Put your head down, hit your targets and hope for the best. That’s the plan most people have for advancing their sales career. In the long run – and with a little luck – it will probably work out, but successful people don’t rely on luck; they create their own path to career happiness.If you want to increase your odds or accelerate the next step in your career, here are five proactive steps you can take to get a sales promotion.
Learn The Art of Self-Promotion
Even the finest sales professionals can fall short when it comes to selling themselves. How have you grown revenue for your company? Did you build/manage/motivate a sales team? Have you made President’s Club? Landed a huge client?
It’s easy to talk about that stuff in a job interview or on a resume but doing it around the office can be more difficult. An easy way to draw attention to your accomplishments is by asking for recommendations on LinkedIN that relate to specific accomplishments. You get the opportunity to highlight an accomplishment to the higher-ups and your whole network will hear about it!
Volunteer Within Your Organization
If your heart is set on remaining with your organization, volunteer for social committees, or to serve on the advisory board, where you can build your reputation as a solid, passionate person, dedicated to the industry and the company itself. Should your objectives change down the road, this experience always looks good on a resume.
Many of the lessons we touched on in How To Get Headhunted Using LinkedIN apply to internal advancement, but there’s a social component to being visible as well. Rightly or wrongly, people are more likely to get promoted if the person doing the hiring likes them.
Christmas parties, team building exercises and even conversations in the lunchroom; these are all opportunities to find common ground with the people around you. Participation in the company culture also reinforces the idea that you’re invested in the organization.
Find a Mentor
Your mentor should be someone whose working philosophy, traits and success story you admire. Mentors can be great source of information and career guidance and they should have a network in place that you would like to be part of. Of course, the more powerful the mentor, the more success you may have in sharing that power for your own advantage.
Studies show that a mentor higher up in the company influences four out of five internal promotions. Additionally, should your mentor leave your company for an exciting opportunity elsewhere, they are sure to keep you in mind when recruiting for their team at the new company.
Connect With A Headhunter
Sometimes the only realistic opportunities for advancement beyond settling in for the long haul involve a headhunter or executive recruiter. When you work with a recruitment firm you can specify the conditions of your next career move, so you don’t need to have your desk packed before you send an introductory email.
Choose the firms you register with carefully. Look on their websites to see the roles they advertise and the clients they work with, to discover if they specialize in the sort of opportunities you want, with the sort of compensation you desire.
Get involved, stay connected, be informed and highly visible. Before you know it you’ll be getting noticed and getting your next sales promotion.