Sales has sometimes had a bit of a bad rap in the past; snake-oil type car dealers and dodgy ‘pay nothing today’ furniture ads have seriously undersold (how’s that for irony?) the valuable skills and experience needed to be successful in sales. Door to door sales and ‘commission only’ roles could also quickly put anyone off the industry.
In the last two decades, we’ve been placing graduates into sales roles with reputable companies and yet we continue to come up against the old stereotypes and apprehension about the industry. Despite this, we’ve never failed to find capable, willing graduates who recognise the opportunity sales can present as a career choice. A number of factors are now bringing more graduates to sales than ever.
Growing variety of sales opportunities is bringing more STEM graduates into sales roles.
The variety of sales roles is constantly growing and particularly with the rise of the tech industry. At Pareto, we have increasing numbers of STEM subject graduates joining companies in roles such as ‘technical support’ and ‘technical pre-sales’. These are an evolution of sales and customer support roles, requiring a combination of technical abilities and people skills. Technical sales roles are growing so rapidly that it was one of the top ten jobs for salary growth in 2017, according to LinkedIn data.
The ambitious nature of the incoming generation, Generation Z, is giving greater appeal to the world of business and the opportunities it presents.
The latest generation of graduates, which consists of the some of the last Generation Y ‘millennials’ and the new Generation Z, are more hungry for success than ever. They’ve grown up with the ‘Dragons Den’ and ‘The Apprentice’ and a raft of MTV shows about moneyed teens, entrepreneurs and other aspirational material. Social media also plays a similar role in bringing greater aspiration to young people.
Recognition of sales as a way to get ‘a foot in the door’.
In this century, people have become far more mobile in their working lives. There are numerous headlines and criticisms of ‘job-hopping millennials’ but the reality is, people have realised that there are more opportunities available to them and are prepared to make a change if the right one comes along. If anything, it’s a sign of a healthy economy that there are the number of roles available. This means that people now consider their career paths more carefully and will switch between roles more easily. Sales and finance are known to be the best routes into a business; offering excellent progression opportunities to those who can prove themselves to an employer. Many business leaders cut their teeth in sales, some of whom are now Pareto ‘Grad to Greats’.
If you think you might have what it takes to succeed in sales or technical sales, get in touch or send us your CV today.