How To Start Your Career In Sales | Patrick Dang | Skillshare

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How To Start Your Career In Sales

teacher avatar Patrick Dang, International Sales Trainer

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
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Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

4 Lessons (22m)
    • 1. How To Start Your Career In Sales Intro

    • 2. How To Start Your Career In Sales

    • 3. Entrepreneurs, Sales Development, Business Development, & Account Executive

    • 4. Next Steps

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About This Class

Learn how you can start a career in sales as a sales development rep, business development rep, account executive, or entrepreneur.

One of the most common questions I get when it comes to sales is, "Do you need any past experience to get started in sales."

The quick and simple answer No.

You see, most companies understand that if you're looking to start a career in sales, it's unlikely you'll have any sales experience.

Sales isn't something they usually teach in school.

So what does it actually take to become a sales development rep, business development rep, or even account executive?

Well, when it comes to B2B sales, a majority of the job is to do b2b sales prospecting. This is typically an entry-level sales job where you'll reach out to potential prospects via cold email, LinkedIn or cold calling and schedule an appointment.

Although, it's not necessarily a glamorous sales career, lead generation is one of the most vital parts of any sales organization structure.

Make sure to watch this video until the end to find out how you can get started in sales either as a salesperson or an entrepreneur.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Patrick Dang

International Sales Trainer


Hey, it's Patrick here!

Now, I’m on a mission to help everyday people to generate more sales for their business using the most cutting-edge B2B sales strategies.

After a successful sales career in Silicon Valley, I packed two suitcases and booked a one-way ticket to Thailand and started my journey with the aspiration of creating world-class online B2B sales training all while living a digital nomadic lifestyle.

And since then, I’ve traveled to many countries while creating programs training over +30,000 students in over 150 countries.

And over time, it became clear that no matter what country you’re from, what your background is, or whether or not you think you have the talent to sell...I’ve found that sales is a skill anyone can learn... See full profile

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1. How To Start Your Career In Sales Intro: Hey everybody, what's going on is prejudice here. So in this course, I'm going to give you my best tips for you if you are starting Gore sales career, these are going to be the tips that I wish I knew when I was starting out because it would have saved me so much time and I would have been able to become much more successful right off the bat If I knew these things. So if our class project, what I want you to do is share the number one thing that you'll learn in this course and share it with the rest of the class. So if you are ready to learn some of my best tips for starting your sales career, make sure you enroll in this course. 2. How To Start Your Career In Sales: Hey, what's going on and everybody, it's Patrick Dang here. Now in this video I'm going to talk about my top five tips I have for you if you are starting your sales career or thinking about starting it, or maybe you might have just got your first sales job and you wanna make sure you watch this video until the end because these are going to be my best tips that I wish I knew when I was starting my sales career. So hopefully, by watching this video, you're gonna get some value out of it, save a lot of time and become much more successful than you would have if you did it by yourself. And let's go ahead and get into these tips. Now, The first tip I have for you when it comes to starting your sales career or when you're thinking about starting a sales career, you want to ignore societies and negative perception of sales. Now tell you a story, right when I was in university and I graduated and I was thinking about taking a sales job, you know, during that time, especially during my university days, I was never like, oh my god, I want to be a salesperson after I graduate. And rarely is most my friends didn't want to be salespeople either. It was just kinda that option that you don't really know what you're doing and then, you know, you heard you can make a lot of money from it so you get interested in it. And the problem I see is that there's a general negative perception of sales, of being easy, slimy, you know, people that you don't want to talk to. But, you know, after I did get my first sales job at Oracle and SR to understand technology sales and how actually selling is a really respected profession. Well, it totally shifted my perception. And the thing is when you are not in the sales world and you don't really know what it's all about. You know, your opinion on sales is based on movies. Bad sales, people giving you a bad experience like when you go to the mall or something like that and people are trying to sell you stuff you don't need. So from a consumer level, you're going to have this bad taste in your mouth. However, when you start getting into the B2B sales world like selling, consulting, marketing service, technology, you start to realize I salespeople are actually very valuable, very respected because they are the representative of accompany and without them, while you can't really have it exchange of commerce. And not only that, but because sales is so valuable if you ever wanted to start your own business and become an entrepreneur one day, well, you're going to have to sell your products and services and what better way to learn how to do that then becoming a salesperson, right? And there's a lot of successful entrepreneurs out there that really credit their ability to sell as the main driver to their success. For example, Howard Schultz, who was the CEO who really led Starbucks to become the global phenomena it was today. He was a salesperson before he decided to work with Starbucks. And so they're going to be a lot of examples like that. But long story short sales is going to be one of the most important aspects of business can have because without sales there is no business. The second tip I have for you guys is if you're starting your sales career, you might not have any sales experience. So the tip is, don't worry if you don't have any sales experience. Here's a thing guys, for sales companies who are hiring new graduates or maybe someone who has a different job and they want to transition into sales. They understand that people don't have sales experience. You're not born with sales experience where you have to start somewhere. So what they're gonna do is we're going to look at your ability to learn, your ability to be good with people. Really your ability to be culturable, right? Because it's like even if you're good with people, it doesn't mean you're naturally going to be a good salesperson. And even someone who's like Shi'a and quiet, they have the opportunity to learn the skills if they have the drive to become successful in sales. I myself, you might not know this, but I was very shy, awkward in quiet when I was growing up. It was only until the age of 17 that I decided to make a change in my life to become better at communicating. And so now what you see now is over the course of many years of deliberate practice. So I myself is not a natural at communicating and sales, but I learned that skill. So you are someone who is thinking about a career in sales. You don't have sales experience. Don't worry too much about it because you can actually learn most of it on the job. And companies actually expect that and they expect to hire people who have no idea what they're doing. And when I actually got my job at Oracle, what they did was they hired maybe like a 180 college graduates, undergraduates. And they're just hire all of us at once. And it didn't even matter what business degree we had. I had a business degree, right. Other people were like English majors, history majors, communications majors. Just a bunch of random different majors. And reality is, it doesn't matter because as long as you have the willingness to learn and, and learn those people skills and those soft skills, you can be successful at sales, doesn't matter what major you had, doesn't matter what experience you had in past. You can do it. Now The next tip I have for you is that you want to understand that in sales there is a long-term path that you can take for the rest of your career. Okay, so for a lot of people who are doing sales, they may think like, Oh, I want to be a salesperson for one or two years at And I'm gonna do something else after. We're just totally okay. But if you decide that you want to continue doing sales, maybe as a long-term career, understand that there's many different type of positions are you can get into or you can always keep moving up the ladder if that's what you want to choose and that's what, and that's how you want to grow, right? Or as a sales rep, you become a cow executive. Maybe you'd become a sales manager, sales director, VP of sales. There, maybe you start your own business doing sales, right? So, you know, no matter what level you want to take it, there's always going to be different levels of sales. So it's not like you, you're going to be a sales person for the rest of your life or sales rep for the rest of your life doing the same thing over and over. You don't have to do that if you don't want to, because there's many different positions for people who are qualified and are willing to learn. And you know, you can learn on the job. So let's say you start at a low level, you get really good, become one of the best salespeople in your territory. And then you move to the next level and then the next level, right? So there's always a career path to move higher and higher if that's what you choose and you won't get stuck doing the same thing as long as you put in the work, you learn from your mistakes and you actually get results. Now The next tip I have for you is that you need to understand if you get into sales, the skills that you're going to learn as a salesperson can be carried with you for the rest of your life. Think about like this. If you want to become a good salesperson and what do you need? You gotta be good with people. You gotta be good at prospecting in coming up with ideas on who you want to work with, you gotta be good at negotiating, running meetings, doing presentations, working in a team, being a leader, organizing people. There's a lot of different skills that you learn as a high level salesperson. Whether you decide to continue on the path of sales or maybe you want to do something left field and different. You have to understand that the skills that you learn you are going to keep for life, right? For example, negotiating. If you learn how to negotiate as a salesperson, Well, when you carry it into, let's say, entrepreneurship, or maybe you're just looking for a new house and you want to negotiate the price to get a better deal, it's still negotiations, right? So remember the soft skills, the communication skills, the people skills that you learn, you're going to carry forever. So even if you go into sales and you're not really sure if that's the career option for you? Totally okay. Because you always have that skill set that you can carry to the next job and you're going to be valuable there as well because these skills are not, they're not something that everybody has, right? You're not born naturally good with people or most people aren't. So when you have that skill, you can use it forever. Alright, next up I have for you is that if you are starting your sales career and you're looking for your first Cl shop, I would actually recommend working at an established company with some type of brandy, Right? So for me, I started at Oracle and equivalent would be maybe a Microsoft, Facebook, Google. You can get one of those names right off the bat. It helps a lot. But if you can't get those names, you might want to go for maybe medium-sized companies with hundreds of employees. Maybe like a HubSpot or something like that. And the reason is because when it comes to sales and your sales career trajectory, when you start at the top, like the top brand names, it's easy to work your way down, right? So let's say if I got a job at Oracle, it's easy for me to go to a, let's say, a fast-growing startup and get a high salary there. Because they're like, oh, this guy worked at Oracle, he did well, he must know what he's doing. So let's hire him. If you reverse it. And let's say you work at a startup first and you try to work at Oracle later, you kinda have to build your way up. So it's kind of difficult unless you just were so good at your job, you blew it up the water that everybody wants to hire you. But let's say you just average, right? You just hit a 100% of your quarter, you're doing fine. If that's the case, it's still difficult to move up the chain. So that's why I would recommend people start at a larger company and move down to more of a startup level or medium-sized level, if that's what you choose to do, right? There are different type of sales. I enterprise sales is very different from like startup sales, but I would actually recommend doing the enterprise level first and then work your way down to create more options for herself. And of course, if you just wanted to startup sales, I treat up, feel free to, but understand that it might be difficult for you to move into larger organizations if you choose to do that later in your career. And the next step we have in this video is you want to start learning sales skills outside of your sales job, right? So when you're starting, obviously you don't have a manager. Maybe they're higher sales trainers to train you and things like that, right? And they're trying to get you ramped up so you can be successful in your career. Great. Now, you have to understand that the knowledge that someone has in your company is limited to their own experience, right? So they're not going to be able to bring different perspectives that may exist in different books, courses, training philosophies, right? And all these things might be good for you, but you may not know that it exists. So for me when I sorry, my sales career, I spent a lot of time at Oracle learning how to sell from Oracle people, but I also took courses at Stanford. I also read a ton of different sales books. I took different sales training and you know, it kinda get a more holistic view on what sales is and find the right pieces that really resonate with my style, right? So it's like, you know, you learn a little something here you take that, you learned something here you take that and you really find what works best for you because every personality is going to be different, right? One person may cell from a different person. They might have a different style. So that's why you want to spend time and to learn different styles of sales to see what fits you. And if you're watching this video while you are really kinda on the right track because you're learning outside of your everyday environment from someone else who has different experiences that you can take and learn from. So what that's going to be my best tips for you when it comes to starting your sales career. These are the things that I really wish I knew when I started it because it would have saved me a lot of time. So hopefully I can pass it on to you and you guys can save time and be successful in your career. And I'm gonna see you guys in the next one. 3. Entrepreneurs, Sales Development, Business Development, & Account Executive: If you are starting or considering a career in sales, I know it can be really difficult to even know where to begin. How do you start? Do you need any prior experience? What does the entry level role look like? And if you have your own business, how can you get started selling your own products and services? And what I'm gonna do in this video is I'm gonna break down sales and I'm gonna share with you how I was able to start my sales career with 0 experience, become a sales rep and eventually start my own business selling my own products and services. And my goal for you in this video is to really give you a high-level overview of exactly how sales works, especially if you're just getting started and you wanna make sure you watch this video until the end. Because if you don't, you're gonna waste, you know, weeks or months or even years of your life trying to figure this out on your own. But I'm just gonna give you the breakdown of how I was able to do it. And you can kinda take some inspiration from that and accelerate your sales career. So we're going to dive into the first question of sales. And you know, I love to ask, do you need any prior experience to get started in sales? Short answer is no. You do not need any experience at all. Doesn't matter to get started in sales. And this applies to whether you are looking for a sales job or if you are an entrepreneur, you're starting your own business. Do you need any prior selling experienced to do these things? No. You don't. You can literally get started no matter what your background is. Think about this when most people go to, let's say a business school to learn business, usually they don't take us class called seals one-to-one. They might take operations, finance, accounting, marketing, but rarely, rarely, rarely, rarely do they actually take a course in sales. So if business people are able to become sales reps without having to take any courses on sales, then you don't either. And you know, people who are English majors, philosophy majors, even biology majors who went to college for that, they might end up sales reps too, and they learn. What they learn in school has nothing to do with what they're actually doing in the real world. And you have to think about this for sales. There's a ton of entry-level jobs out there. And when I say entry level, that means you don't need any prior experience because it's literally the first job you get in sales. So accompanies all over the world recognize that, yes, if you want to fill this role, you can always hire salespeople because we're doing an entry-level job. So you don't need any experience to get started. The most important thing if you're starting in sales and you have no experience, is not really what your prior experiences, but more about your attitude. And you know, when you go in for the interview and they meet you, do they feel like you have the right attitude to learn how to sell on the job and do whatever it takes to become successful because your attitude determines your ability to sell and your ability to learn well determined if you can actually learn on the job. And also, are you confident in yourself in are you confident selling another person's product or services, right? Because if you're not confident in doing these things, you're probably not going to succeed in sales. But if you are and you've got the right attitude and you're willing to learn. That is what people look for when it comes to hiring for entry levels, Hills Rolls. Now go ahead and share a quick story on how I started my sales career. And at the time I was a university student and I was interested in marketing, right. But, you know, I go on this website called height at the time and I was really into street where it wasn't as popular as it is now. So I saw, I was scrolling around and I saw this video that hippies made with another sales agency. And it was like a little trailer. And the trailer was to promote this sales agencies so they can get more clients. But I watched it as a consumer and you know, I was like, wow, this is really cool. They got a cool office. It seems like they're working with a lot of brands that I like. And I wanted to work there right after watching this video. It's kinda funny because this video was not meant to recruit people. It was just meant for them to get their name out there and get more clients. But I saw it. I want to work there. Went on their website. There weren't any positions for, let's say an internship. That's what I did was I, you know, I found the founder on LinkedIn and I send them an email and say, hey, you know, I saw the video on eyepiece and you know, it's really cool you guys are doing. And I'm really passionate about a street where I really wanted to learn about the business. You know, do you guys have any internships? That guy for my email to another person and they say, Hey, come in for an interview. So I came into the interview wearing a full on Sue. Everyone's There's wearing a t-shirt and jeans because it's a street where a company and you interviewed and got the job. And when they asked me if I had any it wasn't for marketing job, it was for a sales internship, right? And I wasn't really that interested in sales at the time, but I really want to work there. So I'll say Whatever I'll take anything when I went in for the interview and they ask me questions about what brands I like. Do I have any sales experience? You know, I didn't have any so experience, but that was okay because I had a positive attitude. I was passionate about the products they're selling and, you know, they believed in me. And that's really all it took to get my first sales internship. So when it comes to you and the jobs you want to go for, think about, you know, what actually you're passionate about selling. We know what industries do you really care about and you want to work in there, whether it's Tech, real estate, finance, clothing, whatever, right? And when you go into the interview, show your passion, show your confidence, show that your ability. Show that you have the right attitude to do whatever it takes to succeed and learn on the job. And I'm pretty confident you'll get the job if you're able to do that, demonstrate and communicate it. Now the next part of this is let's go ahead and give you an understanding of these entry level SalesRole. So what exactly are you going to be doing on a day-to-day basis? Now when it comes to sales in the beginning, if you're doing entry-level, right, let's say you're working at a big company like Oracle or Salesforce. Or even if you're working in a startup that has a good amount of funding, a lot of times you'll start out as an SDR, right? Self-development, also known as a Business Development Rep, where your entire job is to generate appointments for account executives. And account executive is just somebody that gets on the phone and closes the deal, right? So in the beginning, you know, you don't, they don't really take a big risk on you. They don't know your capability yet. They just want see what you've got. So what you're gonna do is all-day everyday, you're gonna go on LinkedIn. You're gonna go on your computer and send cold emails and LinkedIn messages to potential customers and generate meetings. And you're just saying like, Hey, you've got a problem, I can solve the problem. You want to take a meeting. They say yes, they say no. They say yes. Then you schedule that appointment for the account executive and you get paid usually as Ana salary. Alright. And then for every meeting you said you'd get some type of commission. Or they might say for every deal that closes, you get a commission from that deal. And so, you know, for a lot of seals worlds out there, you get Commission and you get a salary. Right now there are other roles where you're starting out like a SDR and maybe you're only based on commission. Typically, if you're working in a large company like well-funded startup. Oracle, Microsoft Salesforce, they will usually always do salary and commission. But if you're working for a smaller company that can't afford to pay salaries and they could only afford to pay you. If you get results, then it's going to be commission only. Some from my experience, usually the better jobs pay commission and salary, other opportunities may not do that because they can't really afford it or they can't take the risk rate. But both can be good depending on what you're looking for. And so that's how that works. Sometimes if the company is kinda new or their sales organization is new, you will actually become an account executive right off the bat. Instead of an SDR, you might have to go and phone close deals, get clients, but at the same time you might have to generate your own leads. So you gotta send the emails, get the media, and close the client, which is a lot more work for smaller sales team. That's usually how it works. You gotta generate leaves and close deals. When I started at Oracle, I wasn't kinda in this special program where I was I started as an account executive. Right. So, you know, I was in a role where typically someone with three to five years of experience, they enter that role. But I got the role unfortunately, rather college. So I had the January may only if it had to close my own deals. So depending on the company you're working for, that's how I roll is right. You might be SCR or you might be in a counter for Acrobat, really just the Pence. All right, so now we kinda covered, you know, what sales is like if you work for another company. But what is it like if you're an entrepreneur or freelancer contractor and you're selling your own products and services. Well, if you're selling on products and services, probably you don't have any prior sales experience. So you have to just get started from ground 0. And don't be afraid of this, don't, you know, don't be like, Oh, I don't have a sales experience, I can't do it. You can do it. Anybody can learn it on the job. If people can't learn sales, they don't have a business. So, you know, this is something you definitely can learn even if you're not that great with people. And if you think about it, if you are selling, consulting, freelancing, or contract work anytime a service business, for example, if you don't have any clients, right, you're not really doing any work for anybody. So you should actually just being doing sales all day, every day until you have enough clients where you're doing creative work or whatever it is and you're generating sales. So for service type of businesses, I would probably say like half of it is just selling and, you know, it's kinda funny. You know, I hope a lot of people, lost students and entrepreneurs who are coaches, consultants are freelancers, stuff I've added. And they always tell me like, oh, I'm so busy working on my business. I'm too busy to sell or generate leads and I'm just like, do you have any clients know? And NLRA? Well, what are you doing, you know, having clients or what are you really doing, right? And that's a trap most people fall into. They think they're working on their business or putting together a website and they spend months and months doing this stuff doesn't really move the needle. Actually, they should just hardcore, focus on sales in the beginning, get clients and do all the other stuff. Because if you can't generate sales, you got nothing. If you are self employee, I own business, whatever. Well, here's what you want to do to get started quick. Number one, create an offer, right? What is it that you're offering to your customer? Number two, who is your ideal customer? Who exactly are you going to bring this offer to and why would they even want to buy number three, once you've got that down, reach out to them sentimentally didn't message. You could call, call them or send them a cold email, whatever works best in your industry, find a way to generate an appointment. Number four, get the appointment right when you actually on the phone or in person, you know, meet with them, talk with them, understand their problems, and sell your products and services. And number five, close a deal right after you got through other process. They are good fit, close the deal. So that's a simple breakdown of how works. But essentially, if you're starting out selling your own products, services, that's a process you just gotta do over and over and over until you get the client's rolling and you started generating more revenue. There's no escape from that. If you're doing any type of high-end ticket services, selling things are a thousands of dollars, right? Because they're paying for your time, then that's what you have to do it, you cannot avoid it. And so that's, that's pretty much how you get started in sales. Whether you want to get a sales job or if you want to get started in sales as an entrepreneur. So that said my name is Patrick Daniel and I will see you guys in the next one. 4. Next Steps: Now, if you're getting any value out of these courses, make sure to leave a positive review, sharing your experiences. I read every single review and I really do appreciate your feedback. And if you wanna see more videos like this, make sure to follow me on skill shares so you can notified on when I released my latest courses.