Find Your First Sales Internship

Find Your First Sales Internship

If you are conflicted about whether you should apply for a sales internship, the answer is always "YES". Especially if you are majoring in marketing, business and management, supply chain, production, etc., Sales internship experience can be a good starting point for your future career development.
To help secure your best match sales internship, and get ready for it, in this article, we'll take a closer look at why sales internship, the skills and experience required for a career in sales, the benefits of a sales internship, the potential career paths available in sales, along with the key components of their salary. Whether you're just starting out or interested in a sales internship , this article will provide you with the insights and information you need to succeed.

Why Sales Internship? 


A sales internship allows you to understand your customer, which is the foundation you need before moving up in a company. The experience can provide you with valuable hands-on experience, allowing you to apply the concepts and skills learned in the classroom to real-world situations.

During your time as a sales intern, you will identify your strengths and weaknesses in the field. By attending weekly meetings, observing, and interacting with other departments such as PR, marketing, and production team, you can form valuable mentorships and understand where your passion lies. These opportunities make you more likely to receive a full-time job offer after the internship.

What Does a Sales Development Representative Do?


Sales development representatives (SDRs) are a critical part of the sales team in many organizations. They are responsible for generating leads and qualifying potential customers through outreach efforts such as cold calling, emailing, and social media outreach.

One of the main responsibilities of an entry-level SDRs role is to generate leads and find potential customers for the company's product. This may involve researching potential customers and industries, attending events and conferences, or reaching out to potential customers via email or phone.To be successful in this role, SDRs will need to have a solid understanding of the product or service that they are selling. This may involve learning about the features and benefits of the product, as well as understanding how it compares to competing products in the market.

Additionally, they'll need to have a good understanding of their target market, including their needs, pain points, and buying habits.Identifying potential customers requires market research and outreach efforts. SDRs may need to use a combination of tools such as market research reports, social media, and targeted advertising to identify potential customers and make initial contact with them. Once they have identified potential customers, they'll need to develop relationships with them and communicate the value of the product in a persuasive and compelling manner.


What skills or experience are important in this role?


If you are pursuing a career in sales, there are several skills and experiences that are important:

1. Communication skills: Being able to effectively communicate with potential customers, colleagues and other stakeholders is critical to success in sales. This includes both verbal and written communication, as well as effective listening skills.

2. Interpersonal skills: Building relationships with customers is key to making sales. Salespeople need to be empathetic and assuring customers that you can help them with their requirements is an important aspect of the job. For that, you should be able to place yourself in their shoes, listen to them, and understand their pain points.

3. Problem-solving skills: Sales requires the ability to identify customer needs and present solutions to meet those needs. Salespeople need to be able to think critically and creatively to develop solutions that meet customer needs.

4. Time management skills: Sales is a fast-paced environment, and salespeople need to be able to manage their time effectively in order to meet sales targets and keep up with customer demands.

5. Resilience: Sales can be a challenging field, and salespeople need to have the resilience to handle rejection and stay motivated in the face of setbacks.

6. Product knowledge: Strong salespeople have a deep understanding of the products or services they sell, and are able to communicate their features and benefits clearly to potential customers.

7. Negotiation skills: Sales negotiations are a great way to make customers feel engaged with the company and product. It makes both the sales representative and customer reach an agreement, ensures a profitable transaction and customer satisfaction. It is also a great way to find out what customers want and need from a product.

8. Client management skills: Client management is the process of managing, coordinating and overseeing a company's interactions between potential clients and existing clients. Salespeople can expand their customer base by attracting new potential clients, as well as cultivate and maintain long-term relationships with existing customers. This can ultimately lead to the establishment and strengthening of positive connections between the organization and its clients.


Where can sales internship lead?


Glassdoor reports that the average base salary for an SDR is $46,936, while PayScale indicates that the average commission ranges from $4,000 to $26,000.

Sales internships can lead to a variety of career opportunities, depending on your interests and experience. Some potential career paths that can be pursued after completing a sales internship include:

1. Account Executive: As an account manager, you will be responsible for managing relationships with existing customers. You will work to identify new opportunities for sales, upsell existing customers, and ensure that customers are satisfied with the product or service. According to the report by Payscale on sales careers, the average base salary for an account executive in 2023 is $73,212, and commission can range from $4,000 to $53,000.

2. Customer Success Manager: CSM is responsible for ensuring that customers are getting the most value out of a company's product or service. The primary goal of a CSM is to build and maintain strong relationships with customers, with the aim of maximizing customer retention and satisfaction.The 2022 Payscale report indicates that the average base salary for a CSM is $73,465. The report also states that commissions for account executives can range from $2,000 to $31,000.

3. Business Development: Business development roles involve identifying new opportunities for sales and partnerships. This may involve conducting market research, identifying potential customers, and building relationships with external partners. According to Glassdoor, a Business Development Manager in the United States earns $117,496 per year. In addition to the base salary, the average additional cash compensation for a Business Development Manager is $36,667, with a range of $27,500 to $51,333.


Sales Career Map

This chart explains the career path for people who starts the job as a sales development representative

Ideal Majors for a Sales Career:

  • Finance
  • Marketing
  • Business Management
  • Supply Chain
  • Production
  • Public Relation
  • Communication
  • Product Development

    How to Land Your First Sales Internship: 


    1. Build your own career path: Before applying to a sales internship, take some time to reflect on your career goals and aspirations. Ask yourself what you hope to gain from this experience. Are you looking for mentorship opportunities, hands-on sales training, or a deeper understanding of the sales industry? Clarifying your goals will help you target internships that align with your career ambitions and make the most out of the opportunity.

    2. Do your research about the industry: Understanding the industry you want to work in is crucial. Many retail industries, such as apparel, furniture, and cosmetics, all have entry-level sales positions. Research the major companies, trends, challenges, and innovations within the sector. Familiarize yourself with key terminology and concepts related to sales in that industry. This knowledge can help you not only solidify what industry you want to be in but also help you stand out in interviews.

    3. Networking: You can start networking by asking your friends, talking to your classmates about their internships, and reaching out to school alumni and professionals on LinkedIn. It is one of the most effective ways to find an internship. Don't feel discouraged if it doesn't work out the first time. Keep trying, and you will nail it.

    4. Submit application on online: Many companies post their internship opportunities on job boards, company websites, and social media platforms. Websites like LinkedIn, Indeed, Glassdoor, and specific industry job boards are great places to start your search. Set up an alarm for latest job posting. Apply as early as you can. Highlight the skills that you think are best match the job description. If you don't hear back within a couple of weeks, always remember to follow up.