The following tips are to help first-year employees build a strong foundation for their sales career:
1. Learn Everything You Can About The Company
Read all those e-mails that have corporate information and read all the company magazines too. Read the annual reports and study the organizational charts. Figure out what the company does and how they do it.
2. Ask Lots Of Questions
Don’t be afraid to dive in and ask people about what they do and how they do it. Individuals in your organization understand your situation and are available to help you become successful.
If you ask questions, it will ease your transition into your first professional sales job. Asking questions also develops your understanding of company culture, technical issues and the organizational structure.
3. Do Lots Of Listening
It is very important to soak in as much information as possible during your first year.
4. Seek Feedback
Ask your managers and peers to comment on your performance and provide suggestions for improvement.
5. Find A Mentor
Reach out to mentors within the company to help you, because there are going to be tough days, tough times, no matter who you work for.
6. Volunteer For Projects That Help You Gain Experience
In most companies, assertiveness, drive, and work ethic will be well rewarded. You'll learn a lot by working on a variety of projects with a variety of team members.
7. Expect To Work Extra Hours
Eventually, you will learn who to go to get things done and this will make things easier but initially, you will lose lots of time just figuring out how to accomplish simple tasks. You need to start at the bottom and work your way up.
Hard work will be appreciated!
8. Get To Know The People Inside And Outside Of Your Department
You will come in contact with a variety of people, and they will be helpful contacts as you work your way through the organization.
Meet as many people as you can and learn about their role within the company. You never know if you will be working for them one day.
9. Seek Opportunities For Professional And Personal Development
This will help you advance through the organization of your choice and in your sales career. Finding ways to educate yourself will also make you a better person.
10. Be Nice To Everyone
Administrators, mailroom staff, etc., can have influence beyond what their titles would indicate.
Don’t get wrapped up in all the office politics and just be friendly and do a good job.
11. Be In It For The Long Haul
Think of your sales career as a marathon, not a 100 meter sprint race. Most of us will have to work for 30 years or so, and the first year is just a small part of your career. Anything worth having, whether it’s a career or a relationship, takes work and doesn’t come easy.
12. Have Fun
If you go into a job or any environment that’s not fun, look to yourself, not others, to make it fun. Work hard and play hard!