How to Land a High Paying Sales Job (Step by Step Guide)

The irony of applying for a sales job is that sales is literally required in order to land one - especially to land a good one. 

This means you need to practice your pitch, book interviews, and ultimately close the deal, or in this case, the job. 

If you’re new to sales this can be a daunting task. So, we’ll be walking you through what sales managers look for and will also be sharing the specific steps needed to land an interview for a high paying sales position. 

And if you're eager to get started, you can skip straight to the guide here.

Now, let’s dive in!

What do companies look for in sales hires?

You’ll hear that sales is a contact sport and this is very true. It requires someone who doesn’t mind hopping on calls, handling objections, and turning tough conversations into revenue.

In order to achieve this, there’s a level of social intelligence, organization, and pure grit needed to be successful in sales. 

In any sales interview, it’s relatively easy to see if the candidate possesses these qualities.

To determining if you’re coming off as a good fit, ask yourself:

  • Am I speaking confidently?
  • Am I handling tough questions well?
  • Am I sounding like a team player?

If the answer to all of these questions is “yes”, then you should have no problem landing a job in sales.

You should also consider applying to LeadLoft, where we’re always looking for qualified sales people. If you’re interested, you can apply here

How Does Sales Hiring Work?

Sales hiring works just like any other hiring process. Companies gather a long list of applicants and referrals, narrow the list down, and interview the applicants who seem like they might be a good fit. 

However, most companies ignore 99% of applicants. When you’re on the other end of hiring, it’s almost never your full time job to review all the applicants and going through 100 resumes takes hours that most hiring managers just don’t have. 

If you want to be sure to land interviews, you need to find a way to stand out.

How to Stand Out

There are a few great ways to stand out but the best is to skirt the applications page and to approach the hiring manager directly. 

I recommend applying online with the full expectation that you will not hear back and following up with a cold email. 

Business is handled through email and if you can get your application into their primary inbox, they are almost guaranteed to reply. 

If you’re driven, you can replicate this process a thousand times and land hundreds of interviews. But for quality applicants, only a few interviews are required to land a job in sales. 

Which sales role is best for me?

Sales has a variety of different roles but for the vast majority of companies, the titles and job description remain consistent. Below are the most popular sales roles that you’ll come across. 

SDR/BDR

Description: SDRs book meetings. Their job is to set meetings with potential customers. They achieve this through cold emailing, cold calling, and selling on social platforms like LinkedIn. 

Best for: Anyone looking to get into sales. 

Account Executive

Description: Account executives are closers. They are in charge of taking conversations and getting contracts signed. Depending on the company, account executive may overlap with SDRs but in most cases, they’re solely focused on closing deals. 

Best for: Anyone with 2-5 years of experience. 

Account Manager

Description: Account managers often help to upsell current customers. It generally requires extensive knowledge of the software you’re selling so these roles are often filled by promoting BDRs.

Best for: Anyone with 1+ years of experience.

Step by Step Guide to Landing a Job in Sales

Now let’s cover the steps you needed to book job interviews. 

Step #1) Sign Up for LeadLoft

LeadLoft is an all in one sales software but it’s also amazing for cold email outreach. We’ll be walking you through how to use it to find emails and book interviews. 

Step #2) Build an Outreach Playbook 

Once you’ve signed up for LeadLoft. You need to connect your email and build a Playbook. The Playbook is the series of emails that you will be sending to the hiring manager. 

Here’s the steps we recommend you follow:

Email 1: Automated Email

Subject: Quick question about {{Lead.Name}}

Hi {{FirstName}},

I came across {{Lead.Name}} and noticed you’re hiring for <<role you are applying for>> so I wanted to reach out directly to see if I might be a good fit for the role. {{Lead.Name}} looks especially interesting because <why it’s interesting>.

To give you some background, I am currently <in school or doing something at a company> and <sell yourself>. 

If you’re open to it, I’d love to find a time to meet so I can learn more about both {{Lead.Name}} and the sales role.

I blocked off 10pm PT for both this week and next. Does Wednesday the 12th work for you?

Let me know and I’ll circulate the invite

Looking forward to it,
{{Sender.FirstName}}

Playbook Email 2) Automated Email

Subject: NA (Leave Blank to Send in the same thread)

Hi {{FirstName}},

I know you’re busy so I just wanted to float this to the top of your inbox. Please let me know if you’re interested in meeting about the <sales role name> role sometime this week.

I still have 10pm PT blocked off for this week and next. 

Does any day this week work for you?

Best,
{{Sender.FirstName}}

Step #3) Install the Chrome Extension

Next, you need to install the LeadLoft Prospector. This will allow you to scrape the hiring manager’s email address and also enroll them into the Playbook you built in the previous step. 

Step #4) Identify an Open Position & Hiring Manager

The next step is to simply find a position that you’d like to apply for. 

Searching LinkedIn is by far the easiest way to go about this and I’ve already created a search for you with the link below. 

Click here to search for sales roles on LinkedIn.

You’ll want to look for companies that are fairly small with 10-100 employees or for positions with hiring managers publicly listed. 

Below is an example of an open position with a public hiring manager. 

Step #5) Engage & Book an Interview

After you’ve found someone that you’d like to reach out to, open their profile, select the correct Playbook, and click “Save” using the LeadLoft Prospector. 

Here’s a short walkthrough:

As soon as you click save, the hiring manager will be saved, their email uncovered, and enrolled into the outreach Playbook. After this, the emails will begin sending and will automatically follow up if you receive no reply.

Step #6) Repeat Until You Land a Job 

When you’re applying to jobs, it’s best to be in a position of power. For applicants, this means having multiple options available to you. In order to achieve this, aim to prospect at least 10 hiring managers per day. 

If you do this continually for a month, you are guaranteed to lock down a variety of interviews. 

Wrapping Up

This is by far the best approach to applying for jobs that I have come across. However, getting an interview alone will not guarantee a job. Your presence during an interview is just as important as getting the interview in the first place. 

So be sure to practice with friends, family, and anyone who is willing to work with you. If you find that we help you lock down a sales role, feel free to introduce your new company to LeadLoft.
Good luck!

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