The Wonderful World of Sales 5 – Climb the Ladder


Climb the ladder. 


As a B2B sales professional, you can leverage your expertise to take on increased responsibilities… and if you desire, you might be able to climb the corporate management ladder to executive-level positions. Many of the most successful CEOs were in sales at some point in their career. Think about it—CEOs must be effective communicators and possess the powers of persuasion; they must be able to connect with employees, customers, and shareholders. CEOs are always selling—they sell their ideas, their strategies, their rationale for justifying major decisions. For those striving to climb the corporate ladder, a sales career will provide outstanding experience to help you advance closer to that goal. 


Here are some successful CEOs who once started as sales reps: 

Warren Buffett – Warren was once a paperboy, then used to sell to securities at Buffett-Falk & Company. Eventually, he acquired Berkshire Hathaway and became CEO in 1970.

Anne Mulcahy – Anne worked as a sales rep at XEROX. She rose through the ranks and became Vice President, then eventually became the XEROX CEO and her brilliant strategies brought the struggling company back on track. 

Mark Cuban – Early in his career, Mark became a software sales rep. Later he started an internet radio company and sold it to Yahoo for $5.7 billion. He owns the Dallas Mavericks NBA team and currently acts as CEO for AXS TV.

Robert Herjavec – Robert started his career as a sales rep who used to sell IBM Mainframe emulation boards. He later started a tech company, and sold it to AT&T. Now he is CEO of Herjavec Group, Canada’s largest IT security provider.

Howard Schultz – Howard is the CEO and chairman of Starbucks. He worked as a sales rep for XEROX and later sold appliances. He joined Starbucks as Director of Marketing, later acquired the company and became their CEO. 

I’m DJ Sebastian, and we’ll continue the discussion on the Wonderful World of Sales in the next briefing.