According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment in sales and related occupations is projected to decline 2 percent, with a loss of about 303,400 jobs from 2019 to 2029. Sales workers in the services and wholesale sectors will continue to be in demand because these occupations remain critical in building and maintaining customer bases for businesses. Rising levels of e-commerce will depress employment growth in some of these occupations in the retail sector.
According to BLS, the median annual wage for sales and related occupations was $31,500 in May 2020, which was lower than the median annual wage for all occupations of $41,950.
A sales job is an occupation that involves selling a product or service to customers. Many businesses rely on salespeople to sell their products and services, so several different sales jobs are available to those who want to pursue a career in this field.
Types of sales:
Most entry-level sales roles are “inside” sales, meaning that representatives sell products and services online or over the phone without having to travel or see customers face-to-face.
Success is often determined by the number of meaningful connections a sales representative makes with potential and/or current clients, as well as how much revenue he or she brings in through those connections.
Outside sales is the opposite; also known as field sales, reps sell in person. Outside sales requires a fair amount of travelling to meet potential clients or to maintain relationships with existing customers.
Essential sales skills
Reps in both inside and outside sales are expected to possess strong communication, task management and interpersonal skills. Successful salespeople are born schmoozers with winning personalities. They know when to appease their clients and also when it’s time to be tough (like in negotiations).
Above all, great sales reps turn developing and maintaining great business relationships into an art form. They make it look easy, but it’s not!
They will often work in “territories,” made up of geographical areas and sometimes segmented by customer types.