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Want to dive into B2B sales but feel held back by a lack of experience?

Not to worry. At some point, every salesperson had to do what you are trying to do now. If all of us were able to acquire a first job, you can do the same.

There are a couple of things you should consider if you want the best odds of learning how to sell. First, if you can find a position where you sell a commodity instead of a product that is in high demand, you will learn more about selling. Your complete lack of being able to differentiate what you sell from your competitors’ offerings will be a challenge that will teach you valuable skills.

Second, you will also increase your odds of being hired if you are unafraid of making cold calls. There are always companies that need salespeople to reach out to their prospective clients. It isn’t easy to acquire a meeting with a prospective client, but more than anything else, making cold calls will have you hearing the word no more than you expect. As you make your calls, every no helps desensitize you.

If you are in a hurry to find your way into a sales organization to get B2B sales experience, consider this strategy, which has worked for everyone who has tried it. If others have succeeded in getting hired, you can too.

  1. Make a list of companies where you would like to work. You don’t need a large list to get an interview; a few companies are usually enough.
  2. Go to LinkedIn and find the Vice President of Sales for each company. Call the company and ask for accounts receivables, and ask them to connect you to the VP of Sales.
  3. When you get the VP on the phone, you say, “My name is [First Name] [Last Name]. Then say, I am calling you today to ask you for an interview. When you hire me, I will pick up the phone and call every contact in the CRM, just like I called you today.”

It is very difficult for a VP or sales manager to say no to a person willing to make the cold calls that a lot of salespeople avoid. Once you are hired, you will have to keep your word and make your calls. The only way you get B2B sales experience is by doing the work. That said, if you can find a company with real B2B sales training, it is worth taking the job, if only to get the training.

Exploring SDR and BDR Roles in B2B Sales

There are a lot of SDR and BDR roles available, as these are often treated as entry-level sales jobs. You want to be careful when taking these roles. First, if you are only making cold calls to hand off the prospective client to an account executive, you should spend six months there before you bounce and seek a B2B sales role that will allow you to handle your own clients. It shouldn’t take you more than six months to master cold outreach. If you are not being considered for an account executive role, you will not develop in sales.

You must be careful not to overstay your time in these roles. If you are not developing in areas outside of cold calls, you will need to find a role that will allow you to continue acquiring the B2B sales experience you will need to master all the other outcomes, like a first meeting, doing discovery, creating value in the sales conversation, gaining commitments, and other skills like negotiation.

Advancing Your B2B Sales Career: Tips for Growth

Recently, there is a trend of salespeople working for a short time before taking another sales job. This is often a huge mistake because bouncing from one industry to another based on what happens to be hot right now will slow your growth and your income. You will have a difficult time being One-Up, which means you have the knowledge and the experience to lead your clients.

The longer you stay in an industry, the more you will be able to improve your sales effectiveness, something we measure by your win rates. You will see other salespeople make this mistake and take a number of jobs in different industries. Stay put, and stack up the experience that will allow you to win at a high rate.

The Only Way to Learn B2B Sales Is through Experience

I write sales books. You can’t learn to sell from a book, but you can improve your ability to improve by reading and studying sales books, especially ones that provide you with modern sales methodologies and sales strategies. Over time, you will have the B2B sales experience that you need for enterprise-level clients, the giant companies that we call dream clients, and the ones that improve your income. If you want to work this plan, you may want to start with The Only Sales Guide You'll Ever Need as a good first book because it will help you be the kind of salesperson buyers want to buy from.

Before leaving this article, make a list of what you will do to get your first sales role. If you truly want to become a salesperson, the first thing you need to do is to take action. You should bookmark this article or print and keep it with you as you start to sell. Use the contact form to let me know how you are progressing. Do good work, and know I am cheering you on.


Sales 2024
Post by Anthony Iannarino on May 18, 2024

Written and edited by human brains and human hands.

Anthony Iannarino

Anthony Iannarino is an American writer. He has published daily at thesalesblog.com for more than 14 years, amassing over 5,300 articles and making this platform a destination for salespeople and sales leaders. Anthony is also the author of four best-selling books documenting modern sales methodologies and a fifth book for sales leaders seeking revenue growth. His latest book for an even wider audience is titled, The Negativity Fast: Proven Techniques to Increase Positivity, Reduce Fear, and Boost Success.

Anthony speaks to sales organizations worldwide, delivering cutting-edge sales strategies and tactics that work in this ever-evolving B2B landscape. He also provides workshops and seminars. You can reach Anthony at thesalesblog.com or email Beth@b2bsalescoach.com.

Connect with Anthony on LinkedIn, X or Youtube. You can email Anthony at iannarino@gmail.com

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