How to Find a Sales Job Abroad: A Step-by-Step Guide

by Gonzalo January 14, 2019

The world is becoming a more integrated global marketplace. Luckily for you, this means there’s never been a better time to pursue that dream sales job. Here’s what you should know about scoring a sales job abroad in 2019.

With the globalization of product and service offerings, sales representatives are in high demand across every industry imaginable. Sales representatives are responsible for presenting, promoting, and selling products and services that fulfill customer needs. On behalf of the company, they conduct market research and “cost-benefit and needs analysis” to identify market opportunities and niches while establishing, developing, and maintaining customer relations through communication and expeditious resolutions to customer issues.  

As a sales associate, your primary objectives are to listen to customers, assimilate their needs, and guide them toward a product or service that will solve their issues.

Industry Trends in Sales

While some industries are experiencing a decline in business, technological innovations, emerging distribution trends, and changing consumer demands are creating record growth for others. It’s important to be able to adapt your skills to the fluctuating market and stay relevant. The fastest-growing job opportunities for sales professionals–and consequently the highest paying sectors–are in technology and software, healthcare, consumer packaged goods, and financial services.

    • Technology and software: This industry continues to attract top talent as jobs are hot and currently in high demand. Sales professionals in technology report high job satisfaction, with excellent salaries, and a wide range of career paths. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that “growth in the technology field is expected to expand by as much as 13 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations.” Technology markets demanding a skilled sales force are Cybersecurity, Big Data (analytics, machine learning, and AI), and cloud-based computing (SaaS).
    • Consumer packaged goods: Categorized with e-commerce, CPGs are consumer products such as food, drink, toiletries, and other disposable goods. In 2016, it was an $800 billion industry in the United States. Emerging markets with a strengthening middle-class, such as China and India, are expected to “grow CPG sales three times faster than developed nations, and reach $6 trillion dollars (USD) in sales by 2020.
  • Financial services: FinTech refers to all the systems designed to facilitate financial transactions, from mobile payments, online banking, and fraud prevention, to insurance service and even the complicated software used to run stock exchanges. PricewaterhouseCooper (PwC) reports in its Global FinTech Report 2017: “Mobile money services have proven to be an effective gateway for financial inclusion among the unbanked, a demographic that could evolve into a $3 trillion USD payments volume opportunity.”  

Are You Prepared to Work Abroad?

To land that dream sales job abroad, you will need to be prepared. A successful sales representative will possess:

    • An ability to forecast, set, and meet short- and long-term sales goals and quotas
    • Diplomatic negotiation skills
    • An intuitive sense for planning and developing sales strategies
    • A detailed understanding of your market niche
    • A passion for social media and an understanding of how to harness its power
    • Exceptional communication skills
  • Data analysis and AI experience

If you are seeking a position in management, you should also have the following:

    • Dynamic team leadership skills
    • A proven record of successful collaboration with product managers and marketing teams
  • Experience in recruiting, hiring, and retaining exceptional team members

Upskilling

The competition to land that dream sales job abroad can be tough. This task will be made easier with experience and competitive skills. Some things to consider:

Big data collection and machine learning is driving the need for professionals who can interpret and develop an action plan using large collections of information. According to HBR Analytic Services, over 60 percent of executives believe that adopting AI will influence their company’s future success and they are consequently upgrading their companies with AI-powered tools. As a result, sales representatives with data analytics and machine learning experience are in high demand.

The rapid adoption of digital marketing means that sales representatives will need to understand how to use the internet and social media to reach their intended audience. Social media is also an excellent source to research consumer trends.

Improving your team management and communication skills with coaching and public speaking classes will increase your effectiveness both inside the office and when working with the public.

How to find Sales Jobs Abroad

Locating a sales job abroad can be done through online search engines, job boards, and networking. But be prepared as the sales opportunities are many and finding the right sales job abroad could be a little overwhelming without a little guidance.

We here at Jobbatical, a recruitment site connecting companies around the world with high-quality candidates, can help you find that dream sales job abroad. Our international team receives weekly updates on open positions across Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe. We use our market expertise to successfully match candidates with the perfect opportunities. Our easy-to-use website allows you to filter your searches to target specific regions.

Job Boards

If you choose to go it alone, you can focus your online search by region by including the country in your search, for example: “Sales jobs in Singapore” should return a selection of job boards that feature job openings in Singapore.

Some of the most popular job boards where you can find sales positions are:

Also, if you’re interested in a particular company, monitor their website career page for any openings. Take the initiative and send them a cover letter and resume. Many companies, especially those in rapid-growth sectors, may consider a candidate who can demonstrate the ability, experience, and expertise needed to help them expand, even if they have not posted a position.

Networking

Never underestimate the power of networking. Networking sites will connect you to people who may have valuable insider information on jobs, companies, and industry trends. For example, LinkedIn Groups brings together sales professionals in a space where they share knowledge of new techniques (distribution and marketing methods), and industry insights (such as changing regulations). These groups are an excellent source of insider knowledge of trends and, potentially, upcoming job opportunities. The top three LinkedIn Groups for sales professionals are:

    • Innovative Marketing, PR, Sales, and Social Media
    • Sales Best Practices
  • The Sales Association.

As a LinkedIn member you can sign in and request to be added to the group of your choice. If you are not currently a member, consider joining LinkedIn to gain access to this important source of networking. Once you have sent in your request the group’s administrator will review it and determine approval.

Submitting Your Application

The goal is to stand out from the crowd of applicants. Emphasize your experience in the sales industry upfront in your resume to make an immediate impression. Next, highlight any training and expertise that will set you apart from the competition. And finally, be sure to mention your professional achievements, noting any certifications and job-performance awards.

Other things to pay attention to on your resume include:

    • Adapt your resume to reflect your expertise and skill in the areas highlighted in the job description.
    • Make your application noticeable by tailoring your resume and cover letter to the company to which you are applying.
    • If possible, address your application to a person.
    • Verify that your contact information is updated and correct.
  • Select your references wisely. Recruiters and hiring managers are increasingly using references as a screening method.

Applying for Multiple Jobs at Once

In order to maximize your chances of scoring your dream sales job abroad, you should consider submitting your resume to several companies simultaneously.

We recommend that you consider using project-tracking software, like Trello, to help manage the process and eliminate potential pitfalls.

Here are a few helpful observations to keep in mind when applying for multiple jobs at the same time:

    • Complete each application separately; for instance, writing all your cover letters at once increases the chances of introducing errors that could eliminate your chances.
    • Personalize each cover letter by focusing on the advertised role.
    • Customize your resume and cover letter to feature your skills that match the posted job requirements.
  • Once you’ve submitted your resume, be sure to follow up on it after a week or two to determine if they are interested. Be patient and persistent but do not be a pest.

Nailing the Interview

Interviewing is pretty standard for just about any job, but interviewing methods are evolving.  Videos are accompanying, if not replacing, cover letters, and video or phone conference interviews are becoming the norm. However, there are still some basics that apply to any interview.

The basics:

    • Preparation counts. Research the most common interview questions. Take the time to formulate and rehearse answers so you appear composed and articulate. 
    • If you are interviewing for an overseas position, remember that the hiring company is probably in a different time zone. Be flexible and schedule a time that is convenient both for you and the interviewer.
    • If a phone interview, Skype, or other video-conferencing call is scheduled, make sure all your equipment is working in advance.
    • Whether interviewing “in-person” or via video, you should always look professional.
    • The interviewer may expect you to have questions for them as well. Do your research on the company and impress them with your knowledge.
  • Remember, it is always a nice touch to send an email afterward, thanking the company for the opportunity. It’s also an excellent way to put your name in front of them one more time.

When interviewing for a sales position:

    • The company is banking on your sales expertise to increase their product or service awareness with customers. You should know the target audience and the market you’ll be servicing intimately. Take this opportunity to present some ideas for increasing sales.
    • Be able to demonstrate your skills as an exceptional communicator and team leader. Show evidence of your work with product managers and marketing teams and, if possible, company reports or statistics that illustrate your effectiveness.
  • Highlight in-demand skills (data analytics, digital marketing, and AI training) during your interview. Be specific as to the extent of your expertise.

Accepting the Offer

You did an amazing job on the interview and you’ve just been offered the position. Don’t celebrate just yet. Now comes the most important part of the job quest.  

    • Review the job description and job offer to make sure you understand what is expected of you and the role you will hold.
    • If you are uncertain of any of the contract details, consider getting legal assistance before signing it.
    • Review the employment laws of the country.
      • Know the type of visa, the process, and the visa application requirements both for you and the employer.
    • Determine if you are required to pay taxes in your home country.
  • Determine a start date and prepare for an incredible, exciting new experience.

Landing a sales job overseas is such an accomplishment and will be an amazing experience (plus, a great addition to your resume!). Mark the achievement as a life-changing event and be sure to take in the sights, experiences and newfound knowledge that will come with this new adventure.

Currently looking for a Sales job? 

Looking for something new and exciting to get you out of bed every morning? Have a look at a few of our favourite current sales openings. Good match? Go ahead and hit the “Apply” button!

Not looking for a Sales job?

We wrote several guides on getting a marketingdesignsoftware engineering, data science or product job abroad. You can learn how to get a job abroad here.

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