March 15th, 2018
by Kevin Harris
The last U.S. Presidential race placed a bright spotlight on industries where jobs are being lost and large groups of previously well-employed individuals have become increasingly displaced in the modern economy.
And while many of those hot-button debates centered around industrial revolution casualties (i.e. coal mining), in 2017 the world of retail continued its own massive downward job descent. Long-time retail stalwarts such as J.C. Penny, Sears and Macy’s all announced bankruptcy filings last year. Despite the U.S. adding 2 million jobs in 2017, the retail industry experienced a net loss of over 66,000 jobs.
Those types of losses are usually consistent with an economy that is in a recession. But the U.S. economy continued to grow last year – GDP has gone up for eight straight years, gas prices and unemployment remain low and wages have risen.
So, what is causing the death of retail? Technology has fundamentally changed the way we buy things.
As technologies continue to evolve and expedite the consumer retail shopping experience, the need for plentiful brick-and-mortar retail locations (and the jobs the come with them) will continue to dissipate.
If you’re one of the tens of thousands of people displaced by the retail apocalypse or if you have been considering a post-collegiate career in the retail industry, you should strongly consider a career with a vastly brighter future: high-tech sales.
Here are a few key reasons why a career in high-tech sales will blow away a career in the retail space. Don’t get left in the discarded aftermath of a defunct career path – the time has never been better to jump in to tech sales. Continue Reading
Inside Sales Stats, Sales Career Advice, Sales Job Search Advice
December 21st, 2017
by Kevin Harris
“I have been up against tough competition all my life. I wouldn’t know how to get along without it.”
– Walt Disney, world-famous American businessman, animator, voice actor and film producer
This quote, from one of the most well-known entrepreneurs in history, strikes a chord deep within the soul of every great sales professional. At the heart of the quote is the idea that competition brings out the best in many people. The drive to win, the resolve to give every ounce of effort and the determination to never give up are all core elements found in the DNA of top professional sellers.
These are personality traits that existed in individuals long before they entered the professional sales industry, though. And as it turns out, they are traits shared with a very notable group of people working towards degrees at the collegiate level: student-athletes.
Student-athletes are a collection of some of the most committed, driven, hard-working people you’ll ever meet. It’s not just that they’ve spent the better part of their first few decades of life eating, sleeping and breathing their chosen athletic endeavor. It’s also the fact that this unbelievably difficult pursuit has been balanced with a firm commitment to scholastic achievement in parallel.
By now, it’s been well-established that the overwhelming majority of college athletes competing across all division levels are not moving on to play their respective sports professionally (or competing at the Olympic-level if their sport does not offer professional options).
When the dust settles and their sports-playing days are over, these remarkably driven individuals can often find a very natural home in a thrilling, competitive environment that will cater to their personal strengths and satisfy their singular focus on winning.
Here are five characteristics that former college student-athletes possess which directly translate to success in the world of professional sales. Continue Reading
Recruiting Advice, Sales Career Advice, Sales Job Search Advice
November 30th, 2017
by Kevin Harris
Take a stroll through any job posting from your favorite career search site and chances are you’ll see a familiar structure to the opportunity listing. The hiring company is almost always looking for someone that possesses a strong set of skills and abilities in areas that will be critical to achieving the goals associated with that position. Those are the “must-have’s” for strong candidates. After that, in cascading order, you might find “nice to have” items such as generalized experience in an industry or a related college degree in a certain field.
A reasonable person might conclude that acquiring a defined set of skills and abilities should be paramount to everyone that wants to architect a lifetime career path.
Professional sales careers are no exception to this rule. The good news is, most aspiring sales pros we meet and interview tell us “training and development” are critical factors when evaluating their potential first-ever sales job options. This is great! It means college undergrads and early stage sales professionals understand the value of acquiring great sales skills when selecting work opportunities.
Unfortunately, the firms doing the hiring of entry-level sales candidates don’t always make it easy to understand how they will help newly minted employees become polished sales pros. Way too many entry-level sales job openings should come with a big warning label when it comes to their sales training plans for you.
“Candidate Beware: We’re too busy and short-staffed to worry about your personal sales skills development. We only have time to teach you about us, now go sell!”
So how will you know if you’ve found a great sales job where you can learn, grow and truly advance your career?
Since we’re not holding our breath for firms to find religion when it comes to full disclosure, here are three hallmarks of an employer with an outstanding employee sales training program. Continue Reading
Inside Sales Training, Sales Career Advice, Sales Job Search Advice