others are looking for you. If you find a job board that provides the kind of job listings that interests you, be proactive and submit your sales resume, so you can be found. This highly increases your chances of being found and you might get contacted for sales jobs that are not even listed on the job board. Some employers and recruiters seek out candidates with specific skills and background and will only recruit by viewing resumes. Don’t miss out on a great opportunity and get your sales resume submitted to your targeted job board or resource.
VIEW THE LIST OF HAND SELECTED SALES JOB SEARCH RESOURCES: