There are many things to consider if you are interested in starting your career in sales. Choosing the right position based on your personality, likes, and dislikes can ensure you thrive in your new career. You’ll also need a thorough knowledge of sales trends and stats to succeed.
You may have heard negative things over the years about salespeople, such as stereotypes that depict salespeople as pushy or aggressive. Yet, over 90% of salespeople surveyed had “medium to high scores of modesty and humility.”
With a modest, go-get-'em attitude, you can learn the stats you need to know to anticipate what a career in sales has in store for you.
Table of Contents
Sales Careers and Salary Stats
Practically every business in every industry needs salespeople. When you’re first starting out in sales, you may be overwhelmed by the different positions you could potentially apply for.
Explore different salary stats (as of 2023) that different sales positions provide and what skills these roles require.
Beginner to Mid-Level Careers in Sales
Here are some of the beginner to mid-level positions in sales:
- Sales development representatives (SDRs) must have strong communication skills, as they are responsible for bringing in qualified leads. Glassdoor predicts that SDRs typically make a base pay of $50,304 a year, with commission and bonuses totaling another $18,000-19,000.
- Inside sales reps are tasked with nurturing leads and converting them into customers. Glassdoor estimates that inside sales reps often have a take-home pay of $70,000, including commission and bonuses.
- Outside sales representative positions include some travel time to meet with buyers and pitch products. Because travel is expected, you can anticipate greater compensation. Glassdoor predicts the average yearly salary of an outside sales rep to be $72,000.
- Account managers work closely with customers to make sure they have a good experience and get the help they need. The average salary for an account manager is roughly $53,000 a year.
Experienced Level Careers in Sales
If you’re looking for an experienced or advanced career in sales, there are several roles you may consider applying for:
- Account executives identify customer needs by giving demos and presentations. They educate customers on products and services to finalize a sale. You can anticipate a salary of about $102,000 per year for this role.
- Regional sales managers oversee sales reps for a determined district and are focused on helping their team meet sales goals. A regional sales manager has an average salary of $124,000 yearly with bonuses and commissions.
- Sales operation managers are in charge of running an internal sales team, making sure the sales process is smooth, and the team has the support they need. This position has an average salary of $112,000 a year.
- If you have the drive to engineer sales and product solutions to meet customer needs, a sales engineer position could be a good fit for you. This position pays $117,000 on average.
Executive Level Careers in Sales
If you have significant sales experience, there are several roles you may want to apply to:
- Director of sales work with sales managers to set goals, meet quotas, hire new salespeople, and implement new sales strategies. This position has an average of $199,000 salary a year.
- Vice presidents of sales roles require a lot of sales experience and expertise as well as leadership skills. This executive position supervises sales managers to ensure company-wide sales trainings are executed. This role typically has an average of $350,000/year.
- Considered the top executive role, chief sales officers report to CEOs on sales targets while also reporting to stakeholders and working with other team leaders to grow the organization. This position can potentially pay $360,000 a year salary.
The Buyer’s Journey Stats
Understanding the Buyer’s Journey through current stats can give you a leg up in your sales career.
- For example, it takes an average of 18 calls to connect with a buyer, yet 44% of salespeople give up after one follow-up call. If you anticipate the amount of work it takes to connect with a buyer, it doesn’t make sense to give up after one follow-up call.
- By making a few more call attempts, sales reps can boost conversion rates by up to 70%. This next year, be sure to make more than one follow-up call to increase your conversion rate.
Sales Call Stats
- When it comes to how much time you will actually spend selling, CSO Insights predicts that only 33% of inside sales rep time is actually spent selling.
- When it comes to selling and sales calls, more than 50% of prospects want to see how your product works on the first call.
- Virtual meetings have remained popular since the 2020 pandemic, which could be because 63% of sales leaders find virtual meetings just as or more effective than meeting in person.
- This could also be due to a decline in over-the-phone sales pitches since 85% of prospects and customers are dissatisfied with their on-the-phone experience.
Check out this blog on how to improve your customer’s phone experiences.
Lead Generation Stats
There’s nothing quite as valuable in sales as a solid lead who has been both informed through quality content and knows your brand and product well. Understanding how leads are generated in 2023 can help you predict what your career in sales has in store this next year.
- Marketing remains the main source of generating leads for salespeople, with 44% of the inside sales pipeline coming from marketing (Bridge Group Inc).
- 59% of professionals believe inbound marketing strategies often lead to the highest quality leads.
- LinkedIn is currently the main source of contact data for sales development teams, but it doesn’t provide phone or email info for sales development reps. Therefore, 89.9% of companies use two or more sources of contact data to ensure they make the customer experience easier for sales development.
- Gartner predicts that only 23.9% of sales emails are opened, yet email remains the primary way to reach both potential leads and current customers.
- In 2022, the number of email users was estimated to be 4.3 billion, which is expected to climb to 4.5 billion by 2025. This makes sense because the majority of prospects (80%) prefer emails to any other form of communication.
- However, when it comes to email marketing, buyers can easily pick up on templated, generalized emails. Only 5% of buyers will respond to a bulk email, so be sure to have excellent email content personalized to their business needs.
- The top four reasons customers will sign up for an email or newsletter are seeking special offers, looking for discounts, wanting to learn more about a product, and simply valuing the brand.
- If you work in B2B sales, cold calling is the way to reach prospective customers because over 50% of B2B decision-makers prefer to be called on the phone.
- Consider what time of day you contact customers. The best time to reach leads is between 11-12 PM or 4-5 PM, with Thursday and Wednesday being the best days to cold call.
Sales Software Stats
Being aware of and investing in the right sales software can help you become a top performer. While no software can do all the work of a salesperson, it can give you the edge you need to better meet customer expectations, get access to ideal clients, and close more deals.
- Prospecting is harder now than it has been historically, and now 40% of salespeople consider prospecting to be the most difficult part of sales.
- Because of this, 72.4% of companies have plans to make a sales development technology purchase to make prospecting easier.
- 90% of companies use more than one sales software tool to simplify prospecting.
Predictive Analytics Technology
- Sales software is not just limited to prospecting either. Predictive analytics software offers sales a powerful tool to both analyze and anticipate customer trends.
- This tech is still growing (with only 15% of companies using it), but it should drive value for sales development as it helps organizations identify their ideal customer profile type and focus on how to convert them.
- 36.8% of companies plan to evaluate vendors this year, with predictive analytics tech being a focus of their evaluation.
- Whatever your organization’s sales software needs, it’s important to realize that 70% of salespeople agree a CRM is an important investment.
Learn more about Hubspot’s Sales Enterprise software here.
Get Your Career in Sales Started
Sales can be a fun and fast-moving career if you bring enthusiasm to your position this upcoming year.
Take the first step by applying for roles that meet your criteria for salary and position, and study up on common sales interview questions. Consider memorizing some of the stats above and impress your interviewer with your comprehensive knowledge of current sales trends.