Best Sales Cover Letter Example (+ Letter Template, Email Template, Writing Guide) 
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:
- Sales Representative
- Sales Associate
- Sales Manager
- Regional Sales Manager
- Sales Engineer
- Sales Assistant
- Inside Sales Representative
- Marketing Sales Manager
- Marketing Sales Representative
- And any other sales position
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
Sales Cover Letter Sample
Below is a sample cover letter for a sales professional.
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
Sales Job Application Email Example
Email subject: Adam Newborn - Sales Representative - Job Application
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.
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 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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