Best Sales Cover Letter Example (+ Letter Template, Email Template, Writing Guide) [2020]

While studies have shown that less than 40% of hiring managers read cover letters, cover letters are read more often than not in sales positions. This is because a sales cover letter can speak to the employer on behalf of the author in a highly informative manner. When writing a sales cover letter, the letter should contain references to two fundamental skills that all salespeople should have, sales management skills and the ability to sell.

Sales management skills refer to the ability to coordinate with other sales associates and ensure time is being spent appropriately (efficiency). And the ability to sell infers the results that the salesperson can deliver for a company. This is usually in the form of lead generation (potential sales or customers), revenue generation (actual sales), or prospect generation (the ability to generate new relationships that can lead to sales).

Job titles that are considered sales roles and should have a sales cover letter as part of the job application include:

Let’s presume a candidate is applying for a position in pharmaceutical sales. For a hiring manager, what’s going to be important is to see the letter authored around meeting sales goals, coordinating with other sales representatives (often referred to as a “sales rep”), and maintaining those relationships with customers. These are the three core aspects of having sales experience and relative work experience.

Herbert M. Greenberg, president and CEO of Caliper Management, describes a great salesperson as having two main qualities. The “ability to feel” and the “need to conquer.” He goes on to describe the ability to feel as “Empathy, the important central ability to feel as the other fellow does to be able to sell him a product or service, must be possessed in large measure. Having empathy does not necessarily mean being sympathetic.” And the need to conquer as “The second of the basic qualities absolutely needed by a good salesman is a particular kind of ego drive that makes him want and need to make the sale in a personal or ego way, not merely for the money to be gained.”

Writing an Effective Sales Cover Letter

An effective sales cover letter should be written in an active voice style of writing. Grammarly.com defines active voice as having “a strong, direct, and clear tone.” And includes relevant stories about empathizing with a customer and turning those experiences into sales.

Presuming the writing of a sales associate cover letter, the letter should include:

  • A strong opening paragraph that uses 2-3 relevant sales accomplishments to begin the cover letter.
  • A body paragraph that tells a story of empathizing with a customer and turning that empathy into sales.
  • A closing paragraph of how the salesperson coordinates sales efforts with other sales associates.

The mentions of these experiences and telling clear stories in active voice writing style alludes to transferable skills, sales experience, and positions the applicant as a qualified candidate for a sales associate position.

To improve the cover letter further, using this method of writing, the candidate may want to tailor the cover letter to information found within the job description or job advertisement. For example, if the potential employer refers to travel as being a core part of the position, the story being told in the cover letter should be one that includes travel. This is a great way to make sure a “generic cover letter” isn’t being written for the hiring manager.

Tip: While there is no such thing as a “perfect cover letter,” the best way to create a great cover letter is to use career accomplishments and relevant stories that the recruiter or sales executive might find interesting or impressive during a future job interview. It’s imperative that the same cover letter is not being used for every job application for the job search process. A unique letter should be authored for each application.

Lastly, avoid writing accomplishments that are already part of the resume. Toward the top of the resume, a career summary or career objective statement might include strong career accomplishments. The references in the cover letter mustn’t be the same as what’s listed on the resume.

Example accomplishments for a sales cover letter

Below are sample accomplishments for what should be inside the cover letter.

  • Increased customer retention by 3X, resulting in more than an 18% year over year growth rate. Meanwhile, adjusting our net churn of leads by 8% using better methods for connecting with prospects by phone.
  • Increased lead generation and prospect close rate by more than 17% by using software to provide demonstrations of our services, products, and tools. Resulting in more than a 28% gain in net revenue leading into Q3 and Q4.
  • Grew the customer base at Apple Inc by more than 78% using a cold outreach strategy and turning those leads into customers by providing them video demonstrations by email and then providing a free analysis of their business.

Sales Cover Letter Format

Contact Information
Name
Phone Number
Email Address
LinkedIn Profile
(Optional) Professional Website

Salutation
Dear Mr./Mrs. First Last Name

Opening Paragraph
The first paragraph should greet the reader and suggest an understanding of the job requirements. This should include 2-3 career accomplishments not listed on the resume.

Second Paragraph
The body paragraph should contain relative sales work experiences that align with the job description.

Closing Paragraph
Thank the reader for their time. Mention the importance of sales management and coordination. Then suggest a desire to interview for the company as soon as possible.

Letter Closing
Sincerely/Yours truly

Signature
Typed Name or handwritten signature

Sales Cover Letter Sample

Below is a sample cover letter for a sales professional.

John Smith
[email protected]
888-328-8418
321 Candle, St., New York NY 11121

June 1st, 2019

Company Inc.
John Doe
[email protected]
Senior Sales Manager
123 Business Road, New York NY 11121

Dear John —

I’m applying for the position of sales representative, and I’d like to introduce myself. In my sales experience and sales career, I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to increase average sales and recurring revenue by more than 23% at all my previous employers. While decreasing customer “churn” by 8% on average while increasing customer satisfaction by a measurable 18%.

A story that comes to mind is about Apple, a customer of ours in Cupertino. The team called our office, frantic, needing to have access to analytics and data that would allow them to meet a tight deadline. Unfortunately, we needed to be on-premise to provide that software. I could hear in the team's voice that they were nervous, anxious, and feeling discouraged. I decided to hop on a plane and get over to Cupertino that evening. I brought with me one of our Sales Engineers and set them up as quickly as possible. They were not only appreciative of this effort but stayed with us for the 4-years following.

The act of sales is more than simply driving leads, and turning those leads into customers. It’s about driving relationships. Empathizing with them and delivering on their needs. This is how I desire to coordinate with my other sales colleagues, on a level of empathy and a desire to conquer market share.

I look forward to interviewing with you and the team and look forward to sharing more of my experience with you.

Sincerely,
Adam

Tip: One effective way to turn a good cover letter into a "great cover letter" is to address the reader by name. As a job seeker, using LinkedIn or other social media platforms to determine who the hiring manager is and addressing them by name in the greeting can be a very effective way to encourage the reader to stay engaged with the letter.

Sales Cover Letter Sample with No Experience

When applying for a job with no prior sales experience, a cover letter becomes more invaluable. The hiring manager may look at the resume and determine the applicant has limited job experience. If they see promise in the applicant, the cover letter will be given priority, more than their resume.

Consider key skills, passions, prior work achievements, community involvement, certifications, and other unique differentiators when writing a sales cover letter with no experience. A key skill or certification can show promise, the willingness to advance, or passion that the employer will appreciate.

Here are some tips on what to consider before writing a sales cover letter with no experience:

  • Who is the company and what do they offer?
  • What is the founding story of the company?
  • What are the hiring manager's objectives inside the business?
  • What unique traits can be brought to the company?
  • What unique certifications can be brought to the company?
  • What unique skills can be brought to the company?

Sample sales cover letter with no experience

John Smith
[email protected]
888-328-8418
321 Candle, St., New York NY 11121

June 1st, 2019

Company Inc.
John Doe
[email protected]
Senior Sales Manager
123 Business Road, New York NY 11121

Dear John —

I’m applying for the position of sales representative, and I’d like to introduce myself. Before I jump into my career, I understand that my resume will show limited sales experience. But I'd like to explain what I'll be able to bring to this position and how I might be able to assist with achieving the companies objectives this year.

I started my career as a software engineer. My first project as a professional was working with a CRM system. I learned a great deal sitting with the sales team. And comprehending their difficulties in the market. Through information gathering sessions I was able to see that sales had a significant gap, quantitative data, and insights. By providing the sales team with quantitative insights more easily, our sales team was able to pitch clients more proactively. And turn those leads into new business.

I'd like to take my skills as a software engineer and gain experience in the sales portion of the business. For me, I can see my understanding of quantitative insights being useful for the team, the company, and for my own sales metrics. I had a great deal of mentorship from Mr. John Henry at Apple, Inc. He showed me basic sales skills and processes that I'll be able to carry into this position.

I look forward to interviewing with you and the team and look forward to sharing more of my experience with you.

Sincerely,
Adam

Sales Job Application Email Example

Email subject: Adam Newborn - Sales Representative - Job Application

Dear John —

Please see my attached resume and cover letter. I noticed in the job description that you were looking for a Sales Representative with experience in maintaining customer relationships. In my cover letter, you’ll see an experience I share about Apple, one of our core customers at Mini Analytics. And how we assisted them with a tight deadline.

I look forward to having the opportunity to speak with you and potentially interview for this position.

Sincerely,
Adam

Sales Cover Letter Tips

Below are the best practices to follow when writing a sales cover letter.

Address the recipient by name

Addressing the reader by name in the salutation or cover letter greeting can make the hiring manager feel like the cover letter has been tailored and customized for them. Referring to the reader by name displays that the job candidate has spent time researching the company and understanding who is hiring for the position.

Address the job description

Use the job description to gain insights into the requirements for the job opening. Use the cover letter as an opportunity to align with those requirements. Instead of speaking directly to soft skills or hard skills, refer to job experiences that display those defining characteristics and core competencies.

Be passionate

In the sales field, passion is always a question for hiring managers. If a sales candidate lacks passion for their work, their results will suffer. The job candidate should display their passion for their work in the cover letter and allude to what drives them. Or what gets them up in the morning.

Reference changes in the industry

The sales field is always changing, thanks to technology. Referencing the latest technology can show the sales professional has a firm understanding of changing market conditions. Tools like Hubspot or Salesforce are useful to reference in the cover letter.

Use specific examples

Avoid speaking about work experiences that don't refer to sales, customer loyalty, or being able to direct or coordinate a sales team. The cover letter should contain at least one to three previous work examples of achieving results in a sales position or managerial position.

Position career accomplishments to the business

For less experienced sales professionals, this opportunity might be unavailable. Professionals with 5 years or more of sales experience should be able to align career accomplishments to the job description, the company, or the industry. For example, a sales professional who is applying for a job in the software industry should use software industry career accomplishments to position themselves as an ideal candidate with experience.

sales cover letter example

sales cover letter template

Sales Cover Letter Template

Download this sales cover letter template in Word format. Can be imported as a Google Doc. Instant download. No email required.

Download Template

Sales Job Boards

Below are the best job boards for those seeking new positions in sales. These "niche" job boards are where a higher caliber of employer posts available jobs. These job boards show industry interest and a desire to capture candidates who have a strong passion for their work. Applicants who use "niche" job boards often more passionate about their careers and desire to advance themselves.

Top job boards for sales professionals

Sales Professional Resources

Those looking to advance themselves in the sales may want to consider the following resources. These resources can provide helpful insight on creating an ideal workplace, understanding the role with clarity, and ensuring a healthy work relationship between employee and employer:

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author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is an experienced executive who has spent a number of years in Silicon Valley hiring and coaching some of the world’s most valuable technology teams. Patrick has been a source for Human Resources and career related insights for Forbes, Glassdoor, Entrepreneur, Recruiter.com, SparkHire, and many more.

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