What to Expect From a Career in Sales and Marketing


Sales and marketing are technically two separate fields, but their work is so closely intertwined that the fields naturally tend to lump themselves together. If you’re preparing to enter the workforce, here’s what to expect from a sales career and a marketing career.

How Sales and Marketing Are Connected

The marketing department is responsible for finding potential customers and informing them about the company, while the sales department makes the customers interested in the product and gives the final pitch.

Additionally, while salespeople often work with clients one-on-one, the marketing department interacts with clients through widespread campaigns. These campaigns primarily consist of online content like websites, emails, and social media. Many employees play the role of marketer and salesperson to make the process more efficient, consistent, and personable.

Skills You Will Need

If you want to have a successful career in sales and marketing, you must acquire a unique set of abilities. An educational background certainly helps, but strong people skills will set you apart from other candidates more than anything else. You must have a solid grasp of the following skills:

  • Careful listener: You must hear and understand your customers’ needs to offer the right solutions for them.
  • High emotional intelligence: You must identify your customers’ feelings and empathize with them.
  • Intuitiveness: You must be able to quickly read a person’s reaction and create an appropriate response.
  • Patience: You must have the ability to face difficult customers or topics head-on while keeping a level head.
  • Resolve: You must be able to bounce back from a failed pitch or campaign and move on to the next one.

Many stereotypes about the loud, pushy salesperson still persist, but now that we live in a highly competitive digital environment, salespeople can’t afford to be overaggressive. If customers feel uncomfortable, they can easily find someone else to buy from. Workers in today’s world of sales and marketing must show patience and have an agreeable attitude.

Sales and marketing only have one constant: you must know your brand and product like the back of your hand. Thorough preparation will help you build on the above skills and make you more confident.

Obstacles You Will Face

With COVID-19 largely eliminating the in-person aspect of the job, today’s sales and marketing employees face a unique set of obstacles:

  • Building trust virtually: It’s more difficult to build rapport and trust with potential customers through virtual methods of communication than in-person ones. Video calls just don’t have the same personal touch.
  • Changing consumer priorities: As global issues about the environment and economy have stepped into the spotlight, consumers are more concerned than ever about the ethics of the brands they support. A reliable, cost-effective product won’t be enough for some customers, which makes the job of marketers and salespeople more difficult.
  • Securing commitments: With such an unstable economy, consumers are more hesitant to make financial commitments because they don’t know if they can afford them in the long run. Marketers can have a tougher time keeping their audience engaged, and salespeople have more trouble closing deals.
  • Using social media: Social media is an ever-evolving tool with constantly changing trends. One of the hardest parts of sales and marketing is keeping up with the latest social media trends to appeal to their target audiences. This obstacle has only gotten more difficult with COVID-19 making everything virtual.

On top of these greater challenges, employees in sales and marketing sometimes have to interact with difficult people. Marketers may face harassment on digital platforms (especially social media), and salespeople occasionally deal with unpleasant characters on their sales calls. It’s a high-pressure field that forces you to step out of your comfort zone on a daily basis.

Perks of Sales and Marketing

For all of the challenges employees face, sales and marketing have many opportunities. The departments’ learning resources and support systems are top-notch, constantly preparing employees for the next step. As a result, upward mobility is common in both fields. Here are some other advantages of working in sales and marketing:

  • The nature of the work allows employees to have a hybrid schedule where they can work in the office and remotely.
  • Sales and marketing are essential departments, so you have better job security.
  • If you lose your job or seek employment elsewhere, sales and marketing skills are easily transferable across different industries.
  • Stepping out of your comfort zone will improve your resilience and character.

With so many job opportunities, you can focus on one speciality, which allows you to hone specific skills and gives you a more manageable workload. Here are some common marketing positions

  • Social media marketing
  • Email marketing
  • Content marketing
  • Product marketing
  • Event marketing
  • Brand management
  • Market analyst
  • Copywriting
  • SEO and e-commerce

Sales also has many different positions:

  • Retail sales associate
  • Telemarketer
  • Sales representative
  • Insurance agent
  • Sales development representative
  • Inside sales manager
  • Business development manager
  • Account manager

Find a Fulfilling Career in Sales and Marketing

You never completely know what to expect from a sales and marketing career because work will present a new obstacle every day. But you’ll become a better person for the experience. Plus, if you show patience, confidence, and robust communication skills, you might find yourself advancing your career more quickly than you ever thought possible.

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