The Salesperson’s Guide to Sales Job Hunting Part 1: Prep & Target

This is The Salesperson’s Guide to Sales Job Hunting Part 1: Prep & Target, part one of a two-part series. Keep on eye out for Part Two: The Decision Stage!job-hunt-jeremy-ambition

So you’re a sales professional. You graduated from college, went tumbling into the job market and landed in a pretty decent entry-level sales role with a B2B software company. Or maybe it was financial services? Insurance? Pharma? Whatever you’re selling, you’ve learned the fundamentals of the profession and are happy to be a part of it!

Over the last 1-5 years, you’ve learned the ropes, earned your stripes and have decided it’s time to start looking for your first big move into a great, new opportunity. There’s only one problem: You have no clue how to figure out what the great new opportunity looks like.

The answer: Go about it exactly like a prospect would go about researching your product in your market.


The Salesperson’s Guide to Sales Job Hunting Part 1: 

Step 1. Awareness Stage: Determine your personal pain points

Start with the following:

1) Make a list of your pains (reasons you want to move).

2) Define your “ROI” (ex. higher salary, commission rates, growth potential, vertical move).

3) Set a budget (except instead of a ceiling, this one has a floor).

4) Determine geographical/industry non-compete parameters, if any.

Does this list sound familiar? One, two, and three, are exactly what your prospects do when evaluating your product.

If you begin to think of a job hunt as a buyer’s journey, you will see a number of similarities.

Step 2. Consideration Stage: Research your options

Now that you’ve done the preliminary prep, it’s time to start researching. In 2016, you’ve got a ton of online resources, literally at your fingertips. Here are three websites that are great for research on prospective sales employers:

1) Glassdoor, great for salary data, reviews from both past and current employees and questions to expect in an interview.

2) Ideal Candidate, specific to sales jobs, great for finding local jobs, seeing who is hiring, and understanding the culture of different sales teams with videos, interviews and data.

3) LinkedIn, connecting with personal professional contacts, looking at the virtual resumes of employees that are working for your target employers.

What to look for: Who’s hiring? What is my market rate? What skills do the current employees have? What does the sales team culture look like? Can I picture myself as a part of this team?

From here, use the 3 above sources to start building a list of job openings where there is potential for both personal development and career progression. 

Step 3. Consideration Stage: Target ideal personas

Step three, make a list of the top companies and roles you’d be interested in interviewing for. Create a reasonable salary range and set your geographical preferences. With all that in hand, you can effectively narrow down your search to a targeted process. This list acts similar to the ideal personas that you are used to prospecting. By creating and identifying your own needs and wants, you can focus on the roles you are really interested in, instead of the outdated “spray and pray” method.

Continue building and updating your list.

New roles open up every day and top roles get filled quickly.

Follow up with phone calls, and most of all, push hard for referrals. As with sales, prospects that discover you via a third party or internal referral make far easier targets than those you contact via cold outreach.

Are you looking for a sales job? Top employers use Ideal Candidate to find their next sales superstars. Browse open sales roles here, find your match and make more money!


Jeremy Boudinet is the Director of Marketing at Ambition. You can connect with him on LinkedIn here.

Jeremy is a passionate marketing leader, writer and full-time hustler. You can find his advocacy for workplace transparency, data-driven performance management and millennial professional growth in Inc., Time, Entrepreneur and the Daily Muse.


This is part one of a two part series on The Salesperson’s Guide to Sales Job Hunting. Keep an eye out for part two: the decision stage.

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Kayla Kozan

Kayla Kozan

Director of Marketing at Ideal
Kayla spent the last few years studying Marketing and Entrepreneurship on 3 different continents. Now covering the latest in predictive analytics, workplace diversity and big data. She has a keen interest in tech and discovering underrated brunch spots.
Kayla Kozan