I quit a very lucrative software sales career to go to school full time for speech pathology. I should probably put that out there before I answer 🙂
What type of product do you sell? I sold technology- anything from your run of the mill antivirus software to million dollar virtualization systems.
Do you make good money? (be honest! estimate would be great, or you can PM) Hell yeah I did. $70k, all to myself in a low-cost of living city. God I miss shopping 🙁
What do you like/dislike about it? I loved that it offered me financial freedom, and after 6 years at the company, I actually ended up with a pretty flexible schedule. I loved talking to new people all the time, and the constant learning that goes along with product knowledge.
I hated selling products that I didn’t think were quality. I’m a terrible networker, despite being a people person. Networking is key and I just couldn’t bring myself to stop by and talk to people I didn’t care about, just so they would remember my face.
Is this career something you sought out or something you decided to try and stuck with? Other? Totally fell into it. Went in on a phone queue at entry level, designed and implemented training programs, and left selling million dollar solutions. If you’re motivated, moving up is usually not a problem.
Advice on whether it’s a good thing to get involved in? That’s such a personal decision. And it depends on the type of sales, and your client base too. There is a lot of pressure, and Sunfire is exactly right, you’re only as valuable to the company as your last month (or quarter). Because it’s easy to move up, you may get passed up rather quickly by someone who wants it (it being the money or status) more than you. You have to be able to take lots of rejection, and YOU are the face of the product you’re selling. The customer sees you as responsible, not the company. Dancing around negatives that are out of your control will give you a workout. There’s also the politics.
All that said, I miss the money. But I’d never go back unless absolutely necessary. I just looked around after so many years at the company and couldn’t see a single person’s career that I wanted to model my own after. Out of 50,000 people.