Inside/Outside Sales Datasheet
Someone had asked for a datasheet on sales as a profession, and with the proliferation of useless college degrees and high living costs, this could be the only shot that a non-technical person has to gain a six figure lifestyle.

What you need: Hunger, balls, confidence, speaking ability, resilience, and more than likely a college degree. Most of these core qualities of sales cannot be taught.

Ground rulesAlways be in B2B, or business to business, with the largest businesses possible. Any B2C (door-to-door, life insurance, residential real estate, financial advising, mortgages) has a very high failure rate, with a single digit percent of the top salespeople making significant coin. You can make seven figures in any of these industries, but the odds are so slim that you would be better off starting your own company.

Always ask how big the companies are that you'll be selling to. Are you selling to Exxon and Citibank? Or Al's Landscaping? Which do you think you'll make more money?

At least 50% of sales jobs are scams, where you will be given no tools to succeed, a shitty product, and an unemployment claim in a few months. Ask the sales manager for a "stack rank," a ranking of all the current salespeople, before you get hired. How many are hitting their annual goal? What is the average earnings? If only 20% of the reps are hitting the goal set for them by the company, then that job has an 80% chance of being a failure for you. Look for 75% and up to be hitting their quota.

Ask what the marketing team does. They can do anything from "Here is a list of 100 people that told us they want to buy our product!" to "make your own list of 100 people to cold-call." If you have options, obviously take the former.

The sales jobs that pay the highest on average will be those that combine sales skills with technical skills. Most sales guys are not technical, and most technical guys are not sales-y.


Recruiting: A good field for any useful idiot out of college to start with. They'll give you a phone and a Linkedin account, companies will hire you to find a specific candidate, and you'll scour Linkedin to find him and give him a job offer. As with any sales position, you can make good money, especially if you are a "headhunter," someone who recruits for high level $300k+ positions. Typically you get 1-2 months of the base salary of your placement, so if you place an engineering candidate with $100k salary you'll get $10-20k. Even though you can make big bucks if you get to recruiting CEOs, any idiot with a phone can do it, it's non-technical, and you're easily replaceable, so try to do this for a year or two and get into something else.

Medical: You'll start out in pharmaceutical sales, with a $40-60k base, with bonuses taking you to 2-3 times your base, depending on performance. I've seen pharma reps get $80-90k base, but that's only with a few years of successful outside sales experience. Pharma reps basically cold call doctors, usually can't get in touch with them, and deal with the receptionist/office manager who is accustomed to dealing with the reps from various pharmaceutical companies. It then turns into a game: you stop by the office and buy lunch for the whole office. She then schedules you for 15 minutes on the doctors calendar where you make your spiel.

Pharma is a good way to make $100-150k on 20 hr work weeks. Drop off a few lunches, stop in a few offices, have a few appointments, work from home, relax. They like degrees in bio, but they are not necessary. Pharma also has a ton of attractive females (more than any other industry by far) because of their ability to woo male doctors. It's a fairly easy sales job for decent money, but the industries glory days are behind it. What you really want to be in, is medical device.

Medical device sales is very hard to break into and requires both experience selling into the medical vertical (through pharma or possibly dental) as well as some technical knowledge on biomedical devices. The hours are terrible: you need to be in the operating/doctors office whenever there is a crucial surgery to instruct him how to use the new products he is buying. The pay is one of the best in the sales field. $125k base with $250k OTE (on target earnings), but you can get up to $500k and more if you blow out your number. Med device is a solid career, but long term outlook is risky-margins are getting lower, OTE is getting lower, healthcare as a field is becoming more regulated and socialized.

Oil and Gas: Don't know too much about this because it's very Texas and oil-cities based, but I've heard you can make bank and most likely requires engineering background.

Finance: Finance is pretty simple from the viewpoint that I'll explain it at. Again, only do B2B. Avoid any type of personal stockbroker, life insurance, high net worth financial advisor, small business loans, etc. The Gordon Gekko/Boiler Room days are over.

If you are considering a career in institutional financial sales (selling to hedge funds, mutual funds, big banks), then you are currently in or have graduated from a finance program at a good school. You already know what to do.

Tech: There are two main types of tech, software and hardware. You get bigger size deals in hardware (7, 8, even 9 figures), but the margins are much smaller at maybe 1%. Software has a range of deal sizes and jobs, but the general structure is:

1. Sales Development Representative. Take incoming leads from the marketing department, talk to them a little bit, make sure they are real and have money to buy the software. Give the lead to your boss. Then take a list, and spend the next 6-15 months cold calling and giving leads away until you get promoted. If you are doing well, start talking about a promotion 6 months in, and demand it a year in. Base should be $40-60k with $70k-110 all in. The higher end $60k-110k would be in a high COLA place like NYC or San Francisco, where the COLA is higher. Don't expect it in Nashville. No need for a technical degree or flashy internships, just show the hiring manager you can hustle.

Inside Sales: You should get promoted here after 6-12 months as an SDR, and you just graduated college! You now perform virtual demonstrations of software to smaller clients, mostly 5 figure deal sizes. You may or may not have to cold call, but you always should, as you'll make more money. If you are averse to cold calling sales is probably not for you anyway. I've seen some $50k-100k compensation plans, but in NYC or SF you should be looking for $60-75k base with $120-150k overall. Don't forget, your "OTE" is dependent on you hitting your quota, or the number that the company designates you to sell. If you miss, you'll probably get fired. If you exceed, you can make over $200k in your early 20's-not bad for liberal arts!

Outside Enterprise sales: You'll sell the same type of software that you were selling on the inside, but just to the largest companies and buyers. Big companies=big budgets=big commissions, but the time it takes to close a deal is much longer: 6-12 months. You might want to get a technical degree, or at least an company-sponsored IT certification to boost your technical cred. Typical base is $90-130k, with $200-300k OTE. Like with inside sales, if you beat your quota, you'll get "accelerators," where the commission rate doubles or triples. This is how guys make $1mm plus selling software. To get this type of job, you'll probably need 3-5 years of pure software sales experience, but you can get it by 26-27 if you do everything right at your previous positions.

Next step: $300-600k Sales director/VP where you'll make more than the average rep, but less than the best ones, and not have as heavy of a grind. You can do this route, which is fairly safe, or you can take a chance with a startup for some "shadow equity" if the company goes to IPO.

If you are reading Swoop and cold approach women regularly (I personally do not), then you should have no problem dialing for dollars and advancing your way into a $300k position that is essentially game.

I welcome all questions.
I remember this thread from the forum. To recap what I did when I used to post on RooshV I have tried applying for jobs and managed to get 3 or 4 phone interviews. I got declines from Yelp, logistic companies, and a startup.

Lately I had an inside connection but I haven't heard back from the hiring manager. For that one I think I dodged a bullet because I would be selling payment systems to businesses without leads. Leads only come to the more senior roles. I also have reached out to a recruiter but they declined to proceed. There's a couple more rejections and it really sucks.

At this point I'm either cold calling my employer or attending a sales job fair if I decide to proceed. I'm transitioning into a profitable industry so if my employer wants to pick a winner I'm still available. I strongly disagree that my work experience/resume can predict potential. I have a massive chip on my shoulder. It's not just about the money that I like but if you're good at sales that translates to success in other aspects like women.
I crossed over to this post from the salary post you commented on and repped you bc this is very good information. How do you find jobs like this ie what are some keywords to search for and do you still do this line of work?

+1 repped
This is a good datasheet. I sold Sun Microsystems hardware and software in the late 90's and did pretty well with it. I went into programming since then but have done sales about four times in my career, first time I sold wine as a wine 'broker', the next was when I sold at a Sun reseller, then I went into Consulting (think Booz Allen, etc.) and eventually got promoted to where I had to do sales. I'm back doing heads down work but see guys selling for Amazon Web Services or places like New Relic and it makes me think about going back into sales.
For anyone who's a BDR or AE-- do you need to continually collaborate with Sales Engineers (to conduct discoveries/demos/pocs) or does that only occur for very technical products? In most AE roles (for technical products), it seems the SEs are carrying all the weight while the AEs largely sits back and collects a percentage on anything that closes.
Strong post.

I'm in the game also. Got laid off once covid kicked into gear, so while I have the time here are some unstructured thoughts. 

If I was to come face to face with my 18 year old self, I would tell that little cunt to get a job as an SDR, work very hard, minimise expenses and save literally everything. Then cash out at 30 and think of something else to do. I've done reasonably well in sales but didn't get started until later (I also took some time out). Now in my early 30s, wondering what I'll be up to in my 50s, the grind is starting to burn me out.

Have done B2C and B2B. It's been a great way for me to get out in the world and has put me in front of people from all walks of life. B2B is definitely, unarguably, indisputably 100% what you should be doing if you want to work in sales. For starters the money is better. Second to this and almost as important is that you aren't dealing with the general public, you're working to add value to another company. This teaches you heaps about business. Selling cars, houses, mortgages etc. doesn't have the same breadth as even low level B2B sales.

Managing a sales pipeline also teaches you more about game than any book or workshop will. 

I've never hit the high notes you hear about enterprise software reps/people in certain areas of finance hitting and if you read the sales subreddit you come away thinking all salespeople are pulling in 500k a year. Those jobs exist, but most salespeople aren't making that much. However, for every product/service you can think of, there are definitely reps earning 6 figures selling it. Taking note of these people is crucial to your development in this trade, because you'll want to try and emulate their success as best you can. People who come into a team with their chest out rarely last longer than a quarter, but the ones who are humble enough to seek the advice of seasoned players set themselves up for the long term.

Other than this, you really just need a lot of drive. You've gotta be self motivated and resilient, you can't be the kind of person who backs away from a challenge. This seems so simple, but it's much more complicated when you're two months into a quarter and your entire pipeline has gone silent.

Budgeting is crucial and lifestyle creep is some real shit. A lot of the blokes I've worked with see their commissions appear in their bank account and drain it almost instantly, putting it in the hands of a whore, another salesperson or towards the credit card debt they've accumulated across the rest of the quarter. Lotta reps in their 50s are overweight, living out of a suitcase, doing coke in hotel rooms and using their bonus money for child support, I ain't going out like that.

When I started out I figured the sky had no limit and I just wanted to earn as much as possible, but my outlook has changed as my career has progressed. Income is one factor in my happiness and beyond a certain number, it doesn't motivate me. It was worth my time to figure out what that number was - basically giving me enough to purchase a modest home, travel when I want to and save a decent amount for an early semi-retirement. Extra cash isn't worth the trade off for me, I value my work life balance much more.

That'll do for now.
I worked in tech sales for a startup in NYC valued at $3 billion, here are my biggest takeaways in landing a job in the industry.

Literally anybody can get an entry level software sales position. At my company we had 22 year old kids with no sales experience coming from no name colleges making $70k out of the gate. You have to interview well though, NO exceptions. Standard pay in NYC is $70k-80k for entry level roles.

Generally you want to gravitate towards complex, technical software products that can work in a wide variety of industries. So avoid things like "SaaS for oil companies" or "retail SaaS" unless you KNOW the company is making a killing. And yes, there are startups with complex products that fit this criteria. Small company =/= small product. Also startups will have easier hiring processes and tend to put less emphasis on previous experience and college. Lots of guys start at smaller startups and then go onto a Salesforce or SAP.

Now if you're actively interviewing for startups or smaller tech companies, there's always a few things you want to know (since most likely you've never heard of the company before).

1) How much they're growing year over year. Do not join a sinking ship. If the hiring manager won't give you a YoY% number, then ask for a range. If you have Linkedin Premium, employee growth is also a decent indicator. A downward trend is a big red flag.

2) How many reps hit quota each month. You'll find that most companies want you to book anywhere from 8-15 meetings a month. So if only 20% of the team is meeting their sales goal each month, there are internal issues they're hiding from you. Over 50% is better than under 50%.

These two are by far the two most important things, when you're evaluating startups. If they're seeing revenue growth AND most of the team is hitting their number, then it's most likely a solid opportunity. Good luck, as it's a competitive field, but an extremely lucrative one that will teach you skills extending beyond the office.
Recently started a gig as an account manager.

Working in sales doesn't mean you have to be a cold calling phone fiend.

Plenty of ways to skin a cat.
Just onboarded a massive account. This is gonna keep me in fur coats for ages. GOD DAMN I love dopamine!

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