Like most folks, I never dreamed that I would end up in sales when I was in college. I started off as an engineer and quickly realized it wasn’t for me. Instead, I wanted to be an entrepreneur. My 19-year old brain didn’t calculate that a major part of entrepreneurship was sales. And it wasn’t till about 5 years later that it truly clicked for me.
For me, sales isn’t all about commissions and money, although those are great byproducts. I love building things (ironic considering I left engineering). My first full time sales job involved building out an inbound sales development team for a small startup. My second full time job involved building a sales development team and a specialized AE role at an enterprise organization. My current job entails building out a strategy to sell a brand new product in a fairly emerging space at a high growth company.
My biggest learning has easily been to always be a sponge. I used to think that once you reach a certain amount of tenure or status within your career, your only responsibility is to impart knowledge on those more junior in their careers. While this is still very important, I firmly believe that the day you stop learning yourself is the day you will stop growing in your career or towards your goals.
One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is to stay balanced. Sales is hard. Rejection is rampant. You will piss some people off. On the same token, there are few feelings in this world more delightful than closing a big deal or turning a ‘no’ into a ‘yes.’ The key is to not let the downs get you too down while also not letting the highs get you off your feet. Learn from your mistakes (could be something as simple as tweaking your messaging or tone) and celebrate your wins (by sharing what worked with your team).
What are some lessons you’ve learned during your tenure in sales? Let’s share some knowledge and grow as a unit!