This is a story of a different kind of evolution.
Until the 19th Century, barbers were “surgeons” who pulled teeth AND gave haircuts. Today, the word “surgeon” has a much different meaning. The medical profession has evolved. Its practitioners are now highly trained and well-respected. The difference between then and now is dramatic.
Sales is another profession where practices have evolved. Although less graphically dramatic, evolution in the sales profession is significant, too. Sophisticated processes and codes of ethics have transformed sales as a profession. The stereotypical “hard sell” is being replaced by a consultative selling process that focuses on long-term solutions for the customer rather than a quick sale to make a quota.
ETHICS IN SALES
These points from the Sales Code of Ethics created by the Association of Professional Sales capture the essentials of this evolution in sales:
- Maintain the highest standards of integrity in all business relationships.
- Provide customers with a buying experience in which the sales representative “does the right thing and thereby gets the right results.”
- Promote and protect good sales practices.
- Always act in line with employer organization’s codes and within the law.
In the business community, companies large and small have established stringent codes of conduct and ethical behavior for all their employees, including the sales team. Reputable companies understand that building relationships based on trust benefits both customer and company over the long haul.
COMPANIES ARE DESPERATE TO HIRE SKILLED SALES PROFESSIONALS
Sales is an in-demand profession. There is a tremendous need for qualified candidates to meet this growing demand for sales professionals:
- Some 1.8 million sales jobs will need to be filled in 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
- Sales Development Representative is one of the Top 20 Emerging Jobs in the United States, according to a 2017 report by LinkedIn.
- Sales Representative is on the most recent BLS list of top occupations growing the most 2016-2026.
Meanwhile, also according to the BLS:
- 4.9 million people who would prefer full-time jobs are working part-time because their hours have been cut back or because they are unable to find full-time employment.
- 1.5 million have been without a job for 27 weeks or more, and are considered to be “long-term unemployed.”
- Another 1.6 million non-working adults want and are available for work. Of these, 474,000 are considered “discouraged workers” – those not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them.
In short, some 8 million people are dissatisfied with their current jobs, are unemployed, or seeking a career change. Are you one of them?
CAREER PATHWAY: PROFESSIONAL SALES
Virtanza prepares people for a career pathway in professional sales through its one-of-a-kind, technology-enabled sales training program. Students learn the skills and processes that create success in this new landscape of consultative selling. If you are one of the 8 million people looking for a different career path, click here to visit the Virtanza website. Learn how to become qualified to land one of those 1.8 million open sales jobs.
Author Ibby Vores, SHRM-SCP, is a human resources consultant and a Virtanza instructor. She teaches resume writing, cover letter customization, and coaches Virtanza graduates.