New Sales Managers: Do This, Don’t Do That


So, you were just promoted from individual contributor to sales manager—congratulations! I doubt you were promoted against your will; I’m sure that you wanted this, you prepared for it, you interviewed for it, and you earned it. Now what? Have you ever heard the saying, “Be careful what you ask for, you just might get it”? You’re about to find out what that means.

Of course I’m being facetious (sort of). No matter how long you’ve been waiting for this opportunity and how prepared you feel, I can promise you two things. First, you are ready and capable. If you weren’t, they wouldn’t have promoted you and given you this awesome responsibility. Second, you still have much to learn and mistakes will be made. The good news is that you can minimize the number of mistakes and shorten the learning curve by heeding advice from those who have gone before you. This post is my gift to you—wisdom from a veteran sales manager that will aid you in avoiding many rookie manager mistakes (the ones I made!).

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12 Killer Resume Tips for the Sales Professional


This is a companion piece to my post, Interviewing for a Job in Sales: 10 Things You MUST Do. In that article, I offered 10 interviewing tips specific to the world of sales. Similarly, in this article, I offer resume tips specific to the world of sales from the perspective of a veteran sales manager who has had hundreds of resumes come across my desk over the past 15 years.

It’s important to first understand how the process works. The odds are in the employer’s favor these days—many more job seekers than there are great, quality jobs—especially when it comes to sales. When I post a job opening, I can expect to get hundreds of applicants within a matter of a week or two all vying for that one position. Companies do things differently, but a pretty common process is: candidates apply through an online tool; resumes are screened; phone interviews are conducted; in-person interviews are conducted; an offer is made. Any of those steps in the process could involve several layers—especially when it comes to in-person interviews, where there may be multiple rounds. Also, along the way there may be some sort of personality test and even a “day in the life” opportunity to shadow an existing rep.

How important is the resume? The resume is critically important in the earliest part of the process and less important as you progress through the process. After all, someone has to screen those several hundred resumes and narrow the pool down to a dozen or so in order to move on to the phone interview phase. I can tell you from personal experience that each resume may only get 10-20 seconds of evaluation—then it either goes into the “phone screen stack” or the trash can. If your resume doesn’t “pop” in the first 10 seconds, you’re toast. These tips are meant to help you make it through this weeding out process and earn you the ability to sell yourself person-to-person.

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Interviewing for a Job in Sales: 10 Things You MUST Do


First, congratulations! The fact that you are interviewing for a sales position is a great decision on your part. Sales is a noble profession and it can be highly rewarding. Fun fact: over 12% of all jobs in the United States are full-time sales positions—that’s almost 1 out of every 8 jobs! (Source: SalesForce Training & Consulting Blog).

There are thousands of free resources on the internet that will help someone during their job search—everything from preparing one’s resume to conducting the job search to navigating the gauntlet of interviews to negotiating an offer. What I’m offering here isn’t generic interviewing advice. Rather, these are ten tips specific to interviewing for a sales position from a veteran sales manager who has interviewed hundreds of candidates over the past 15 years.

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