Want to work in Nigeria’s sales sector? This one is for you

If you want to be rewarded for the amount of work you put in, a career in sales is where you need to be (Shutterstock)

Here's everything you need to know about pursuing a career in Sales.

If you’re naturally sociable and have an uncanny ability to talk in a way that people find entertaining or persuasive, then a career in sales could be for you. The best sales people seek out new opportunities by talking to people and love the thrill of providing them with the best product or service they have to offer.

But before you jump on the job search, make sure you’re clued up about the reality of working in the profession:

Start building your skillset with a qualification

If you think that you don’t have to have a degree to get you going, think again. The skills you’ll acquire during your studies will be invaluable. A Diploma in Marketing Management or a bachelor’s degree with marketing as a major from one of Nigeria’s top universities will stand you in good stead.

While many companies will teach the tricks of the trade, your personality will definitely go a long way in getting you noticed by the best in the business. You’ll need to be super confident, very articulate and have a love for meeting new people, whether face-to-face or through other forms of media. Tact and diplomacy, persuasiveness, ambition and good health and stamina, are equally treasured skills.

Gain some experience before settling on a career path…

Before you make your final career call, you need to know what you're setting yourself up for. Think about the possibility of completing a marketing and sales graduate programme at a reputable company, such as Hewlett Packard, who to your luck are currently looking for graduates!

Other well recognised companies that offer internships and graduate programmes are Unilever, Procter & Gamble, Microsoft and IBM.

Sales careers

Deciding which area of sales you want to branch into will be worthwhile, especially as each are vastly different from one another:

In media sales your job will include selling advertising space in magazines and websites to clients. These will usually be conducted through the telephone, though on occasion you’ll have to meet people face-to-face.

In FMCG sales you’ll need to showcase products to retailers.

Recruitment consultancy sales will be all about selling your company’s recruitment services to clients and candidates.

IT sales will entail selling IT packages to customers and businesses. In some cases, you’ll need to have an IT background.

A career in pharmaceutical sales will involve selling to GPs, hospitals and medical staff. Companies will often require a degree in medicine or science.

A chance to travel

Much of your time will be spent on the road as you attend meetings, trade shows, exhibitions and the like, all in an aim to carve new client relationships and offer new services and products to attract new customers. On occasion, you’ll also have to travel across borders too.

Read: The best sales people are made of these tricks

Commission and your basic salary

Salary packages differ considerably from company to company, but a huge portion of your income will come from your commission. This means that basic salaries in sales are generally pretty low, however, as you become better at doing your job, the balance between your basic and commission will change.

Plus, as you move up the ranks to the best paid sales positions; Consulting Sales, Consumer Packaged Goods Sales, Digital Media Sales and the like, your bank balance will speak for itself.

Think you’re ready for a career in sales? Let Careers24 help you find your best fit!