Do you remember any kids wanting to be sales reps when they grew up? Neither do we. So maybe it shouldn’t be a surprise that of the 9M Americans that wake up every day and go to work in non-retail sales roles, 46% or 4.1M of them never meant to be salespeople at all.
That’s a lot of people who find themselves in a career path they never imagined going down.
Not only did they not intend to become sales reps, they didn’t pursue it in school. While collegiate sales programs are still rare, most students interested in pursuing a sales career would major in business. However according to a Hubspot study, only 24% of sales reps have degrees in business.
How do so many of us end up in sales accidentally? It used to be that a person who was extroverted, fun, good with people - telling jokes - was automatically put into sales. Money is another motivator. Median salary for an entry level sales rep in 2017, including bonus, is $69,184. That’s more than an entry level software developer. Plus, it’s an even more lucrative path for those with biology, engineering, and other technical degrees.
Knowing this, it makes sense that sales has a high turnover rate. People enter the sales profession attracted by the prospect of good base salaries and potentially large bonuses, thinking they can just try it and see if they are good at it.
What isn’t well known among people just entering sales is that professional development is essential to becoming a better salesperson - and taking home those healthy bonuses. The same Hubspot study found 23% of “accidental salespeople” don’t do any professional development at all.
That’s nearly 1M sales reps that have 0 sales training. If you are one of these accidental sales reps, to whom sitting through an expensive and time-consuming sales conference sounds completely unappealing, you may be better off with a self-directed sales enablement program, like UPtick by Selleration.
By assessing yourself as a sales person, and discovering your Sales IQ, you can work to develop the sales skills that you didn’t learn in school. Through ongoing professional sales development, you can teach yourself how to sell.
Are you an “accidental sales rep”? Have you trained yourself to be a better salesperson? Leave a comment and let us know!