Did Your Salespeople Choose to be In Sales?

Dave Kurlan is a top-rated speaker, best-selling author, sales thought leader and highly regarded sales development expert.

Even if you reviewed as many resumes as I do each week you might not notice this: Most sales candidates did not have a sales position as their first job after college. Most started as something else and then, out of the blue, they were in sales, sales management, marketing, or business development. I always get suspicious when somewhere back in time a candidate went from Purchasing to Sales Management and never sold along the way...

So what happened? Did they think salespeople had a more exciting life/role and wish to become one? Were they given ultimatums to accept commission sales positions as a way of keeping their jobs during a recession? Did they lose a job in their chosen profession and then take a sales position out of desperation?

Of more interest is why, after the transition, they remained in sales...After all, only a small percentage (26%) of them are reasonably good at it.

The small percentage of people who chose sales as a career (if I had a resume, it would show sales as the first position but it was less a matter of choosing and more a realization that I wasn't qualified to do anything else!) aren't any more successful than those who didn't.

Let's conduct an informal poll/exercise. After reading this, ask your most effective and least effective salespeople if they chose sales as a career or simply ended up in a sales career. Then report your findings by commenting below. We would be very interested in your findings!

Your comments might read something like:

"Our most effective salesperson was forced into sales 10 years ago. Our least effective salesperson started in sales 20 years ago because it was the only job he could get."

Author:.

Dave Kurlan is a best-selling author, top-rated speaker and thought leader on sales development.  He is the founder and CEO of Objective Management Group, Inc., the industry leader in sales assessments and sales force evaluations, and the CEO of David Kurlan & Associates, Inc., a consulting firm specializing in sales force development. Dave has been a top rated speaker at Inc. Magazine's Conference on Growing the Company, the Sales & Marketing Management Conference and the Gazelles...

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