6 Entry-Level Sales Jobs To Help Get Your Foot in the Door
In this article
Working in sales is one of the most lucrative jobs that doesn’t require a college degree. Some entry-level jobs sales jobs pay upwards of $78,000 per year, and it’s not uncommon for experienced sales representatives to make more than six figures.
But if you don’t need a college degree, then what do you need to launch a career in sales? That’s why we’ve created this guide. Below, we’ll take a closer look at six of the most common entry-level sales jobs, so that you have the tools to launch a career in sales.
Is It Easy To Get an Entry-Level Sales Job?
When it comes to entry-level positions, employers may pay more attention to your soft skills than your qualifications. If you’re a naturally talkative and confident person, breaking into sales will be much easier for you.
For those who want to try their hand at sales, there are usually plenty of positions to consider. According to a recent study, the number of sales jobs increased by 65% in 2021 alone, with over 700,000 sales positions opening up over the course of the year in the United States. With such strongly growing demand, the need for driven candidates willing to start at the entry-level continues to rise.
Entry Levels Sales Jobs
If you’re looking to get a job in sales, here are some options that are easy to get into for people with no prior experience in the industry.
Searching for a job in retail sales can be a great way to get started in the industry and hone your skills as a salesperson without the pressure presented by some of the higher-level sales positions.
As a retail sales associate, you’ll generally be responsible for helping customers with anything they may need in order to identify the products that best suit their needs as well as providing top-tier customer service. This could range from greeting customers, answering their queries, and pointing them in the direction of products.
Recommending products and making sales also play a big part, with many businesses offering a mix of base pay and commission.
Retail sales associates can expect to earn an average of $14.43/hour, with many employers offering benefits and performance-based incentives such as commission.
For entry-level retail sales jobs, academic qualifications often aren’t considered as important as your drive, passion, and willingness to work. Most employers run their own on-boarding and training programs, although some may require you to have a basic knowledge of their line of products beforehand.
After getting started with an entry-level retail sales position and getting some experience under your belt, you may have the opportunity to advance to a retail management role. Further down the line, you might be given the option to move on from retail and work in a corporate setting as an account executive.
Sales Development Representative
Starting your sales career as a sales development representative can be a good way to work on your soft skills, get some sales experience, and connect with customers before you move up the ladder.
Sales development representatives (SDRs) deal with inbound marketing, meaning that they mostly answer customer queries and direct potential customers further down the sales funnel. The role of a sales development representative is not focused on making a sale, as that happens later on. Instead, an SDR will be verifying potential leads and qualifying them according to the needs of their organization.
In order to meet the required quota, sales development representatives have to accurately pinpoint promising prospects and direct them to other experts who close the sale. They also need to maintain excellent relationships with customers and represent the business in a professional manner.
According to Glassdoor, a sales development representative will receive an average annual compensation of $74,793 per year. This includes a $49,191 base pay and $25,602 in benefits (such as health insurance) as well as commission.
Although some specialized sales development representative jobs may require a degree in a related field, many entry-level positions, including those in tech sales, are open to everyone with a high school diploma.
A sales development role is judged strictly by performance, so if you do well, you may be promoted fairly quickly. SDRs often move on to become account executives and sales managers.
Call Center Sales Representative
A call center sales representative position can be a good starting point for someone with great time management and personal skills who prefers to deal with customers over the phone rather than in person.
Working in call center sales, you’ll be responsible for managing large volumes of incoming and outgoing calls with customers within a set and limited amount of time. On these calls, you’ll deal with identifying customer needs, handling any issues or inquiries they may have, and offering solutions.
Call center sales representatives are often responsible for selling products over the phone, so you will be able to learn more about various sales techniques and work on your skill of persuasion.
Call center sales representatives earn on average $16.60 per hour, according to Indeed, often with performance-based bonuses in the form of commission.
Call center sales representatives are usually required to have graduated high school. Having a college degree is rarely a requirement.
These positions primarily require candidates to be familiar with customer relationship management (CRM) practices and to be overall great communicators. If you are applying for a specialized position, such as that of a technical sales representative, you may need to meet additional requirements.
Given enough experience, call center representatives often move on to become call center managers, quality assurance managers, training managers, and team leaders.
As with any sales job, your skills will be transferrable across any sales position, and as such, you may be able to leverage your experience to move into other more specialized areas of sales.
Working as an account manager will put your personal skills to the test, and thus, help you work on the most important part of sales: communication.
An account manager is the first point of contact for a customer, be it a business or an individual. The responsibilities begin at the moment of making the sale and continue throughout the customer’s stay with the company.
The success of an account manager directly translates to customer satisfaction, and as such, they play an important role in customer retention. Your job will be to tend to the accounts you have been assigned to, answer queries, escalate potential problems, and pitch upsells in the form of upgrades or additional products.
On average, account managers can expect to earn around $58,911 annually with an additional $16,500 per year in commission.
Some employers will look for candidates with a bachelor’s degree, but entry-level account manager jobs often focus on interpersonal skills and the ability to work with people. Senior positions usually require prior experience, a degree, or both.
Starting as an account manager is a good way to get your foot in the door, and if you prove yourself, there is a pretty clear career path forward. Account managers may become sales account executives and directors, or branch out to become sales managers.
Inside Sales Associate
Also referred to as “inside sales representative,” this position refers to the process of selling products from an office or a store as opposed to going out in the field and meeting potential customers in a different location.
As an inside sales associate, you’ll be tasked with selling various products and services, be it on the phone or in person at a retail location. This can involve cold emailing and cold calling, pitching to walk-in customers, and following up on previously generated leads, often prepared by a sales development representative.
On the job, you’ll be able to learn all the most important sales terms and techniques that are highly valued in the sales industry.
According to Indeed, you can expect to earn an average of $58,245 and an extra $12,000 through commissions.
Depending on the kind of inside sales representative job you’re looking for, you may need a bachelor’s degree, with a marked preference for sales-related degrees and courses, such as a tech sales bootcamp. Requiring a high school diploma is fairly standard.
Even without a college degree, there will be employers that will value your ability to build a rapport and close sales more than any official qualifications.
The first advancement for an inside sales rep will often be to be promoted to a larger account or territory with higher commissions and more growth potential. Candidates with a degree in sales will sometimes be given more opportunities, such as becoming a regional sales manager.
An appointment setter is an entry-level sales role that involves both inbound and outbound marketing as well as customer service.
The role of an appointment setter is fairly similar to that of a sales development representative. You will be charged with answering calls and correspondence from prospective clients and following up on leads.
The goal is to vet all kinds of leads and attempt to schedule appointments between the rest of the marketing team and the clients who might go on to purchase the products.
Glassdoor estimates that, on average, appointment setters earn a base pay of $34,495 per year and an extra $18,338 in commission, adding up to $52,733.
Seeing as this is an entry-level position, most employers won’t ask for much more than a high school diploma, if that. However, previous sales experience will be a huge bonus, especially in jobs that involve cold calling and outbound marketing.
As long as you are successful in your role as an appointment setter, you may be promoted either further up the sales funnel or into a customer service position. This can include account managers and executives or customer service reps.
FAQs About Getting Into Sales
We’ve got the answers to your most frequently asked questions.
Do You Need a Degree To Get a Sales Job?
This depends on the job. If you want to work in a specialized field, such as healthcare and pharmaceuticals, you may need a degree in a related field. Similarly, high-level sales positions will often require a degree in marketing.
Many sales jobs, especially entry-level positions, do not require a degree at all, which makes them a good starting point to work your way up in an organization.
Can You Get a Sales Job Without Experience?
Yes, you can get a sales job without any prior experience. This is especially true for positions in retail and in call centers. However, even those less demanding jobs will often be extra interested in enterprising, confident candidates with a knack for sales, so working on your personal skills is essential.
Do Entry-Level Sales Jobs Pay Well?
Entry-level sales jobs can pay well, especially if you manage to increase your base salary by making successful sales and earning a commission. An entry-level sales representative earns around $68,497 on average, which is more than many other entry-level jobs.
Since you’re here…
Earn a tech-level salary, minus the whole learning-to-code part. Our Tech Sales Bootcamp will boost you into a tech sales job in just 3 months, or your tuition money back. Get a snapshot of our results on our student reviews page and read more about *your* new industry in this tech sales career guide.