Key Musts for a Sales Resume
A sales professional’s resume needs to succinctly demonstrate achievements and results that immediately state to employers: “I can beat your goals.”
Sales is very measurable and your resume must highlight both your quantifiable accomplishments as well as certain soft skills.
There are different metrics that you can use to quantify results and demonstrate sales success on a resume to impress employers. Consider the following:
- Meet and/or Exceed Sales Quota
Professionals in a sales position are given a quota to meet. Demonstrate on your resume your ability to meet your sales quota consistently, or even go beyond it, by providing the percentage of your achievements within the most recent years. If you have a strong track record, you will shine.
Many sales resumes go wrong by stating such things as “grew business $250K over previous year”. Very nice, but is this good or bad, meaning how did this compare against your goal? Better to say “Delivered 121% of quota”. You may want to add “by growing business $250K over previous year” but remember that in some companies, $250K may not be considered very much.
- Your Rank Against Your Peers
Companies want to hire top performers so demonstrate that you are one by indicating your rank: “Consistently ranked in the Top 5 out of 150 peers nationwide”. You can also put in percentages: “Ranked in Top 10%”.
- Drive New Business
There are other ways to make your sales resume stand out and this includes your ability to drive new business and increase the customer base. Demonstrate on your resume your ability to deliver new accounts by quantifying how much new business you brought in and how this compared to others in the company. For instance, “increased client base by 45% versus a company average of 15%”.
- Strong Customer Retention and Account Penetration
Getting a big customer is great and you show how you were able to drive greater year-over year sales by expanding the company’s presence into other areas of the account. Also highlight your strong account management skills by indicating your retention rate. Use phrases like “Increased sales at existing customers by over 15% each year and earned a 100% retention rate”. Even better if you can add what the average retention rate is for others in the company.
- Closing Rate
Employers value sales professionals who can close deals. Again try to compare yourself against your peers by stating “Noted for 72% closing rate versus company average of 45%”.
If you have been ranked and awarded for your effectiveness and success on the job, include it as a highlight on your resume. It can help further support the points you make to demonstrate you are a standout sales professional.
- Training and Certifications
Informing an employer that you have received up-to-date training or have been certified can be another impressive mark on the resume. It reinforces your personal character and shows how you continue to seek education and knowledge to improve yourself and your effectiveness in your career. Also highlight if you were selected to train others in your personal sales practices.
- Highlight Your Relationships
If you have built loyal relationships with companies that the employer would like to get into, then make sure you stress this. This shows that you can gain an introduction to key accounts much faster than other sales reps, so don’t forget to show your experience in dealing with the type of customer or client base the employer handles. Whether your experience is with start-ups, companies that are overseas or large corporations, plug these relevant details in with your quantified results to make an even more impressive mark.
Your resume can be viewed as a direct reflection of your sales abilities. Market yourself effectively on the resume by demonstrating results in all aspects of the sales profession to show you have contributed to the success of revenue growth for your former employers.