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Why telemarketing can be a great place to start your sales career

Forrest Marketing Group Blog blog

Why telemarketing can be a great place to start your sales career

Benefits of a telemarketing job in a call centre and why sales is the best career to start from

When people think about starting a career in sales, they imagine closing high profile deals, the thrill of negotiations and the excitement of a career that’s equal parts competitive spirit and perspiration, and healthy rewards. And while that might be the end-game, every career has an entry point and we’ve all got to start somewhere. I find it interesting that more people don’t consider telemarketing as their entry-point to sales when they’re starting out. While it lacks the perceived glamour of going out to present to qualified prospects, it’s probably the best (and most intensive) training ground for a career in sales.

The reason for this is that sales, almost always and regardless of industry or product, comes down to numbers. Telemarketing provides a steep learning curve and a chance to maximise your numbers over a very short time. That means failing fast and learning even faster.

A typical face-to-face salesperson will meet with less than 8 prospects per day. The average would be around 4-5 per day in most cases – and probably not every day. That means just 4-5 opportunities to practice and perfect their pitch every day. Which means a long road to seriously honing your sales pitch, objection handling and closing techniques. It’s far more difficult to use trial and error to uncover the valuable traits that make you stand out against the competition, and because sometimes days can pass between meetings, it’s even harder to remember the lessons learned so that you can get it right next time. Unlike your colleagues in telemarketing, you don’t get that fast repetition that leads to rapid improvements.

In contrast, a telemarketer, lead generation representative or inside-sales consultant will typically make between 15-20 calls per hour in the B2B space and speak to 3-5 decision makers every hour. Over a day, that’s 7 times as many prospects as a face-to-face salesperson. Over a year that adds up to around 7,000 more sales conversations. That’s 7,000 more opportunities to learn what works and what doesn’t. And it comes back to the numbers game: because telemarketers are speaking to more prospects, they’re closing more business and hitting targets their field sales colleagues can only dream of.

This intense learning experience will undoubtedly positively impact your skills, experience and persistence. Not only will you speak with more people, but you will also get used to hearing “no”. And you will become skilled at distinguishing between a hard “no” and an objection that you can overcome and turn into a positive sale. Turning these scenarios around is a key requirement and a highly coveted skill of a great salesperson.

Telemarketing is a sure-fire way of honing your sales abilities, as you learn how best to lead and steer a conversation, understanding the best questions to ask, when to talk and when to listen. You’ll learn the numerous ways to best present a product or service in line with your prospect’s needs.

The skills learnt while working as a Telemarketer will provide valuable foundational knowledge wherever your career takes you. Hiring managers respect candidates who have honed their sales skills at the coal face, and have the resilience and drive to overcome challenges and objections. In fact, Sales Managers often struggle to get their experienced salespeople to roll up their sleeves and prospect over the phone. An ability to do this successfully and make it an enjoyable part of your routine shows a drive and willingness to hit targets that will make you a great salesperson, an indispensable team member, prime for promotion.

If you’re thinking of getting into sales, cold calling/lead generation is an excellent place to start. It will give you a brilliant knowledge of all the skills you need to become a great salesperson. I’ve never met a telemarketer who hasn’t gone on to have a successful sales career, and when asked I’m sure they’d attribute their success to the skills and experience gained in those early years on the phone.

If considering a career in sales and would like to join our team to learn the core skills, get in touch today by sending us an email at

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