Sales are vital to any commercial organisation, and directly affect their continuing success. It involves selling products or services to customers, and maximising the profit on those sales, or the volume sold.

An essential part of being successful in sales is having good negotiation and communication skills. Establishing a rapport and relationship building with customers’ aides’ success.

Sales roles can be very well paid and bonuses are given for successful sales. However with this comes pressure to achieve results, so potential salespeople need an ability to thrive in a competitive environment.

Roles exist in some form in most sectors, including retail, IT, finance, manufacturing, health, FMCG (fast moving consumer goods), transport, energy, creative and recruitment.

Getting into the role

  • Work experience in customer service roles shows the ability to communicate and meet the needs of customers. Skills that are essential when working in sales.
  • Roles in retail or restaurants require product knowledge to be acquired. It is also useful to demonstrate this when applying for sales roles as a large part of the job is providing customers accurate information which results in a purchase(s).
  • Fundraising for charities is also good work experience as it shows your ability to communicate, convince and get donations.
  • Work experience related to pitching a proposal and the preparation work required for this shows the ability to research and communicate in a persuasive manner.
  • Student ambassador roles and work completed as part of a student society that show your ability to recruit more members or provide information clearly and concisely are also beneficial.

Find out more about sales careers and jobs