Best Entry Level Sales Jobs for College Graduates

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Best Entry Level Sales Jobs for College Graduates

Why Field Sales is still number one for earning and growth!

Did you know that more than 50% of college graduates will start their career in sales?

While graduates with business majors have even higher sales placements post graduation, the aforementioned covers all majors.

Sales is truly one of the best jobs for recent graduates. While they come with an unusually bad reputation, sales jobs are vital for young professionals who want to develop valuable skills that are not exclusive to business.

“I have people skills!” This is one of the funniest lines from the hit comedy, Office Space. While it makes me laugh every time I watch it, no other profession demands true people skills like sales. You have to handle rejection, find a balance between being persuasive and demanding, and have perfect listening skills, among others.

Sales is also arguably the best entry level job for earning more money. While money shouldn’t necessarily drive your life, earning commissions and other incentives based on performance is extremely fulfilling and it helps you climb the ladder faster.

And while inside sales jobs like sales development representatives are making up most entry level sales job postings the past five years, we’re going to share with you why field sales is where recent grads can experience a faster path to growth.

4 Reasons Why Sales Jobs are Great for College Grads

Faster Track to Success

We’ve all fielded the same question. “Where do you want to be in 10 years?”

When speaking with your collegiate institution’s career counselor, ask them, ‘What careers have a clear upward trajectory, financially and organizationally?’

Sales is one of the few professions that can predictably get you on the fast track to success. 

Why? You’re immediately helping drive revenue and customer satisfaction as an entry level employee. There aren’t many other roles within a company that can say the same thing.

Your LinkedIn Network will be Huge

Not only are you always meeting new people, but you’re also going to be one of the most sought after talents by profession on LinkedIn (ie. recruiters, sales executives will seek you out).

While you may reach more people as an SDR using phone and email outreach, the relationships and social network you develop are not as high-quality as the ones developed by field sales professionals.

You’re meeting prospects and clients in person, not to mention you’ll likely attend trade shows and other events that can attract thousands of people. Whether you want to stay with one company or expand your reach in the near future, your LinkedIn network can be a valuable asset.

Show Me The Money

As we’ve shared earlier, money doesn’t necessarily have to be the driving motive when looking to ignite your career.

However, being recognized and rewarded for achievements should be, and high commissions or a higher paying job is the primary focus for this sense of fulfillment.

There’s another thing to take into consideration—security.

As we all know due to the recent economic rollercoaster caused by Covid, it’s best to choose a career that has greater job security. If a company isn’t selling, it’s not surviving, reinforcing that salespeople have more security than other professions such as marketing, customer service, and management.

Career of the Free and the Brave

What do I mean by this play off the patriotic song, ‘land of the free home of the brave’?

Let’s take a look at today’s graduating class. They have a very unique sense of independence.

If you have a strong sense of confidence and you’re looking for a career that enables you to be autonomous, field sales is for you.

Sales managers will give you quotas to hit, but for the most part they’re going to empower you to decide how you’re going to reach those goals, how you’re going to spend your time every day, and even what sales technology you want to use to initiate sales activities.

What are the Best Entry Level Sales Jobs?

We’re going to focus on field sales here due to the higher earning potential and the greater likelihood that you move up the corporate ladder faster. But let’s take a quick look at the growing trend of inside sales.

You’ll want to choose inside sales for one or more of the following reasons:

  • You eventually want to pivot to a marketing role, esp. digital marketing
  • You excel at “breaking the ice” and meeting new people
  • You have zero fear of rejection
  • You’re comfortable competing with coworkers
  • You want to stay ahead of the curve with regard to sales/marketing technology
  • You want to stick to an office setting with minimal travel

Now if you’re a road warrior more interested in closing money deals, improving the customer experience first-hand, and making a huge difference in the company’s end of year goals—then field sales is the best entry level sales job for you!

Entry Level Pharmaceutical Sales Jobs

This is arguably the most sought after entry level sales job.

Be prepared to face good competition for any and all openings. This isn’t due to the premium salary (you can start anywhere from $55K to $80K) or incentives like a company car.

It has more to do with the credibility and internal advancement that pharmaceutical jobs offer. If clear communication and a solid memory are part of your forte, definitely apply for entry level pharmaceutical sales jobs.

Best Companies for Entry Level Sales Jobs

While the industry or product can factor into your application process, company reputation should also come into play.

Two great companies where college grads find great, initial field sales career success are Dell Technologies and Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits.

What makes these organizations stand apart from most is that they invest in your success.

Dell offers new grads two and three year programs for inside, field, or specialty sales roles, and Southern Glazer’s offers similar training programs coupled with tuition assistance and volunteer opportunities.

Needless to say, both offer five star opportunities out of school and these companies will do whatever it takes to help you succeed and advance within the organization. Use these links to view field sales Dell opportunities and Southern Glazer’s field sales jobs.

Famous CEOs Who Started their Career in Sales

Now I know what you may be thinking. “Okay, Samir. But will I really be as successful as you say by starting a career in sales, especially field sales?”

I knew you’d ask this very question when reading my blog post, so I’m going to answer your question by sharing the success stories of two famous CEOs, Howard Schultz and Mark Cuban.

Howard Schultz

What if I told you that the former CEO of Starbucks, Howard Shultz, started his career in field sales?

Would you be interested in applying for similar jobs? 

Sitting and talking with your friends who are also interested in sales, you may hear of horror stories tied to certain industries, for example copiers. Schultz started his sales career with Xerox, and later moved on to a field sales role at Hammarplast where he traveled frequently, visiting and developing relationships with suppliers, customers, and vendors. 

One of those customers was Starbucks (remember when I mentioned networking as a benefit of this job?!). Only three years later, Schultz was hired by Starbucks when they had only had four—yes, four locations! Howard would not only move up the ladder fast, but he would serve as CEO for over 20 years.

Mark Cuban

Yes, the familiar face on Shark Tank and the energetic owner of the Dallas Mavericks, Mark Cuban, got his start in field sales.

In addition to selling garbage bags door-to-door as a kid, Cuban would move around sales jobs after college, demonstrating his entrepreneurial spirit and drive to succeed.

At one software sales job, he read every product manual he could get his hands on to stay well informed for his customers

Mark Cuban was asked what he would do if he had to start over from zero. His answer, “I would get… a sales job during the day… Could I become a multimillionaire again? I have no doubt.”

Why Field Sales is the Best Job for College Grads

Employers want you to demonstrate that you can take the initiative, that you’re competitive, and that you want to help people—especially their customers.

That’s why companies commonly pay new college graduates anywhere from $43,810 to $53,677. They know how much of a difference you can make for their bottom line and other key numbers like customer satisfaction rate.

The world is your oyster. Don’t be afraid of the opportunities a career in field sales can present—seize them and be the author of your success!

And don’t forget, when you start your first field sales job, be sure to use field sales software to be hyper efficient and productive!

 

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Samir Majumdar

Samir Majumdar

Samir is the CEO and Co-founder of Veloxy. After spending 20+ years creating corporate systems, boosting revenue, and eliminating inefficiencies, Samir started Veloxy to help sales professionals shorten sales cycles, accelerate pipelines, and close more deals.

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