291 The Wonderful World of Sales 5 – Climb the Ladder

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. 


290 The Wonderful World of Sales 4 – Freedom Rings

The Wonderful World of Sales 4 – Freedom Rings


You have the opportunity to enjoy a greater sense of freedom when you are a B2B sales professional. 


Work Freedom


You can work from anywhere and are not chained to a cubicle or stuck in a traditional office environment. You can perform work-related tasks from anywhere. The only tools you need are your smartphone, your laptop computer, and a good WiFi connection. 


If your business involves travel to customers, you can often service customers within driving distance through face-to-face meetings. Or if this involves air travel, you can live within an hour of an airport to make air travel more feasible.  


When away from home, your remote office workspace can be as near as the local coffee shop, your vehicle, an airport lounge, or a hotel. You can even work productively on an airplane while flying through the clouds.  


Schedule Freedom


You own your schedule… Sure, there are required meetings you will need to attend… but the sales professional often has more control over their schedule than other business professionals. You can squeeze in personal tasks in the middle of the day by blocking off time on your schedule for things like errands or picking up kids from school. 


While many sales professionals shy away from doing work while on vacation, some bring at least a little work with them. If you are facing stiff competition on deals, it might be disastrous to totally unplug for an entire week or two. Unless you are totally unavailable, such as off the grid while hiking through the wilderness, or on a safari in a remote country, plan to stay in touch to address urgent customer needs that arise. Waiting until you return from vacation could result in you receiving terrible news. 


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


289 The Wonderful World of Sales 3 – Huge Earnings Potential

The Wonderful World of Sales 3 – Huge Earnings Potential 


“Sales is where the money is.” 


A career advisor told me this many years ago and it took me many years to believe it and embrace it. 


I finally realized that a career in sales provides you with outstanding earnings potential. 


Many people enter the sales profession because, as a salesperson carrying a quota, they are compensated based on their performance—they aren’t satisfied with measly 2% annual raises as a reward for an excellent performance review from their manager. They aren’t going to accept a gratuitous promotion where the “reward” is merely a title change with no additional salary increase. Many sales compensation plans are uncapped, as the variable portion of your compensation gives you unlimited earnings potential. The better you perform, the more you are compensated. Just as it should be. 


Crushing your quota could certainly put you in a position to earn more than your sales manager and your sales director.


Jim, an elite sales professional, reported that he had years where his earnings were greater than his organization’s executives—and some years where he earned more than the CEO. Of course, the organization’s executives then raised Jim’s quota sky high, so that anomaly didn’t occur again. For some strange reason, they don’t want to pay salespeople that much… even though it should be a win-win, generating significant revenue for the company. 


This high earnings potential has massive appeal. Jim understood that achieving multiple years of high performance placed his income stream into the stratosphere and this opened new opportunities for professional, career, and personal growth. 


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


288 The Wonderful World of Sales 2 – Great Benefits


The Wonderful World of Sales 2 – Great Benefits


The Makings of a Great Sales Career


Bob Stoops, champion college football coach at the University of Oklahoma, said this: 


“I pray that my place will never be with the cold, timid souls who do not compete yet criticize, for they never know or feel success or failure.”


A career in business-to-business (B2B) sales can be fulfilling professionally, rewarding financially, and effective in establishing your ultimate career path. In most cases, your journey will thrust you into a highly competitive environment. 


In the B2B sales environment, the separation between success and failure is clear and bold; You will not experience the gray twilight that plagues the careers of some business professionals… those for whom a career is just a mechanism to earn a paycheck… where the mediocre performance of timid souls is often acceptable. 


But it’s not easy. In your sales career, you will enjoy great victories and also experience difficult challenges. The price you pay includes a commitment to lifelong learning and building required skills, the persistence to focus on your tasks at hand, and the grit to press on in the face of difficult situations.   


A very small percentage of business professionals are willing to take substantial risk to become a sales professional. And to do the work necessary to excel. 


An even smaller percentage can survive and thrive long term as a sales professional. When you do, you join an elite club.  


There are numerous benefits you can achieve that will make a B2B sales career very rewarding. Stay tuned. 


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


287 The Wonderful World of Sales 1 – Makings of a Great Career

The Wonderful World of Sales 1 – Makings of a Great Career


The world revolves around sales.

After all, nothing happens until someone sells something. 


A Career in Sales: A Potentially Wonderful World!


Any person who has excelled in the sales world will tell you that working in this field has so many worthwhile rewards that it’s worth the effort to not only adapt to the major upheavals of the Selling Revolution but to thrive because of them. 


This next series of flash briefings will provide examples of the wonderful world of sales. 


The high-performing sales team gathered for a celebration on a luxurious tropical island located in the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. They were awarded a bonus trip after delivering an outstanding performance to finish a year where they absolutely crushed their quota. Sitting under an umbrella on the beach and holding a cocktail, one team member gazed into the blue-green waters and chuckled, “I just love being in sales!”


Charlie, the sales team’s visionary leader, addressed his troops in celebratory fashion. After congratulating each person, he said, “The people on this team, the people you worked with so closely these past couple of years, exemplify the meaning of excellence. But more importantly, cherish these bonds, these relationships, for these are the best people you will ever know.”


Charlie understood that you win with people. That’s where it all started: recruiting, developing, and creating the best working environment that enabled the best people to prosper. 


Years later, many of those bonds exhibited on that tropical island remained strong and evolved into lifetime relationships. 


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