The best sales careers will vary depending on your personality, your interests and your drive. Some of the most lucrative sales positions offer pay based on 100 percent commission, a scary prospect for people raising a family or without substantial savings. Consider your lifestyle and your needs before determining which sales career is the best for you.
The Best Sales Careers
The best sales careers typically offer one or more of the following:
- Potential for substantial pay, usually based off of large dollar sales or a high commission rate
- A stable market unlikely to vary by season or economy
- Opportuntity to sell items or services you truly believe in (you're more likely to do well in sales when selling the item feels natural)
- Careers with nice benefit packages
Popular Sales Careers
Just because a particular sales field is popular doesn't mean that it will be a good fit for you. Always consider what the job entails before committing yourself to a particular sales career.
Pharmaceutical sales positions are popular and competitive for several reasons: sales are consistent, pharmaceutical companies offer great benefit packages and there's a large earning potential. Pharmaceutical sales reps usually spend a lot of time on the road traveling to hospitals and medical offices to promote the latest pharmaceutical drugs. This might not be the best career choice for you if you don't enjoy regular travel or if you have a moral stance against prescription drugs.
The emergence and growth of new technology has put software sales positions on the map. Software sales positions range widely by product-type and can include everything from selling video games to selling membership management systems to gyms and fitness centers. Companies need software, and working for a well-known software firm can provide a stable and lucrative career. If, however, you're working for a new software company trying to get a new product on the map, you may have your work cut out for you.
A seller's agent makes an average of six-percent commission on every home sale and generally gives 50 percent of the commission to the buyer's agent. On a $100,000 home, each Realtor can expect to take home approximately $3,000 - not a terrible salary if you're selling homes consistently. Keep in mind that part of that money may have to go back to the mortgage broker and to pay overhead on the real estate business itself.
During a down market, realtors can really feel a financial crunch. On the other hand, when the market is good, Realtors can pull in a pretty penny, especially if they land home sales in the luxury market. A single $500,000 home could bring in $15,000, and a million dollar home could bring in $30,000. Selling only three or four high-end homes a year could produce to a healthy annual salary.
Medical and Dental Sales
Medical, dental and chiropractic equipment has to come from somewhere. Medical and dental sales reps travel to offices and hospitals, work at conferences and build relationships with medical professionals. Unlike pharmaceutical sales reps who can make sales with the knowledge that doctors will have to reorder supplies regularly, medical and dental sales reps often have to wait for old equipment to stop working before a sale can be made. Because the equipment is often expensive, sales reps can expect to make a handsome salary while also receiving a nice benefits package.
Magazines, newspapers, television stations and internet companies all sell ad space to fund their businesses.Typically this involves building relationships with companies whose target market is the same market that the publication or media source caters to. For instance, an advertising sales rep for a fitness magazine might sell ad space to fitness equipment companies, weight loss companies or health food companies. Advertising space can be sold at a premium, and sales reps can expect to make a percentage from every sale. These jobs can offer a consistent income because the need for advertising is fairly steady.
Other Sales Positions
As the saying goes, "someone's always selling something." Almost every industry has a need for sales representatives. This includes everything from cars, insurance and health care to toys, designer clothing, fitness equipment and even personal training. If there's a product or service that you really believe in, contact the company and ask whether they offer positions in sales. Chances are you'll be more happy and successful if you truly believe in the item or service you're promoting.