Career change for business and sales reps
Have you started your career in sales and gained professional experience in generating leads? Do you have good experience meeting, communicating, and dealing with prospects? Have you enjoyed your career as an SDR or BDR, and learned useful skills that you could use in different areas? Have you been thinking of doing something else and transitioning out of your sales career? If your answer is yes to more than one of these questions, this article could benefit you.
If you started a career in sales you must have learned some very useful skills for life. According to Lensa, these include effective communication, people skills, and leadership skills. To be able to earn the trust of people you have to lead them authentically. When they like you, they will be willing to follow your advice, and consume the products or services you offer or sell them. Even if you are not in charge of closing sales, just leading prospects to colleagues who do the final sale.
Transitioning from sales into another field
While Sales Development Reps (SDRs) are responsible for qualifying all the inbound leads, Business Development Reps (BDRs) are in charge of making outbound sales calls. If you feel like not doing sales anymore as an SDR or BDR, and trying out yourself in different positions where you could enjoy yourself more, think about what you could do instead of sales. If you are unsure why you want to move from your sales position, here are a few points to consider:
You have lost interest due to monotony, you feel like you have to do the same things most days, which can make you feel a bit drained. You don’t evolve and there is not much room for professional growth. You feel burnt out. Your assignments or targets are a bit unrealistic, hence you don’t get a sense of success and fulfillment. Your co-workers aren’t supportive. Or perhaps you lack autonomy. You might don’t feel safe due to frequent organizational changes. Chances are, you could have better opportunities elsewhere, when you change careers.
How to transition out of sales smartly?
You should take out time and identify your individual reasons for leaving sales. Do this when you are relaxed and not focusing on any negative feelings you may have about your job. Consider the different aspects of other careers, such as a less fast-paced environment, less or no daily/weekly/monthly goals or targets. Listing your ideal work environments could help you, before becoming specific on job titles.
If you aim to list at least ten fields you could enjoy, it can give you a greater choice to clarify the first three. Start with your strengths and talents, and think of what you also like doing as a hobby that could earn you a living. Try thinking broadly and creatively of the various avenues you have been interested in your life. This might help you discover your desired path. Write down the skills you have gained, and pick the best ones you could use in your next role.
Research work opportunities, your desired location, salary, and the necessary additional skills you might need to acquire short or longer-term. Prepare your strategy, write an action plan. Mark the steps and things of your transition on a timeline, you should also include possible delays and life changes. Update your CV to make it perfectly fit for the positions you apply for. Remove any duties not relevant to your current job. Remember to tailor your objective for every job you send your application for.
Networking, reaching out, and talking about career paths with your professional networks, friends, and acquaintances could help you gain more information on current working trends. You could greatly benefit from connecting with people who could assist you in landing your future job. If you want to go the extra mile in this, try seeking local networking events in your area to meet professionals you don’t yet know in your fields of interest.
You could transition into the following fields from your sales job:
Consultant: if you enjoy working independently using your expertise to solve problems, this could be your best choice. Companies frequently employ consultants to save recruitment and training expenses of full-time applicants. Through their know-how, consultants contribute with their fresh perspectives. They help businesses with their sales or marketing and their processes to improve productivity and revenue growth. They also advise on processes and best practices and on resourcing allocation. Consultants are in charge of strategic planning with company executives and upper management and developing marketing plans to generate sales and improve brand awareness.
Business strategist: if you are good at determining targets, this could be your next role. Then, you need to ensure these targets are met through your strategic plans. They analyze existing strategies and practices, seeking ways to improve and develop innovative strategies. They can focus exclusively on product development or marketing strategies. They could also be responsible for expanding revenue sources for their firm. They also prepare target-related documentation and document plans to reach the given targets. They not only provide direction but also motivate colleagues to implement new strategies and finish new projects. They report to management and may also create presentations for corporate investors or clients.
Customer service representative: if your strength is dealing with customers and turning them into satisfied, returning clients, you might want to consider this position. Having a sales background makes this job easy in my experience. It is very similar to sales, however, the aim is not pushing toward sales, but creating a pleasant customer experience and solving their arising issues. You need to answer clients’ questions about the company’s products, services, and processes, handling orders and background processes, including admin. Client service reps inform clients about available options, specific details they need to know, and pricing. Depending on the company you can do this position both in written or verbal forms. They often follow a standard script to provide coherent information.
Marketing specialist: if you enjoy working as part of a team and assist them in developing and executing campaigns focusing on prospective clientele and increased sales, opt for this position. Your duties can include website and social media accounts management, consistent branding across digital and traditional channels, developing effective campaigns together with the sales department, lead generation, and conducting competitive analysis.
Operations manager: if you are keen on human resources, this should be your choice! As an upper management HR professional, your responsibilities can include hiring new staff and setting staff training standards on higher levels. This position is also known as Business Manager, Operations Analyst, or Facilities Manager. They are responsible for increasing the quality, efficiency, and productivity of the company.
Public relations strategist: if you think your talent is at developing and driving strategy, you could try yourself in the PR and Influencer team. Your responsibility will be creating new, creative pitching campaigns and integrated strategies between PR and various complementary channels.
Buyer: if you are interested in financial processes, and want to investigate, evaluate and purchase products that companies can sell or use, you should consider becoming a buyer. They have to work within a budget and negotiate competitive pricing for the items they purchase.