If you have a career in the sales industry, you should have a good idea of the importance of first impressions. For job applicants, a cover letter is the first impression they make on any prospective employer.
A general cover letter should be used to introduce yourself to the prospective employer, explain why you are suitable for the job, and show your interest in working for the company. However, a cover letter for a sales job should be more targeted. Given below are some tips to help you write a good cover letter when applying for a sales job:
Showcase your sales statistics
If you have worked in a sales position before, you can showcase your sales records on your cover letter. The letter should be short, so make sure to highlight only the most important achievements, and they are given below:
- Sales success rate
- Customer retention rate and conversion to new product areas
- Number of new customers you added
- Contribution to profit and growth in sales, and exact numbers on profit and sales gains
Remember to be specific about your sales successes; the more specific you are, the bigger the impact your achievements have on the recruiter. Solid numbers and statistics are preferred any day over buttery words and vague statements like ‘I was one of the best sales representatives in my team’.
If you are thinking of moving from a small to a big company, use percentages instead of numbers to give a better idea of your achievements. Here is an example of a statement about previous job achievements.
“In 2010, I brought in contracts valued at $500K, which was 40 percent of the region’s market share and signified a 15 percent increase from 2009”
The size of the previous company does not matter, but a potential employer may not realize the extent of your achievement unless you give context to it, especially if the achievement was in a small company. Quantifying your achievements helps employers get an idea of how much you have performed and how well you will perform for them.
Show that you have a plan
It is great to showcase good sales records and statistics in your cover letter, but it is equally important to show that you know what you are doing. Metrics and statistics are important, but not the only key element in a cover letter. Another important element you should mention is how you achieved that success. Briefly mention your sales tactics. Here is an example of a good statement in a cover letter.
“Increased sales by 15 percent in two years by identifying new target audiences in the industry”
In the above statement, the achievement is backed by a result quantified in percentage, and the plan used to earn that achievement is mentioned. This shows that you understand the market and can find opportunities for sales growth, and this performance can be replicated in other companies as well.
Express interest in the company
Now that you have showcased your sales achievements properly, you should focus on the prospective employer and express your interest in joining them. Do some research on the company and share some examples of why you want to work with them and how you can contribute to meeting their goals.