Sales and marketing careers are popular amongst graduates, and there's fierce competition for jobs. Here are some essential skills that will lead you to success in this lucrative field.
1. Be SEO-savvy
As the direct liaison between your company and the consumer, you must be familiar with all things digital. You can teach yourself or undertake a course, but the most important outcome is that you are able to optimise your product online.
The best way to draw traffic to your company's site is to be relevant, accurate and accessible. Original content is the way to go and is picked up incredibly quickly by search engines.
2. Be trendy
Stay in touch with current trends within your own field. Think about what strategies and methods are currently on-trend, which campaigns are reaching the most customers, and what media forms are the most popular right now.
Get yourself along to plenty of workshops and carry out plenty of research to impress recruiters with your knowledge.
3. Be data-driven
These days, most consumer research is done through data analysis and research, so you need to show a recruiter that you know your way around the various metrics used to draw a picture of your industry marketplace and its consumers.
This can be overwhelming at first. A useful exercise is to develop business scenarios that require a solution, and then use company metrics to see if you can work out how to solve the puzzle.
4. Be specific
It's impossible to be an expert in every field, so decide what you're best qualified to specialise in and focus on that. Keep your industry and product knowledge up to date and become a specialist that clients will rely on for accurate information. When you're looking for a sales job, research companies in your sector to see what certifications they want and align yourself with their expectations.
5. Be quick on the uptake
Adaptability is a very useful skill to have in the sales and marketing environment. You must show an employer or recruiter that you're willing to learn and that you can quickly pick up critical information so that you can go out and sell with confidence.
Put together a portfolio to show concrete examples of your skills. A professional portfolio will demonstrate what you can bring to the company, even if your experience is unrelated.
6. Be compelling
An important skill is the ability to create engaging, entertaining and informative copy in multiple forms of media. Offline, any sales or marketing role will call for confident presentation skills. You'll need to be positive and persuasive. This ability comes naturally to some people, whilst others will have to work at it.
Practice your sales pitches. Friends, family and colleagues can be 'borrowed' as role players, while you stage mock sales conversations and presentations.
7. Be organised
It's crucial to your success in the sales and marketing industry that you develop excellent time management and organisational skills. Your performance will be based on your results and 'time is money', particularly if your role entails travelling between different clients' business premises. Work out a system that allows you to plan your time, so that your goals can be achieved on time and with minimal stress.
Sales and marketing is a great field to work in and can be extremely lucrative. Work hard on developing these skills to impress recruiters and open the door to a bright, exciting future.