Life after Outside Sales – Where Do I Go from Here?

Sales professionals often reach a point in their careers where they start to wonder what’s next. For some, there might not be a need to look for a life after sales; yet others will want to expand their horizons. Here are some options for professionals considering life after outside sales.

Build a More Focused Career within Outside Sales

If you have proven yourself as a successful hunter, outside sales might already be the perfect career choice for you; and if that’s the case, you may not want to go elsewhere. Often times, tenured sales professionals get more autonomy and flexibility as they understand more about their product and settle into their territory. That becomes one of the biggest selling points to the job. Additionally, the salespeople who stick around the longest often inherit the accounts and territories of those who leave. For this reason, their jobs are far less of a grind than those earlier in their career. A career in sales can be quite rewarding, especially if you have a manager you trust and respect. With the right manager, you just need to be good at what you do best.

Sales Management

If you are ready to move on from outside sales, one option is to shift into a management position. It’s important to have good communication and organization skills to succeed in sales management, so you will need to do some career development to hone your leadership skills. Some professionals have natural leadership abilities; but even if you do, it’s helpful to actively seek opportunities to develop these skills. For example, you may benefit from having a mentor, or you could work on a project to help develop a training program for sales professionals. Getting involved in a project like this could help you build the skills needed to advance in that direction.

Become an Entrepreneur

Another option is to move into a self-employed role. As a sales professional, you are already good at selling; but if you excel at developing ideas and managing projects, you may want to start your own sales business. With experience in outside sales, you will likely have an advantage over competitors in selling a concept and gaining a loyal following.

Find Out What You Want

It’s a great idea to look for opportunities or to experiment with leadership roles so you can gain a sense of what it’s like to be in sales management or at the head of your own company. Some people enjoy being in a position that entails more responsibility and accountability. Others discover that management isn’t for them. Before you commit to a career in management or venture out on your own, make sure it’s something you will enjoy. You might find the security of a sales career in a pre-established company under someone else’s management provides you with more job satisfaction than you realized. The important thing is to reflect on what you want and how that fits your skillset.

 

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