We’ve previously covered various subjects in line with the different roles in sales and skills, we’ve discussed sales methodology, but how can we plan a career in sales?
Whilst thinking of this, I contacted Hernán Gimeo. I worked with him 3 years ago; his communication skills, energy, and his clear definition of his own objectives stroke me.
I believe he’s a great sales professional. After discussing this matter with him, he drew the following plan –
1. Draw a plan
First, we should note the differences between startups and large companies –
Startups are usually less organised and there’s more risk. However, you’ll learn about how the business runs, it’ll push you to think outside the box and you’ll find that professional progression is much faster.
In larger companies, processes, training, resources, prestige and the robustness of the product are far more developed. On the downside, professional progression tends to be slower and innovation isn’t as empowered.
As you’ll notice, both experiences can very well be complemented. You can choose one path over the other, or even take both.
The path I decided to take was: to learn about the business and role in a startup – which helped me become a top performer in a larger company – which led me to an AE position at a multinational and helped me learn formal sales processes.
But many sales reps opt for starting a career in sales at a multinational, so they learn solid theory, and then decide to move to a startup to sell innovative products. This is a common and valid option.
You could also decide to stick with one company size and enjoy the advantages.
I’d suggest that you take some time to think, evaluate the pros and cons, and build a mental scheme of how and where you want to progress your career in sales.
Rather than type or size, you should prioritise:
Will this company help me follow my professional path? Will it help me or delay my plans?
It is primordial to choose a company that will value you and will invest in your training.
Remember, in a recruitment process, you are the product. You are the one who needs to qualify and disqualify the best options.
Some questions you can ask to qualify these options are –
- What % of quota did my predecessor/the rest of the team achieve?
- Why is this position vacant?
- What training do you offer sales reps?
- How do you ensure sales reps achieve 100% of the quota?
- What progression should I expect within the company?
- If all goes well and I reach my KPIs, where could I be in 2 years?
Everyone dreams of selling the most used software in the market, the most prestigious, and with the most clients.
But, is it worth waiting 2 years as an SDR to advance towards an AE position?
What if during these 2 years you hold AE responsibilities, which provides you with better chances even if it’s with another company?
Would it be better if you were in a startup for 6 months to then change to another one and then aim for a larger company?
There is no right/wrong answer, as every individual has their own ideas, progression, and personal preferences.
However, it is highly important that you find a company where you can learn and progress whilst you enjoy your journey. And with this in mind, you’ll have to ask yourself:
- What do I want?
- When do I want it?
- Which of my qualified companies can help me get there?
I believe that the facts that Hernán points out are very relevant and will help you plan a successful sales career, one that in which you will learn and enjoy – which is the key to our personal success!
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