Sales Career Path & Advice

I‘ve been selling for 15+ years. Does it look bad on my resume that I’m not in sales management? Should I be looking for RVP or VP roles?”

I have been hearing a very common concern and question from many of our candidates. “Hey, I have been selling for 15+ years. Does it look bad on my resume that I’m not in sales management? Should I be looking for RVP or VP roles?”


This leads to a discussion regarding career progression that typically leads into a very common theme. Moving into sales management is the next logical step in their career. And if they have not done so by their early 40’s, they have somehow miss-stepped career-wise.

Here are some things to consider:

Sales has two separate distinct career paths: sales and sales management. Excellence in each is highly regarded – just look at the top reps and managers in your own company.

“Bottom line: if you’re happy in your role as a sales executive, you should really ask yourself why you think you need to change paths.”

Of the sales executives we currently know making 400k +, not one of them is under 40. At that level, we would hardly define them as lacking or deficient in their career. Sales management/leadership requires an entirely different skill set from what it takes to excel as an individual contributor. Wanting the job because you think you “need” the job doesn’t arm you with the tools to succeed at the job.

Bottom line: if you’re happy in your role as a sales executive, you should really ask yourself why you think you need to change paths. If it’s because of your burning desire to coach and mentor sales people, then go for it. If it stems from advice you have been given, consider the source.

When someone from outside of technology sales starts giving out career guidance, we consider it about as informed as asking a software developer how to manage your sales pipeline.