How To Stay Motivated in a Sales Career
Sales is arguably one of the most mentally draining and difficult professions. The turnover for young professionals in this industry is incredibly common, but a career in sales can be rewarding both financially and personally.
Let me introduce myself, I'm Natasha. I am entering my eighth year as a recruiter for a big IT staffing company, and if you had met me back in 2013 or spoken to my loved ones, we would’ve laughed at the idea of me in sales. I once failed a college project selling flowers in the quad and was convinced sales was not for me. I was told a year in corporate America will set me up for grad school, and to everyone’s surprise, here I am looking at the pipeline of promotions and endless opportunities. Low and behold, eight years later and multiple sales contest wins under my belt, I’m here to tell you how that changed for me and how it could change for you too.
Find a Mentor
I personally believe that motivation comes from within, and we can’t rely on our peers or managers to motivate us to succeed. But, one of the biggest things I attribute to my tenure and success is a mentor; a mentor is a huge step in finding success in any career. I found a mentor in our organization early on and we built a strong relationship personally and professionally.
Having a strong mentor to rely on ultimately helped save my career and also led to the decision to transfer with my company to Arizona to grow a team here. My mentors offered advice on how to navigate company politics, aspects of the sales cycle and training other leaders.
Now as a tenured lead, I take pride in being a mentor for others. Not to necessarily motivate them but to inspire them to be the best versions they can be.
Establish your Why
Besides a mentor, it is incredibly important to understand why you have chosen a career in sales in the first place. This was hard for me. I admit I didn’t intentionally choose sales, it chose me. I was recruited out of college and this was the only promising offer I had. I then had to go on a long journey to understand my why in order to find success.
This is an introspective journey and may be hard for some but really necessary. If you do not know your why, you will not be able to get through the hard days. You will make excuses and flounder.
I mapped out my life journey and self-evaluated my drive and why. I was inspired by the why of others, my successes and failures, which all helped reinforce my why: A drive to be independent and not fail. Growing up, failure or admitting something was “hard” wasn’t an option in our family. That is definitely evident in my sales career.
Sales can offer a financial lifestyle that is very rare for a young professional and open up doors you couldn’t even imagine. I’m ambitious and that comes from watching my mom climb the corporate ladder. I also wanted to be an inspirational leader to others. These thing fuel my why and drive my sales career.
Don’t be Afraid to be Vulnerable
The last piece of advice I have, and admittedly still work on actively, is vulnerability. Sales is hard and you take a mental beating often, primarily for things outside of your control. Being vulnerable is not in our nature, but important to be successful.
I learned early on in my career that my team wanted me to succeed, and they were there for my failures just as much as my wins, which helped me open up and build strong relationships. I learned how important it is to be an authentic leader who embraces myself, not this robot I thought corporate America wanted me to be.
This all allowed me to have tough conversations on strategies I didn’t agree with, push back on my team and stay true to myself and goals. Talk to others about what is going on in your sales strategy and ask for help – do it often and early. This not only helps your craft but helps you stay sane.
To recap, sales is tough for so many reasons but can be a beautiful career. It takes grit and effort and a desire to be great, and once you lose your motivation, or your why, it can be difficult to recover and grow. Keep pushing through!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Natasha Badaa is a Team Lead at TEKsystems in Phoenix and has been there since 2013. This was her first job out of college, and she has since hit multiple sales contest wins, relocated with the company to Phoenix from Portland and leads a team of recruiters. In her spare time, she loves leadership books and podcasts, cooking and a good bottle of wine! Natasha became a GET Phoenix Member in 2021. Learn More About GET Phoenix Membership