What Sales Jobs Make the Most Money?
There are a few variables that mostly determine how much money a sales professional can realistically make at a particular job.
Though, these factors do not live in a vacuum and, most if not all must be present to truly monetize a business development job to its fullest extent:
1. Base Salary:
Every sales job comes with what is called a ramp-up period where the sales employee is busy prospecting for new business, but is starting from “0”, thus having no commission from sales coming in. For this, and a few other reasons, when factoring in how much a sales job can be worth to the employee, base salary is always critical.
This is something that our headhunters preach both to candidates, clients and internal recruiters at KAS Placement.
2. Product or Service:
Without a viable product or service, the sales professional is not only bound to not make money, but they are likely to go into an insanity that many sales employees have experienced upon selling a product or service that is not industry competitive.
I will never forget when I was still in college selling SEC / NASD financial compliance solutions that would capture email correspondence of brokerage firms and, right before making my first big sale, the system froze during the client’s demonstration, thus solidifying us as a “B” player and solidifying me as someone who would have to wait for their first big sale.
Marketing needs to be strong on a few levels for the sales employee to reap the full monetary benefits of working at a particular business development position.
First, there usually is a direct relationship between the number of incoming leads a sales representative gets (as opposed to outbound cold-calling) and the conversion rate of each prospect that the sales rep. comes into contact with.
Most sales professionals who hold the more lucrative jobs tend to have incoming leads from marketing initiatives that be in the form of SEO or PPC Google marketing.
Second, there is public perception of the product or service being sold. Trying to turn around negative sentiment is nearly impossible and is definitely a waste of time and effort if the marketing department can’t do its part.
a)Some of the more lucrative jobs? Here are two:
1. Selling Into the Government – selling into the government is an entirely different beast and not many sales representatives can do so. Government sales representatives, regardless of what they are selling are put through very heavy scrutiny from their potential buyers.
This type of selling gets so mentally taxing that not many wish to or are able to stay at their respective sales jobs and venture into selling to corporate clients.
Though, the ones who do stay and persevere gain meaningful contacts within the bureaucracy that is the U.S. Government.
Once they have these contacts, they can charge not only a hefty fee for their sales skills, but their employers also pay an added bonus for the book of government prospects (a.k.a. list of decision makers) that, unlike the corporate world may only change jobs once or twice in a career.
2. Hedge Fund Related Sales
If you want to make money as a sales representative, sell to those who still have money in this economy.
As a sales professional in these economic conditions, it is easier to make money selling a product or service that is at a high price and low volume rather than relying on a multitude of sales of a product or service that is relatively cheap.
Many sales professionals who attempt to sit across the board room table from these savvy billionaire investors, get eaten alive, but those who succeed are probably not protesting on Wall St. right now.
b) What Skills to Sales Professionals Need to Make This Type of Money?
1. People Skills:
Many sales professionals are overly concerned with themselves and the quick sale, thus never taking the time to put themselves in the shoes of their prospective targets.
Those who can empathize can sell. Those who cannot, cannot.
2. Ethical Conduct: though many would place ethical conduct in a behavioral category rather than an acquired skill, there is so much lack of integrity among the sales community that ethics seems to be more of a skill that sales professionals gain through discipline.
The most highly compensated sales professionals have a niche industry that they either work in or sell into and gaining a strong reputation within that circle is what I consider to be a very lucrative, necessary and rarely implemented skill.
3. Writing: if people don’t want to talk on the phone anymore, how are sales professionals supposed to communicate their message in a welcoming, enticing manner? Unfortunately, most do not.
People misread emails very, very easily and if a sales professional is not a lucid, compelling writer, he or she is going to spend the rest of their career leaving fruitless voicemails.