Commission, while perhaps part of your motivation, shouldn’t be your only response to this question.
Before your interview, you should think about why sales is a decision that you’ve made beyond financial prospects. Your potential employer is asking this question to understand your level of commitment. If you got into sales because it was the only available position, it shows that you may not have the level of commitment that they're seeking in a candidate.
Based on the interview feedback we’ve received from the clients we work with, here are a few pointers that act as guides to help you answer the question: why sales?
“My track record of success.” Naturally, if you have had previous successes within a sales role, you’ll want to share them and explain that you’re keen to grow your skills further in a new and ambitious environment.
Top tip: give the interviewer an example of a situation where you proved your passion for the industry.
“Excellent career prospects.” Sales can be pretty much be found in any industry. Most businesses heavily rely on sales revenue and given this, a successful salesperson can truly develop and grow within a company. If career growth aligns with your motivations, show the interviewer your desire to pursue a long-term career in sales.
“My personal development.” Salespeople are naturally developing their skills based on their industry knowledge and relationship building techniques. Explain that you would like to utilise the resources around you in order to grow and improve within the role, not just to benefit your professional life, but your personal life too.
“The variety and passion of the industry.” One thing that can definitely be said about sales is that it’s not a boring job. It’s a career filled with buzz in a fast-paced and progressive environment and if this is something that excites you, find a way to showcase that. Explain that you're keen to immerse yourself into a vibrant business within the industry.
If you do decide to talk about the commission prospect of the role, share it in a way that does not make you shine in a completely "money-driven" light, explain that you want to be financially independent, self-sufficient and successful.
When making the decision to pursue a sales career, or make the switch from one level of sales to another, it’s crucial to gain a complete understanding of what is involved in different forms of sales jobs.
Roles that we work on here at enable range across many different sectors, with different duties and skills required depending on the type of role. In order to help you gain a full understanding of your sales career choices, here are the most common types of sales positions and what’s generally involved in each role.
The role of a Telesales Executive requires resilience and involves generating a new client-base that will hopefully grow into an ongoing relationship. Your main responsibility is to source for new relationship opportunity with companies or customers that haven’t been approached before. You will find new business opportunities, create detailed sales business plans and manage the complete sales cycle.
A Telesales Executive will usually have previous customer service /sales experience.
Business Development Executive
Your main responsibilities as a Business Development Executive will involve identifying new sales leads, pitching products and/or services and maintaining fantastic relationships with existing clients. You’ll seek new markets to tap into, arrange meetings and plan new marketing initiatives, as well as getting the brand name out there by confidently networking at relevant industry events.
A BD Executive will require previous sales experience.
Field Sales Executive
A Field Sales Executive is a diverse role in which you will negotiate with cold and warm clients, book appointments, attend meetings, exhibitions and trade shows. You’ll negotiate sales, develop strategies, follow up leads, travel, conduct presentations and demonstrate your products to the right audiences.
You will usually require face-to-face sales experience to succeed in Field Sales.
Customer Relationship Manager
Client Relationship Managers or Account Managers work closely with the sales team in order to build and maintain relationships with key personnel clients. You’ll conduct business reviews to ensure that clients are consistently satisfied with the product/service you’re providing, as well as upselling where possible and achieving the targets set by the Head of Sales.
As a CRM Manager, you will be good at building relationships with the ability to cross-sell.
Regional Sales Manager
You will lead a team of Sales and Business Development Representatives by setting individual quotas and goals, analysing existing data and coordinate sales training with reviews. You may also be involved in the recruitment and hiring process as well as representing your region within company-wide meetings. Not forgetting, you will still have that involvement of developing and nurturing your own client-base.
A Regional Sales Manager will be a strong leader, with an open mind and proven management skills and experience.
Director of Sales
As a Director of Sales, you will head up a sales team and will work closely with Sales Managers to determine objectives, quotas, maintain sales volume and develop a sales strategy. You will usually be held responsible for the performance of your team as well as managing budget, finances and people, being approachable and collaborative is a must.
A Director of Sales should be able to manage a large workload.
What is the difference between a B2B and a B2C audience?
In the Business to Business market, you will be required to sell and build relationships with businesses. For example, when BT call a Recruitment Company to discuss their current telephone line provider and promote why they should switch to BT, they are selling to a Business.
In the Business to Consumer market, you will be required to sell and build relationships to individuals. For example, when we receive personal sales calls from Sky to promote their TV packages, they are selling to us - the consumer.
If you’re looking for your next sales opportunity, take a look at our latest roles here and get in touch with the enable team to discuss your options further.
Although salary and commission are key motivators for sales professionals, that’s not the only benefit that candidates are seeking, especially in the age of modern office life. Many are becoming more interested in how they can plan their working schedule around their personal lives to create a better work-life balance. How? Flexible working.
Flexibility doesn’t mean working from home every day, or even once a month, it’s simply providing the option to do so for the benefits of the business and the individual. It’s about removing the rigid rules of the 9-5 day, and embracing the option should they need to work flexibly from time to time.
Giving professionals the freedom and autonomy to take more responsibility for their own output shows that as an employer, you are open-minded and adaptable.
It is not uncommon for candidates we talk with to be seeking flexible options in their next role, whether that is being able to work from home or operate on flexi hours.
Based on the conversations we have with our candidates, here are the most common reasons that people would like to be given the option to flexibly work.
Improved productivity and output
Sales is a fast-paced career and taking staff wellbeing into consideration can avoid potential employee burnout and frustration. Sales environments are typically focused on hitting targets and some days, pressure may be high.
If as a business you offer flexible working, your team are given the professional freedom to take the time they need to clear their heads and refocus during potentially intense days.
Getting the best from your employees and allowing them to feel comfortable, rejuvenated and focused is in the best interests of everyone across the board.
Trust and value
Quality sales professionals are looking for employers that stand out, those that are committed to attracting and retaining their employees.
Flexible working options make people feel valued; like they’re working for a business that truly cares for its staff and values them by trusting them to work how they operate most efficiently.
Some people prefer not to work flexibly, but providing the option highlights that you trust your team and respect their judgement to effectively work their responsibilities around their personal needs.
The sales industry has been known for its fast turnover rate, and keeping your top sales employees is important. If you currently don’t have any kind of flexible working options, you could be missing out on attracting top talent and providing your current staff from working to their full potential.
Those who feel frustrated in their work are typically less productive and very often opt for a change of job to seek more flexible working options.
If you need support with finding the right salespeople for your sector, get in touch with the team.