The open spots may not be for you, don’t try to make it work if you don’t love it already. This will lead to you loathing your outside sales role.
If your company has a substantial growth plan, chances are they have a prominent sales force as well. There are few companies out there, that do not utilize sales people to push product, and the companies that don’t, get left behind. Companies cannot grow without increasing sales, thus increasing cash flow. The best sales forces in the US, in any industry, take advantage of both inside and outside sales people. The road warriors like us, face clients head on and discover new leads that would have instead been lost or unattained. The inside sales people work current projects or projects that do not require an outside, personal touch.
By using both of these, you are not only making sure that new projects are arriving every day, but you are ensuring that current projects do not get lost among the mess that is the outside sales force (even pros lose track of smaller value projects).
So you have been working inside the office for a while now? Killing your numbers and think you deserve an opportunity to go outside? Maybe you’re an account manager and want to become a Sales Executive or Territory Manager? GOOD. YOU ARE ON THE RIGHT PATH. Here is how you do it.
Research current Outside Sales opportunities within your company
If you are killing your numbers, like you say you are, then you should have been approached by now if there is an open position. OSR spots fill up fast. I have seen people in my companies jump around once a year to new sales positions even in different companies. Make sure that you know what is out there to be filled and what kind of candidate your company is looking for. The open spots may not be for you, don’t try to make it work if you don’t love it already. This will lead to you loathing your outside sales role.
There are always people who take on a new territory, or want to add-on to their current space. Then, when they get the new addition, they hate it! That’s because they only saw the green grass on the other side. Uncharted regions are so difficult to infiltrate and can kill your morale.
Talk to your direct manager
Most managers want to see initiative, if you have been loyal to them and a hard worker, chances are they are going to throw your name in the hat for an open position. Sometimes, it can be difficult, especially if they don’t want to lose you, but most of the time they understand your goals.
Most managers also hate having their employees go over their head. By going to your manager and talking to them about you taking an outside sales role within your company, will give them a stroke to their ego, first off. But it will also get them on your side. I bet that your manager is closer to the person hiring the outside positions than you are, and that is important. This only matters of course if your boss doesn’t hate you.
Make the best case for yourself
You already have a brand here, just like everyone else.
If given the opportunity to interview for an outside role, it may come at a moment’s notice and you better be ready. This could be something as simple as getting pulled into a breakout room by a manager. You need to have a plan of attack for building your “office resume”. You already have a brand here, just like everyone else. Now you need to show that brand off to the other departments. If your case for getting this open position is something like “I really like the Boston area, I went to high school an hour from downtown and I love driving.” Well I hate to say it but you ain’t getting that job.
A more prepared person has a litany of support evidence. “I believe that I should be given an opportunity to be hired for the outside role in Boston. I have consistently hit and beat my quota by 10% over the last nine months, I am always in here earlier than other reps and stay later to ensure that I am best prepared for the next day, my CRM is always up to date and I am attentive of changes. I am the best option for this role because of my success inside and you know that I am personable enough to extend that success to the field.” Boom I just did your hard work for you.
This is something that as a salesperson you are already used to. Instead of pitching customers on yourself, you are now pitching your work! Now, go beat that new job’s ass!
Feel free to respond or contact me with specific questions if you are having trouble!