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Possible career change - how to get into sales?

Hello everyone,

This is my first post to the forum, and I am looking for some advice about how to get into sales as a career.

I am 31 years of age and work as a freelance web developer. I earn good money in this role and have over a years work in the pipeline with two large clients.

However, I'm fairly dissatisfied with web development. The business aspects are interesting, and I derive some satisfaction from understanding the technical aspects of web development, but I don't see myself doing it long term, and I don't have the same enthusiasm that my colleagues have.

So, I am investigating other career options. I enjoy generating business (moreso than doing the actual work) and I feel that commercial sales experience and skills would be incredibly valuable, and perhaps more satisfying than the current work I am doing. However, I don't have any commercial sales experience, so I would be starting from scratch.

What is the best way to get into a sales role? Are there any recognised training courses, or study material? How do I get into a sales role when I have no experience?

I am contemplating either taking a short hiatus from my current work to attempt a full-time sales job, or to make my current work part-time and find a part-time sales role. Or perhaps to undergo some training.

Any help and advice would be greatly appreciated!

Regards,
imanc - by imanc
Hi imanc,

Firstly, Welcome to Sales Practice.

Can I encourage you? In terms of training material etc you have come to the right place.

Go back to the Homepage and you will see a tab on the navigation bar "Training" Click there!

... Basically invest time here on this site and you will soon find more than enough answers to your questions. Familiarise yourself with the site, what it is about and so forth and you will find lots of info here.

Introduce yourself to Jeff Blackwell. (Sales Practice Founder) He has helped me tremendously.

SalesPractice.com was created in 1999 by Jeff Blackwell with the mission of making quality sales education and training resources freely accessible to everyone interested or engaged in the profession of sales.

Cheers
Chris - by teknacool
Sales is not easy. However nothing ever is.

If you are a dosctor you need to spend years as an intern before you make some real money. If you are a new lawyer you need to spend years on your portfolio before you command the big dollars.

As a salesperson, your turn around time to make some serious money all depends on your work ethics. If you are committed to it, you can expect to make some great money.

As a side bonus, salespeople get recognized faster.

Nobody remembers the accountant who kept the books balanced.

Everyone remembers the person who closed the "BIG DEAL". - by salesfist
There appears to be no shortage of study material available online and/or offline. However, a book I strongly recommend that all salespeople get under their belt is:

"Fundamentals of Selling"
by Charles M. Futrell
(ISBN-10: 007330588X)
- by Jeff Blackwell
That's funny. I have that book on my computer dsk.
I also reccmend to check up on Zig Zigglar. He is another great author on the subject. - by salesfist
That's funny. I have that book on my computer dsk.
How do you like the book? - by Jeff Blackwell
I think that it outlines the basic step by step features of the sales process. It is a good book for someone who is just entering the sales game. The examples are real world scenarios that give an added demonstration to how the steps function.

I wouldnt reccomend this book for someone who is experienced though... - by salesfist
We may be talking about two (2) different books. "Fundamentals of Selling" by Charles M. Futrell is a +600 page college textbook that covers as the title suggests, the fundamentals of selling. IMO, 80% of what you will find in almost ANY other book on selling is covered within the pages of this one book. - by Jeff Blackwell
This sounds like just what I need. Many of the books on sales seem to assume basic sales skills -- perhaps because they're geared towards active sales people.

But I have questions like "how do I find/buy/build a list of potential prospects" "what CRM software should I use" etc.

I have attempted some cold calling in the past - after reading books such as "red hot cold calling", but invariably this lead to be grabbing the Yellow Pages and calling indiscriminately with no real idea what I was doing. - by imanc
This sounds like just what I need. Many of the books on sales seem to assume basic sales skills -- perhaps because they're geared towards active sales people.

But I have questions like "how do I find/buy/build a list of potential prospects" "what CRM software should I use" etc.
As far as I can remember, the book I recommended will not tell you how to find/buy/build a list of potential prospects or what CRM software you should use. Instead it can provide you with an understanding of personal selling that relatively few people have. - by Jeff Blackwell
This is the book that I have on my desk.
That's the one! ;) - by Jeff Blackwell
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