Outside of just crushing your quota, the most common way for you to increase your earning potential is by looking for a new sales job.
Wait, what? You mean, like…quitting?
Sales reps change jobs all the time. It’s okay. It happens often. Changing jobs occurs more regularly in sales than in other professions because it presents reps with an opportunity to increase their earning potential.
When sales reps look for a new job, they’re never looking for a different role or new responsibilities. They’re just looking for better factors that affect pay. Reps are in search of a better quota, better territory, better comp plan, better product, or even something as simple as a faster sales cycle.
Here’s the kicker. What happens 99% of the time is that sales reps will go about the search alone. They’ll shy away from asking for help because of discretion or because they think their sales ability can carry them.
By doing this, reps miss out on a lot of new job offers, and subsequently, their earning potential is left stagnant. Don’t let this happen to you. Each search is a chance for you to make more money. You need to understand the significance and act accordingly.
You’re going to change sales jobs multiple times throughout your career and each time you do, it’s an opportunity to increase your earning potential. You have to take the search seriously and do it in a way that demonstrates you’re a top-notch sales rep.
How do you do this? Let’s dive in.
How to increase your earning potential as a sales rep
The best way to approach the sales rep application process is by treating it exactly like a sales rep process.
Most sales reps don’t do this. In fact, most sales reps approach it completely different from how they approach a sales cycle. You’d be surprised. For best results, you have to treat the sales reps application process just like an actual sales process.
Let’s compare the two:
- A sales process can be defined as a systematic approach involving a series of steps that enable sales reps to generate and close more deals.
- A job search can be defined as a systematic approach involving a series of steps that enable candidates to generate and accept more job offers.
These processes involve the same concepts. To stand out, and to increase your potential earnings, you must approach them the same way.
A sales rep’s search prospecting
A big part of prospecting involves sales material, branding, and targeting accounts. We’ll look at how these steps apply from the point of view of a job search.
As a sales rep, prospects will constantly ask, “Can you please send me more information?” This is the rep’s chance to present their sales material. As a candidate applying to a sales job, gatekeepers and hiring managers alike will ask you that same question, “Can you please send me more information?” Instead, they’ll use the phrase, “Can you please send me your resume?”
This is your chance to share your resume. You do not have the luxury of relying on a team to build it out for you. You must do it on your own. In order to be successful here, you have to ensure your resume is professional, direct, relative, and captivating for a sales manager. Having a sales-ready resume will demonstrate that you can provide clear, direct, and relevant sales material to prospects.
As a sales rep, you need a strong online and personal sales brand. The way to achieve this is by refurbishing your LinkedIn and ensuring that it is sales reps ready.
This is key when selling because your prospects will search for you on LinkedIn.Getting caught holding a beer in your profile picture will lead to fewer meetings with future prospects.
The same concept applies when searching for a new job. sales reps managers, recruiters, gatekeepers, and HR will look you up online. How you come across to them is important. They’re the ones deciding whether or not to invite you in for an Interview.
As a sales rep, you are handed a list of target accounts, often referred to as your territory. It’s important to arrange and prioritize your targets accordingly so that you achieve the highest and best results.
When searching for a sales job, you do not have a list of target companies where you want to work. What typically happens is that reps will apply aimlessly and desperately. This leads to many meaningless conversations, wasted time, and wandering. It’s not a great approach.
You must approach the sales job application process with a purpose as if you were a rep. You must build a target list of companies and arrange and prioritize accordingly. Going about it aimlessly will waste time for everyone involved and it may even lead you to the wrong sales job.
Phone interviews are discovery calls
As a sales rep, the first call with a prospect is referred to as a discovery call. It’s usually 30–60 minutes long and is a chance to ask questions, introduce yourself and see if there is a fit for having another, more formal meeting. It’s important to shine on this call and use your time effectively.
As a candidate for a new job, the first call with a sales manager is referred to as a phone interview. Most of the time, nerves kick in and this call becomes a waste of time for both parties.
You must learn to treat a phone interview the same way you’d treat a discovery call. It’s your call. You mostly likely asked to set it up by contacting the manager. You’re the one who needs to present. You must run it. Most candidates think the hiring manager should be running the call.
Imagine scheduling a discovery call with a prospect and expecting them to run it? Why is it any different in this situation? It’s not. You run it.
In-person interviews are demos
As a sales rep, the most important step in a sale is the in-person sales meeting. Oftentimes, you prepare for it for weeks on end. You study the company, dry clean your suit, print out sales material, and design a plan of attack. You do this in order to win the deal. It’s the best part of being in sales.
How come when you’re interviewing for an open sales role, you decide to dress down and show up five minutes before it starts? Why don’t you smile when you introduce yourself? How come you forgot your resume?
These things are common and it’s mostly due to nerves. Other times, they happen because reps are embarrassed to interview. They think looking for a new job makes them look weak or unhappy at their current job. And sometimes it’s like this simply because reps haven’t interviewed in five years.
It’s important to host and run an in-person interview the same as if it were a sales meeting. Introduce yourself. Dress well. Present well. Engage in conversation. Be energetic. Have an agenda. Close the meeting. Follow up.
All these things and more are the fundamentals of a proper sales meeting. Run it the same way and you’ll reap the reward. The reward is not a closed deal. Better yet, it’s a new job offer!
You have to put some thought into your job search.
It’s going to happen naturally and frequently throughout a sales career and it’s a massive opportunity for you to increase your earning potential. If you treat it as such, you’ll benefit tremendously from it. I promise. If you treat it haphazardly, you may find your earning potential limited to the company you’re at for the rest of your career.
The best sales managers in the world want to hire sales reps that proactively demonstrate their ability to follow a sales process. The best way to do this is by treating the application process the same way you’d treat an actual sales process. Then, and only then, will you be able to get the sales job of your dreams.