Have you ever been impressed by a salesperson who made you feel like a VIP, even if you weren’t planning on buying anything?

Or maybe you’ve been frustrated by a pushy salesperson who couldn’t take “no” for an answer?

In both cases, you were experiencing the power of sales experience – the ability of a salesperson to create a positive or negative impression on a potential customer. Whatever your experience, you know that sales are about building relationships, understanding customer needs, and finding ways to add value.

So, whether you’re a seasoned sales professional looking to hone your skills or just someone who wants to understand the world of sales a little better, this conversation is for you.

We’ll cover the different types of sales experience and share tips and strategies for beginners looking to build their skills and expertise.

We’ll also explore how to describe your sales experience in a way that highlights your unique skills, achievements, and value proposition to potential employers or clients.

Let’s dive in!


Sales Experience: (Meaning & What counts as sales experience)

Whether you’re considering a career in sales or looking to beef up your resume, it’s important to understand what counts as sales experience.

If you’ve ever bought something from a store or online, chances are you’ve interacted with someone in sales. They might have answered your questions about a product, recommended a different size or color, or even offered you a discount.

Sales experience refers to any previous job or role where you were responsible for selling a product or service. This can include positions in retail, customer service, or telemarketing. The key is to be able to demonstrate your ability to communicate effectively with customers, understand their needs, and close deals.

Ultimately, sales experience is about creating a win-win situation for the customer and the company. By helping customers find the products or services that best meet their needs, sales professionals can contribute to the growth and success of their organization while also building a loyal customer base.

So, whether you’re a seasoned sales pro or starting out, remember that sales experience is more than just the job title. It’s about your skills and expertise and how to use them to drive business success.

It is important to understand what counts as a sales experience because it can help you tailor your job search and professional development efforts to better align with your career goals and improve your chances of success in a sales career.

If you are interested in a career in retail sales, for example, any experience you have working with customers, whether as a cashier, sales associate, or customer service representative, can be considered sales experience.

If you are interested in a career in outside sales, such as selling products or services to businesses, previous experience in B2B (business-to-business) sales, telemarketing, or door-to-door sales may be considered relevant experience.

In general, any experience that involves interacting with customers, making sales pitches, closing deals, and meeting sales targets can be considered sales experience. It’s important to highlight any relevant experience on your resume or job application to show potential employers you have the skills and experience needed to succeed in a sales role.

Ultimately, what counts as sales experience can vary depending on the context and the position you are applying for. It’s always best to tailor your resume and highlight the relevant sales experiences that would make you the best fit for the job.

Now that we’ve clarified what sales experience means let’s look at the examples of Sales Experience.


Sales Experience: Examples

Here are some examples of sales experiences that can help you level up your game:

  • Cold calling: This is reaching out to potential customers without a relationship with your business. It can be nerve-wracking, but it’s an excellent way to expand your customer base.
  • Networking: Attending industry events, conferences, or even just social gatherings can be an opportunity to meet new people who may be interested in your product or service. Building relationships and nurturing them can lead to future sales opportunities.
  • Upselling: This encourages customers to buy additional products or services beyond what they initially intended to purchase. It requires good communication skills and an understanding of the customer’s needs.
  • Cross-selling: Similar to upselling, cross-selling suggests related products or services that complement the customer’s buying. It can increase revenue and customer satisfaction.
  • Consultative selling: This approach focuses on understanding the customer’s needs and providing solutions that meet those needs. It involves active listening, asking questions, and building a relationship with the customer.
  • Referral sales: Leveraging your existing customers to refer new business to you. It’s an excellent way to generate leads and build trust with potential customers.
  • Demonstrations: This involves showcasing your product or service to potential customers. It can be done in person or virtually, allowing the customer to see firsthand how your product or service can benefit them.
  • Email marketing: This is sending promotional emails to a list of subscribers. It can be an effective way to keep your brand top of mind and drive sales.
  • Trade shows: Attending trade shows can provide a great opportunity to connect with potential customers, demonstrate your product or service, and generate leads.
  • Follow-up: Following up with potential customers after a sales call or meeting is crucial. It shows that you’re interested in their business and helps keep your product or service in mind.
  • Social media marketing: Leveraging social media platforms to promote your product or service can help you reach a wider audience and drive sales.
  • Relationship building: Building customer relationships can help you establish trust, leading to repeat business and referrals.

Remember, there are many sales experiences, and what works for one business may not work for another. Experimenting with different approaches and finding what works best for your business and your customers is essential.


Sales Experience: Types

As we all know, sales can be quite diverse depending on the industry, company culture, and the specific role being pursued. So, let’s dive into some of the most common sales experiences!

1. Inside Sales

Inside Sales are like regular sales but without the need to leave the office and hit the pavement. Inside sales is all about making sales from the comfort of your own desk, using phone calls, emails, and other digital communication methods.

But don’t be fooled – just because inside sales doesn’t require you to be physically present with customers doesn’t mean it’s easy. It can be just as challenging, if not more so, than traditional sales.

Inside sales reps need to build relationships over the phone and through email and be adept at using technology to manage leads and track progress. They also need to be great listeners, able to pick up on subtle cues and adapt their approach accordingly.

And let’s not forget about the power of a good sales pitch.

Inside sales reps need to clearly articulate the benefits of their products or services and answer any objections. With a little creativity and good old-fashioned persuasion skills, they can close deals and generate revenue for their company.

So, if you’re looking for a career in sales but want the comfort of working in an office, consider trying inside sales.


2. Field Sales

Field Sales is all about face-to-face interactions with customers. It involves travelling to different locations to meet potential clients, demonstrate products or services, and close deals. It’s a highly dynamic and challenging role that requires you to be on your feet, both literally and figuratively.

As a Field Sales Rep, you meet people from all walks of life, each with unique needs and preferences. It’s a great opportunity to broaden your horizons and expand your worldview.

But Field Sales is not just about the thrill of the road. It’s also about building relationships and delivering value to customers. You need to be an excellent communicator, listener, and problem solver. You must understand your customer’s pain points and offer solutions that meet their needs.

The job can be tough, and rejection is a part of the game. But it can also be rewarding.

In conclusion, Field Sales is not just a job; it’s a lifestyle. It’s a chance to explore, learn, and grow while making a meaningful contribution to your company’s success.

So, if you’re looking for an adventure that combines travel, sales, and people skills, Field Sales might be the perfect fit for you!


3. Retail Sales

Retail sales are all about selling products or services to customers entering your store.

Whether working in a clothing boutique, electronics store, or grocery shop, your ultimate goal is to sell as many products as possible.

But wait, selling isn’t just about putting a product in front of a customer and hoping they’ll buy it. It’s about engaging with them, understanding their needs and wants, and recommending products that meet them. It’s about creating a personalized experience for every customer who enters your store.

In retail sales, you’re not just selling a product but an entire experience.

From greeting customers with a smile to providing product recommendations to answering questions about the products, your goal is to make them feel heard, valued, and ultimately, satisfied with their purchase.

By creating a positive experience for them, you’ll increase the likelihood of them making a purchase and the chances of them returning to your store in the future.

So if you love interacting with people, enjoy the thrill of making a sale, and are always up for a new challenge, retail sales might be the perfect career.


4. Inbound Sales

Inbound Sales is a fancy term for a simple concept – selling products or services by letting interested customers come to you rather than cold-calling or pushing your offerings onto them.

Picture this: you’re scrolling through your social media feed, looking for inspiration, when suddenly an ad pops up for a product that catches your eye. You click on the ad, and it takes you to a website where you can learn more about the product and even purchase it if you like. That’s inbound sales in action!

Inbound sales are about creating a strong online presence, building relationships with potential customers, and letting them come to you when they’re ready to purchase. By creating engaging content, providing helpful information, and being available to answer questions, you can attract leads and turn them into loyal customers.

One of the best things about inbound sales is that it’s not pushy or aggressive.

Instead of bombarding people with sales pitches, you’re providing valuable information and resources to help them make informed decisions. And when they’re ready to buy, they already trust you and your brand, which makes the sales process much smoother and more enjoyable for everyone involved.

Build a killer website, create engaging content, and let your potential customers come to you. Who knows, you might see your sales skyrocket!



While some may have negative associations with the telemarketing industry, it’s worth exploring its important role in many businesses.

First off, what is telemarketing?

It’s selling products or services over the phone. You know those calls you get from people trying to sell you a new phone plan or a magazine subscription? That’s telemarketing.

Now, I know what you’re thinking – “Ugh, telemarketers are so annoying!” But think about it this way – they have a tough job. They have to make hundreds of calls a day, deal with rejection, and try to convince complete strangers to buy something. That takes some serious skill and persistence.

And let’s not forget about the perks of telemarketing. You can work from the comfort of your home, set your own schedule, and potentially make a lot of commission.

Plus, with the rise of digital marketing, telemarketing has become a more targeted and strategic field, with sales reps using sophisticated data analysis and customer relationship management software to make their pitches more effective.

So, don’t hang up immediately next time a telemarketer calls you. Give them a chance – they might surprise you with a great product or service.


5. Account Managers

Account managers are responsible for maintaining and growing relationships with existing clients of a company.

Account managers are not just salespeople. They’re more like customer advocates, ensuring the client’s needs are met, and their goals are achieved. They’re like the bridge between the client and the company, ensuring that both parties are on the same page.

They are the ones who keep the sales process moving smoothly, from the initial pitch to closing the deal. They’re responsible for developing client relationships, managing the account’s finances, and providing exceptional customer service. They also handle any issues that may arise, ensuring that the client is always satisfied.

One of the most exciting aspects of being an account manager is the opportunity to work with various clients and industries. Whether it’s a startup or a multinational corporation, account managers get to work with all kinds of companies and people.

They’re the ones who keep the client happy, the company profitable, and the sales team motivated.


6. Business Development

Business Development is all about expanding and growing a company. It’s like being an adventurer in the business world, always looking for new opportunities to conquer and markets to explore.

Think of it like this: you’re a pirate captain sailing the seven seas, but instead of searching for treasure, you’re looking for potential clients, partnerships, and business ventures. You must be strategic, smart, and quick to seize opportunities and steer your ship toward success.

Business development can involve a lot of different things, from networking and relationship building to market research and competitive analysis. You need to understand your industry inside and out, keep an eye on the latest trends and innovations, and always think of new ways to stand out from the competition.

But here’s the thing: business development isn’t just about making money. It’s about creating value for your customers and partners, building strong relationships, and positively impacting your industry and community.

Ultimately, the real satisfaction comes from seeing your hard work pay off and making a difference in the world.


7. Consultative Sales

So, imagine you walk into a store, and a salesperson immediately jumps in your face trying to sell you something you don’t need. Annoying, right? That’s where consultative sales come in. It’s all about building a relationship with the customer, understanding their needs and wants, and offering personalized solutions.

Think of it as a doctor’s appointment. The doctor doesn’t just prescribe you any medication without asking questions about your symptoms and history. They take the time to understand your specific situation before recommending a treatment plan.

The same goes for consultative sales. The salesperson acts like a consultant, asking questions, listening to your concerns, and recommending the best product or service that suits your needs.

Consultative sales are all about creating a win-win situation.

The customer gets what they need, and the salesperson gets a happy customer who will likely return for more. It’s not about making a quick sale but building a long-term relationship with the customer.

And here’s the best part: consultative sales work for any industry!

Whether you’re selling cars, insurance, or software, a consultative approach can set you apart from the competition and help you build a loyal customer base.

So, the next time you’re trying to sell something, think like a consultant, not a salesperson. Build a relationship, ask questions, and provide personalized solutions!

Understanding what sales experience is just the beginning.

The next section will explore some of the best ways to gain experience and become a top-performing sales professional.


Tips To Get Sales Experience

Are you looking to gain sales experience but feel stuck in a rut? Well, fear not, because I’ve got some tips to help you!

First, start by identifying the type of sales role you want to pursue. Do you enjoy interacting with people face-to-face, or are you more comfortable behind a computer screen? Once you know what you want, look for opportunities matching your interests and skill set.

Next, take advantage of your existing network. Contact your friends, family, and acquaintances and let them know you’re looking for sales opportunities. You never know who might have a lead or connection that could help you land your dream sales job.

Another great way to gain sales experience is by volunteering or interning with a company that aligns with your interests. This can be a great way to get your foot in the door and gain valuable experience while making industry connections.

If you’re already working in a sales role but want more experience, don’t be afraid to ask for more responsibilities or seek additional training opportunities. This can help you develop new skills and expand your knowledge, leading to new opportunities and increased success in your role.

Finally, stay up-to-date with industry trends and changes by attending conferences, reading industry publications, and engaging with other professionals in your field. This can help you stay ahead of the curve and position yourself as a valuable asset to any sales team.

So, apply these tips to your sales approach today, and watch your sales experience grow!

In the next section, we’ll dive deeper into how to describe your sales experience to potential employers or clients effectively.


How To Describe Your Sales Experience?

As Sir Arthur Conan Doyle famously wrote in his work Sherlock Holmes,

“Being smart means nothing if you can’t prove it.”

Your experience sets you apart from other candidates and gives you the edge you need to land that job. But it’s not just about having the experience – it’s about being able to talk about it clearly and concisely. So, it is important to understand how to describe your sales experience.

  • Highlighting your successes: Instead of just listing your job responsibilities, focus on the results you’ve achieved. Use specific metrics and numbers to illustrate how you’ve exceeded targets, increased revenue, or improved customer satisfaction.
  • Emphasizing your strengths: Consider the qualities that make you a strong salesperson, such as your communication skills, ability to build relationships or strategic thinking. Use examples from your experience to demonstrate how you’ve applied these strengths in the past.
  • Sharing your team experience: If you’ve worked on a sales team, mention it. Describe how you collaborated with your colleagues, contributed to team goals, and supported one another.
  • Demonstrating your adaptability: Sales is a fast-paced, ever-changing field, so it’s important to show that you can adapt to new situations and challenges. Share examples of times when you had to pivot your approach or overcome obstacles to close a deal.
  • Using industry-specific language: Depending on the sales role you’re applying for, you may need to use specific terminology or demonstrate knowledge of certain industries. Make sure you do your research and incorporate relevant language into your descriptions.

With these tips in mind, you can describe your sales experience in a way that resonates with potential employers or clients and sets you up for success in the industry.


What To Do When You Have No Sales Experience?

Looking to break into sales but don’t have any experience? No problem! You can still land a job in this exciting and dynamic field with the right mindset and approach.

Here are some tips from experts to help you get started:

  • Start with an entry-level role: Look for entry-level sales positions that require little to no experience. These can include roles like sales development representative or sales associate. You may have to start at the bottom, but it’s a great way to get your foot in the door and gain valuable experience.
  • Network, network, network: Connect with people in the industry and attend networking events. Reach out to people on LinkedIn and ask for informational interviews. You never know who can help you land your first job.
  • Learn the skills: Even if you don’t have direct sales experience, you may have transferable skills to help you succeed in sales. Take courses or workshops on communication, negotiation, and customer service to help build your skillset.
  • Do your research: Before applying for a sales job, research the company and the industry. Understand their products, target customers, and sales process. This will help you demonstrate your knowledge and passion for the job in your application and interviews.
  • Show enthusiasm: Sales are all about passion and energy, so show you’re excited about the opportunity. Be confident, ask questions, and show you’re eager to learn and contribute.
  • Use your past experiences: Even if you don’t have sales experience, you may have worked in roles that require similar skills, such as customer service or marketing. Use these experiences to demonstrate your ability to communicate effectively and build customer relationships.
  • Shadow a Sales Professional:  Ask someone in the field if you can observe them in action and learn from their techniques and strategies. This can be a great way to gain practical experience and learn from a seasoned pro.
  • Be persistent: Landing a job in sales may take some time and effort, but don’t give up. Keep applying, keep networking, and keep building your skills. With persistence and determination, you can achieve your goal of breaking into sales.

Even if you don’t have formal sales experience, you can still showcase transferable skills such as strong communication, problem-solving, and negotiation abilities. Highlight instances where you successfully persuaded or influenced others, whether in a previous job or even in your personal life.

Remember, it’s never too late to start a career in sales, and with a little hard work and dedication, you can achieve your goals!



Sales experience is a complicated topic with many nuances and strategies to master. While some may believe that sales are all about charisma and persuasive abilities, the reality is that a successful sales career requires a wide range of skills, including organization, problem-solving, and relationship-building.

In short, sales experience is much more than just the ability to talk someone into making a purchase. It’s a complex and multifaceted skill set that takes time and effort to develop. By taking the time to learn and implement the various strategies and techniques we’ve covered in this blog, you can build a strong foundation for a successful career in sales.

Good luck out there, and Happy selling!

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