How to Write a Sales Cover Letter

How to Write a Sales Cover Letter

How to Write a Sales Cover Letter

If you’re trying to establish a career in sales, then chances are you know how to use persuasive chat to close the deal.

So, it stands to reason that writing a sales cover letter should be a breeze. After all, this is your opportunity to sell yourself as a prospective candidate to a hiring manager.

But what if your sales patter is based on your personality and the way that you talk? Putting pen to paper can sometimes be a little harder and you might start to second-guess yourself.

To help you take that next step in your sales career, this article will show you how to write a great sales cover letter.

We’ll take you step-by-step through the writing process and we’ll share some examples of cover letters for sales positions.

What Is a Sales Cover Letter and Why Is It Important?

Companies will typically receive hundreds of applications for jobs. Sales jobs in particular are highly sought after. Therefore, a recruiter may need something beyond the traditional resume to help make their decision.

They may be flooded with similar-sounding resumes where candidates have similar qualifications and experience.

Instead, they need a document which explains more about who the applicant is, and why the recruiter should consider hiring them.

Thus, the sales cover letter was born.

Within your sales cover letter, you’ll have the opportunity to demonstrate your passion for the job. You can showcase your personality and help your resume stand out from the crowd.

It’s an incredibly important tool so you must use it effectively.

What Should You Include Within a Cover Letter for a Sales Position?

When writing your sales cover letter, it’s important to remember that it shouldn’t be a rehash of your resume. The recruiter will already know your academic qualifications and professional expertise.

Instead, it’s an opportunity to sell yourself to the hiring manager. You should use your sales skills for yourself.

You want to demonstrate who you are and what sets you apart from others. You can focus on your passion, drive and commitment. Or you could expand on your experience and explain how you plan to bring your knowledge to this new role.

Great sales cover letters can help to bring your personality to life. They should showcase why you are a great fit for the role (referring to specific experience where possible) and they should also explain why you are passionate about working for this specific company.

As such, cover letters for sales associates or sales managers should always be written with specific jobs in mind.

Here are a few suggestions of items that you should include within your sales cover letter:

Your Personal Skills

This may be tangible skills that you’ve learned (perhaps you’re well-acquainted with particular computer software) or it could be the transferrable skills or soft skills that make you unique.

Look at the job description to be clear on what specific skills they are looking for.

Any Previous Experience

Your resume will demonstrate prior work history, but if there is a relevant area of expertise that you can mention, your cover letter is the perfect opportunity.

In a sales cover letter, you should try to be as quantifiable as possible. If you boosted sales by 15% then make sure you say it. Perhaps you’ve led a team and they have exceeded their targets, make sure you state by how much.

Remember that the hiring managers are looking to be impressed, so make sure that you give them the stats that will wow them.

Look Ahead to the Future

As well as looking back at what you’ve already achieved, you should look forward to what you are still capable of achieving.

Try to explain what your ambitions are and how you think this particular company can help you achieve them. Can you also explain how you can help the company to achieve a competitive advantage thanks to your persuasive and charming sales skills?

You need to demonstrate your passion for your profession as well as the employer.

Any Specific Achievements

Don’t forget to mention any awards that you may have won. This could be internal celebrations or even regional/national achievements.

Remember, you are selling yourself, so you need to shout about what makes you so great. Your sales cover letter is not a time to be modest.

Top Tips to Remember Before You Start Writing Your Sales Cover Letter

As always, before you put pen to paper and start writing, it’s wise to consider what you want to say. Jot down a few key points of interest as reminders before you start crafting your sales pitch.

Here are a few practical hints and tips:

  • Think about what makes you unique. The recruiter will be reading hundreds of similar-sounding cover letters, particularly for sales associate or sales manager jobs. They are looking for something which helps elevate a candidate and make them memorable (for the right reasons).

  • Pay close attention to the job description. Everything you write in your sales cover letter should relate directly back to the job description. You need to make it abundantly clear that you have the skills they are looking for. If they use particular terminology, then subtly mimic it. If they state that they need a particular tangible skill, then reiterate your capabilities. You need to know the job description like the back of your hand.

  • Use bullet points and statistics. We mentioned earlier that you should try and quantify your achievements where possible. Try to use bullet points to highlight key successes. Not only will it stand out, but it will also help to keep your letter short and to-the-point.

  • Make sure it’s pitch-perfect. Before you submit your sales cover letter, make sure that it’s grammatically correct with no unfortunate errors. Your letter should show your best side; remember, it’s all about making a great first impression. You could ask a friend to review. Or you may wish to draft your letter, then sleep on it and come back to it. Sometimes, taking a few hours away can help you to see errors that you may have previously missed.

How to Write a Sales Cover Letter
How to Write a Sales Cover Letter

How to Write a Great Sales Cover Letter – a Step-by-Step Approach

We know that you are an expert in selling. That’s why you work in sales.

But do you know how to carefully craft an effective cover letter?

Here, we break it down step-by-step so you can start telling your story:

Section #1 – The Introduction

This is your first opportunity to grab the recruiter's attention.

Make sure that you address the letter to the right person. Try to avoid 'To whom it may concern' or 'To the hiring manager' as it shows a lack of effort and commitment.

Instead, address it to a named contact – if you can’t find details on the company’s website, then why not ring the company to ask who to address it to? They may be impressed by the effort that you are making.

You should be clear about which specific job role you are applying for – often, sales teams may be recruiting for more than one role, so the recruiter needs total confidence in which position you are interested in.

For example,

Dear Mrs. Bloggs

I recently came across your job description for the advertised role of Sales Manager and I am extremely excited to submit my application for this role. I am an experienced sales manager with more than 15 years’ pharmaceutical sales experience and I feel that I have the perfect credentials to lead your team to greater success.

Immediately from this introductory statement, it’s clear that the candidate is applying for a sales manager role.

The recruiter can identify that this is a candidate with considerable experience and a belief in their ability to support business growth.

The immediate reaction is to continue reading to see what else they have to say.

Section #2 – Why You Are Suited for This Particular Job

As we move further into the body of the sales cover letter, there is an opportunity to explain why you believe you are the right person for the job.

This is where you can build on any previous experience that you may have as well as provide tangible evidence of professional successes.

You should think of your sales cover letter as a story-telling exercise. You’ve facilitated the introduction, now it’s time to craft the main story.

For example,

I have previously led a team of eight sales associates working for a national pharmaceutical organization. As a regional manager, I was responsible for ensuring that the team exceeded their sales targets as well as keeping abreast of the latest developments.

Key achievements included:

  • Improving sales of drug A by $8 million from Jan-March (an increase of 12% from the previous year)
  • Improving sales of drug B by $5 million (an increase of 14% from the previous quarter)
  • Expanded client base by 18% during an unprecedented time whereby industry growth was valued at 16%
  • Received the regional manager sales award for pharmaceutical sales

As you can see from the example statement, this candidate has used quantifiable data to justify and explain their experience.

By showcasing key achievements and making comparisons to industry performance and year-on-year improvements, they are showcasing their skills and capability.

A hiring manager can look at this and predict whether this person has the capabilities to achieve similar business growth for their own company.

Section #3 – What You Can Do for the Specific Employer

Now the candidate has looked back on what they have previously achieved, it’s time to look forward and see what they can do for the prospective employer.

This section on your sales cover letter is designed to excite and motivate the recruiter. It’s about helping them to understand what you can bring to the table and how your sales expertise can improve their business performance.

For example,

I believe that I can use my proven track record to help your business increase its revenue within your specific market. My understanding of sales techniques and the ability to understand and adapt to changing market conditions means that I have a wide range of techniques that I can share with your team.

My approach is to use a carrot and stick philosophy; I understand that different sales associates will work in individual ways. As a sales manager, I take the time to learn how best to motivate key employees in a bid to enhance their performance. I expect my team to perform to their maximum capabilities and in return, I do whatever it takes to help individuals work to the best of their ability.

At this stage of the sales cover letter, we can start to see how the candidate works. They’ve taken the time to explain what they can do for the specific company and have given insights into their management technique.

Because the candidate is applying for a sales manager role, they’ve delved into their specific working philosophy. This is a good approach because hiring managers will be looking to see who could make the best cultural fit for the team.

If this is a match, the recruiter will have added confidence in that person before they move ahead to the interview stage of the recruitment process.

Section #4 – The Final Call to Action

As we draw to a close, it’s time to make clear what your call to action may be.

You will have enclosed a copy of your resume, so you should divert the recruiter’s attention to that. This will help them understand your academic background and career history.

You may also wish to share your contact details and invite the recruiter to get in touch with you for more information.

For example,

Thank you for taking the time to read my cover letter. I am enclosing a copy of my resume for you to review. I am extremely excited about the opportunity to work for your organization and I would welcome the opportunity to speak to you in more detail about the job role.

If you would like any further information, please contact me directly on [phone number]. I honestly believe that together we could have a perfect match and I have many ideas for how we can work together to improve your business performance.

I look forward to hearing from you in due course.

Sincerely,

Jane Name

As a concluding paragraph, this not only confirms the attachment of their resume, but it provides a final sign off which reminds the recruiter that the candidate understands that sales are all about improving business performance.

By suggesting that they already have ideas they want to share, the recruiter is encouraged to meet with the candidate to find out more information.

Example Sales Manager Cover Letter

Now that we’ve broken down each paragraph, here’s an opportunity to read through the sales manager cover letter collectively.

As you can see, it tells a story, and each paragraph encourages the recruiter to continue reading.

Dear Mrs. Bloggs

I recently came across your job description for the advertised role of Sales Manager and I am extremely excited to submit my application for this role. I am an experienced sales manager with more than 15 years’ pharmaceutical sales experience, and I feel that I have the perfect credentials to lead your team to greater success.

I have previously led a team of eight sales associates working for a national pharmaceutical organization. As a regional manager, I was responsible for ensuring that the team exceeded their sales targets as well as kept abreast of the latest developments.

Key achievements included:

  • Improving sales of drug A by $8 million from Jan-March (an increase of 12% from the previous year)
  • Improving sales of drug B by $5 million (an increase of 14% from the previous quarter)
  • Expanded client base by 18% during an unprecedented time whereby industry growth was valued at 16%
  • Received the regional manager sales award for pharmaceutical sales

I believe that I can use my proven track record to help your business increase its revenue within your specific market. My understanding of sales techniques and the ability to understand and adapt to changing market conditions means that I have a wide range of techniques that I can share with your team.

My approach is to use a carrot and stick philosophy; I understand that different sales associates will work in individual ways. As a sales manager, I take the time to learn how best to motivate key employees in a bid to enhance their performance. I expect my team to perform to their maximum capabilities and in return, I do whatever it takes to help individuals work to the best of their ability.

Thank you for taking the time to read my cover letter. I am enclosing a copy of my resume for you to review. I am extremely excited about the opportunity to work for your organization and I would welcome the opportunity to speak to you in more detail about the job role.

If you would like any further information, please contact me directly on [phone number]. I honestly believe that together we could have a perfect match and I have many ideas for how we can work together to improve your business performance.

I look forward to hearing from you in due course.

Sincerely,

Jane Name

Final Thoughts

This article will have given you insights and guidance to help you write your sales cover letter.

It’s about creating content that tells a story, with a clear start, middle and end.

You want to end your sales cover letter with a reminder of why the recruiter will want to call you as soon as possible.

The recruiter should be interested in learning more about the quantifiable statistics used within the letter to showcase achievements, as well as the candidate's managerial style and ideas for future performance growth.

Your sales cover letter is your opportunity to shine. After all, you are the sales expert. And with the hints and tips from this article, you should be well equipped to take the next step on the sales career path.


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