In the modern business world there is little need to stand still. With fast-tracked career progression available for the most effective business people, it pays to perform to a high standard in your work. Proficient and effective employees are invariably rewarded with greater responsibility, increased salaries and an elevated status in the workplace.
With a determined attitude, a commitment to excel in all aspects of the job and a positive, can-do approach, sales executives can enjoy rapid promotion. Opportunities to climb the career ladder in sales are perhaps more varied and accessible than in many other occupations. Randstad are a company that have a wealth of content on this topic for candidates and are a great resource for advice.
For the most ambitious and talented individuals, there is little at stop them progressing beyond sales executive level. A director of sales or marketing is a perfectly plausible ambition; even Managing Directors or CEO’s are roles which are not out of reach and the years spent working in sales will prove to be indispensable in terms of developing and honing vital skills.
Only a positive, determined attitude can help you to achieve this in a commercial world which is challenging, fast-paced and competitive. Thus the most important personal attribute is self-motivation: knowing your strengths but also your weakness is vital. Self-awareness will enable you to take positive action to set goals for your personal development. It is only natural to avoid the tasks which you know are your weaker areas but you will never improve them unless you tackle them head on. Self-belief is a key ingredient in achieving your targets.
Of course it helps to have a supportive manager and a system of career development in the workplace that will work with you, hand-in-hand, and accelerate you on your journey to become a more proficient and effective sales executive. For this reason, involving your employer in your long-term goals is important to help to foster a sense of partnership. There’s much to be gained for your employer too; your improved performance will bring him benefits in the form of increased sales, healthier client relationships and lucrative contracts.
If you’re seeking to advance your career, whatever area of business you work in, there is no formula with instant success. However following these tips will place you on the road to success more quickly:
Establish your goals
Whenever you enter a new career, it can be valuable to have an end-goal in mind. The question “Where do you intend to be in five years’ time?” is common at interview and not without good reason. Being self-aware means you recognise your strengths, your weaknesses, your interests and your contribution to the business; all of this can shape your vision for your future career. Also try to view your role from your manager’s viewpoint; a clear and realistic understanding of the intricacies of your job will make fast-tracked career progression more likely.
Take responsibility for your development
Wishing for career advancement, but never communicating it to those who have the power to help you achieve it, is unlikely to result in a positive outcome. Be open and honest with your manager and find out what opportunities are available. Your leaders will have their own views about what is needed to reach your goals and they might differ to yours. When you know what skills and competencies you need to demonstrate, you will be able to focus on improving them.
Develop your transferable skills
Take time to understand every branch of the business rather than remaining tunnel-visioned on your own job, as you will need an overarching view in a future management role. Recruiting from within may often be easier for a business but don’t presume that competitors from other industries or sectors will be overlooked. Being able to transfer your skills between roles – and knowing how to effectively demonstrate this – will only advance your cause.
Establish a social media presence
In the current technologically-driven world, the role of social media and maintaining a comprehensive online presence should not be underestimated. You may not be searching for a new role right now but creating a detailed profile online takes time. It also enables you to establish yourself as part of a network, presenting you with the opportunity to communicate with others in your area of work and, importantly, is an open advertisement to employers seeking fresh blood for their business.
Never say never
No-one is perfect but self-belief is a powerful tool. It overrides negative feelings, enabling you to perform more adeptly. As Richard Branson said, “Whatever you believe you can do, you will; and whatever you believe you can’t do you won’t.”