“Simply put, Inside Sales is a remote way seeking out leads and selling a product or service by utilizing technology, automation, and routine, high-touch transactions via mediums like telephone and email. While traditional face-to-face sales roles are still dominating in the marketplace, inside sales is a growing sector, and has become extremely popular in spaces like: Software as a Service (SaaS), Business-to-Business (B2B), and technology.
“Contrary to what one might think,” says Parker Recruiter, Sarah Kirschner, “it’s not a competition between traditional and inside sales roles; in fact, it can be a powerful partnership – with inside sales representatives discovering viable leads and strategically building the rapport it takes to warm them up enough for face-to-face sales representatives to close the deal. Many larger-scale organizations take this partnership approach with their sales departments, hiring highly skilled, goal-oriented, and technologically savvy people for their inside sales roles. They’re looking for motivated folks who are eager to build a strategy and strive to hit their goals – and as a result, make that sweet commission within their first month on the job.”
By starting your career in sales, you open yourself up to tremendous growth opportunity – especially if you’re eyeing a future in the C-Suite. According to a 2017 study, more than 25% of CEOs have a marketing or sales background. This isn’t just true for smaller organizations; a Heidrick & Struggles survey revealed that 20% of Fortune 500 CEOs got their start in sales and marketing, too. If you’ve got goals of running an organization someday, sales is one of the best ways to get there. In fact, you’d be in great company. Here are some of the CEOs that started in sales:
You may think that most inside sales jobs require years of experience in the industry, but that’s not always the case says Sarah, who is currently recruiting for Inside Sales roles in Seattle, Denver and Irvine.
“When I look for great Inside Sales candidates, it’s not always formal sales experience that makes the best candidates. Student Phone-a-thon Callers – you know, the college students that call alumni to solicit donations? They typically have some of the best experience because they are comfortable hearing ‘no’ often. That’s what it’s all about – not allowing rejection to shake your confidence.”
A competitive edge certainly helps, too. You’re going to constantly strive to hit numbers and goals – both personal goals and the team’s goals – so having that hunger to meet and exceed those goals is key. If you don’t have a lot of work experience, highlighting your time as a student athlete or participation in fundraising activities for a club/organization on your resume can help. These types of extracurricular activities can show employers you have the drive, commitment, and resourcefulness for a career in sales.
As you should at the beginning of any job search, make a plan for yourself. Build a short-list of companies in the Seattle area that you’ve had your sights set on for a long time; take your list and, utilizing LinkedIn, strategically reach out to inside sales professionals at these companies. Don’t be afraid to ask them questions about inside sales and what it’s like to work there. By expressing interest and building rapport, they may send you to their recruiting teams – especially when they have openings. Most of the time, people love helping people! If you’ve already built a relationship, it increases your chances at an interview and, if all goes well, a job.
As you continue to put feelers out to companies you like, don’t forget to reach out to staffing organizations, too! There are so many benefits to having a couple of staffing agencies in your network – we highlight a few of them here – so do yourself a favor and make the connection.
Agencies usually have a great rapport with their clients and offer a more direct path to hiring managers. Parker, for example, is well-connected with many award-winning “Best Companies” in the Seattle area; moreover, our network is expanding to other markets like Denver, Colorado; Irvine, California; and even New York City!
Currently, Parker has openings in the Inside Sales arena; so if you’re looking to kick-start a successful career in sales, we’ll help you get there. If you consider yourself a competitive professional, someone who excels at sports and games, then we invite you to check out this Inside Sales opportunity in Downtown Seattle. It’s perfect for those who may have a year or two of sales under their belt – or for those upbeat, outgoing college grads ready for a great challenge!
Our Recruiter, Sarah, says the best folks for this direct hire role are charismatic, positive, and have a “can-do” attitude – even in the face of “no”. She wants professionals who want to champion our client’s external sales professionals; team-players who want to work with their colleagues to close deals.
“Are you amped up?” asks Sarah. “Great, then you’re who I’m looking for.”