“Should I go into Sales or Marketing first?”
Justin Walter is a fresh Praxis participant eager to gain early career experience in a sales or marketing role at a startup. He founded Clear Urge, an e-commerce drop-shipping business. He learned not all businesses require massive up-front investment to get started. He successfully moved product from Chinese retail outlets through his online Shopify store by driving traffic through Facebook marketing.
He is considering going into either Sales or Marketing, and joined our Mastermind call to learn more about Sales roles.
Many people think Sales and Marketing are very similar.
Sales involves practicing timeless principles of influence and persuasion. Even in an entry-level sales role, you will be tasked with helping people solve problems. You will develop an on-going mindset of self-improvement and knowledge of human psychology. You’ll gain the ability to influence – something that serves you in every area of your life forever.
In Sales, you’ll contribute directly to the bottom line of the business every day.
Marketing has more to do with managing web technologies, content creation, data analytics, and conversion tactics. Marketing is often an intangible value-add to the business, not measured by dollars and cents, but other softly-defined metrics like “brand awareness” and “ad impressions”.
Becoming good at sales makes you good at marketing. If you master principles of influence and persuasion, through hundreds of hours of talking to customers and learning what they actually care about, the language they use, and what their common pain points are, you’ll be deadly at marketing solutions to them.
Marketing experience has virtually no crossover to sales. You might learn what emails get the most opens and clicks, what blog posts get read the most, or gain a knack for predicatively identifying an ideal prospect through data analysis, but you won’t have a clue what to do if you’re put on the phone with the people you market to every day.
Sales makes you resistant to rejection for the rest of your life.
Sales helps you to influence anyone for any purpose forever.
Sales is the only profession where your ability to help people solve problems has a 1:1 correlation with your income.
Most multi-millionaires and billionaires attribute much of their success to sales experience, not marketing experience.
THE VERDICT: CHOOSE SALES FIRST
“What mindset should I cultivate for my first SDR job?”
He’s hungry, eager to learn and grow, and attending Mastermind calls on his Thursday nights to help achieve his goals. Our sales veterans dropped some serious wisdom for him to chew on when he asked what mentality he should have his first week on the job. Let’s dive in.
Prepare to be humbled, and earn your way to the top.
Logan Westberg, Inside Sales Rep at VMWare, opened up the conversation.
Go in knowing that you don’t know shit. Really understand that when you’re new.
Go in assuming everything you’re going into is way over your head, and you WILL look like an idiot at first. You won’t let yourself down. Don’t worry about getting fired. Set lowest expectations possible of how you’ll perform AT FIRST, then adjust as you improve.
Prepare for the worst case scenario. Anything else your boss gives you can’t be worse, and you’ll be 100% fine.
Realize the people in the company who sound smart are training you because they’re the best; learn from them; don’t beat yourself up or compare yourself to them. Their success is why they have a higher position. Be completely open minded.
Try and make friends as soon as possible.
If you didn’t go to college employers think they’re taking a risk by hiring you. Even if you are smart, motivated, and qualified, you still look bad on paper early in your career. All my coworkers had gone through 4 year university and were in their mid-20’s and I was 18.
PROVE it’s NOT A MISTAKE TO HIRE YOU. Go in wanting to be the best, but realize it’ll take work and time to get there.
Do anything you can do that nobody else has done yet.
Stand out, and get creative about it.
Don’t let others set expectations for you. Set your own.
High output gives you an edge over your co-workers.
Definitely go in completely open minded.
Go in with the idea that you’ll have to grind more than any other rep on the floor.
Most reps at his company require 150 calls per day. He put up 300 per day. Just stay focused on delivering more activity than anyone else, especially early on, and it’ll serve you for the rest of your career.
This is doubly true because the bar is set very low for most sales teams. There are tons of companies where people skate by on 80% of their daily activity quota. If you reach 100%, you’re in the top 20% of sales reps. If you do just 10% more than what’s expected of you, you automatically jump into the top 5%.
Self-awareness and self-improvement are keys to success.
Jerrod Harlan, Expert Direct-Response Copywriter countered this point expertly. High output isn’t everything – it must be combined with self-reflection and self-improvement.
Output is great. Getting reps in is a quick way to success. But pure output does not make you great, and doesn’t secure a position at the company. It does not equal greatness or succeeding at your job.
What creates success, is combining high output with a solid reflection on how to improve every call.
Get self-aware. You want to fail, and FAIL FAST, and UNDERSTAND WHY YOU FAILED.
Don’t get trapped in the thought process: “If I make more calls, I’ll be the best.” It’s not true.
If you make 100 calls and improve 1% every day, you will be the best.
To Jerrod’s point, making 100 calls per day is great, but if you don’t reflect on what went well and poorly in every call, you’re largely wasting time. You’ll slowly improve by accident, but if you want to improve quickly, you have to spend time thinking about your calls after they happen.
Assess what went right and wrong. Figure out why the way you said XYZ made the prospect get turned off to you. Don’t beat yourself up; just learn and adapt yourself for the next prospect. After doing this a couple hundred times, you’ll be able to be so darn efficient you won’t need to make 100 calls per day.