We surveyed US hiring decision-makers to find out if cover letters are still necessary and if *you* need one to land a job in 2020. Here’s what we found.
Old school salespeople know “ABC” as “Always Be Closing.”
For newer sales managers and sales associates, relationships matter more, so “ABC” stands for “Always Be Connecting.”
To land that job, your sales cover letter has got to do both: connecting with them on a personal level and then closing the deal that earns you an interview.
In this article, you’ll get:
- Two sample customer service cover letters: for experienced and entry-level sales representatives.
- Step by step tips on how to write a sales cover letter sure to get you job interviews.
- A sales cover letter template for you to copy, adjust to your specifications, and have ready in under 15 minutes.
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Let’s check out two salesperson cover letter examples to start things off:
1. Sales Cover Letter Examples
Let’s have a look at Melvin.
Melvin’s the oldest of the Rios siblings, 5-foot-9, and an expectant father.
But—the lead-in to capture the director of sales’ attention needs more. Melvin should highlight his sales certification, sales skills, and a wealth of sales experience. This is all perfect, because Melvin is moving up the ladder, applying for the open position of sales management trainee.
Take a look at how he markets himself in this sales manager cover letter sample:
Example #1: Mid-Level Sales Candidate
Certified Professional Sales Person (CPSP)
September 25, 2019
Head of Sales
Furious Flavors Drink Company
469 Hewes Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21201
Currently, I am an inside sales representative of food products seeking a managerial role, so I was quite happy to see your opening for a sales manager trainee at Furious Flavors Drink Company. With my Bachelor of Science in Marketing, more than 3 years of experience as a sales rep, and competence in high-volume purchasing, I am confident that I make a strong sales management candidate.
In the job listing, it mentions you’re looking for experienced sales representatives with strong communication and leadership skills who are ready to train for a position in sales management. As a 3-year “veteran” of Florida Food Services, I was one of the more senior sales representatives on staff, having come on board at the very beginning of the company’s existence. Although I didn’t hold the title, I had my sales management duties and responsibilities in my last year there, such as interviewing new candidates, training and onboarding, and approving large invoices. During my employment at FFS, I had over $1.5 million in sales, introduced 27 new business clients, and helped to train 30+ new sales reps. I’m sure I could bring these same high standards to work at Furious Flavors Drink Company.
Aside from the fact that I believe I’d make a great sales manager, I also simply and genuinely love your brand. Ever since I learned about Furious Flavors, I’ve been a huge fan, from the products you put out to how healthy they are to consume. I would be honored to be a part of your sales team, and I’d be honestly proud to promote the Furious Flavors brand.
Could we schedule a phone call or in-person chat so I could discuss for you how I can help bring the same sales figures over to Furious Flavors?
Not bad, right?
But, what if you’re writing a sales associate cover letter with no experience?
It’s just as easy.
Meet Melissa, Melvin’s little sister.
Being a few years younger than Melvin, Melissa has just now finished college. She’s looking to get her first adult job as a junior sales rep.
Though she’s never worked in sales before, she uses her cover letter to show that she’s still a top contender.
Here’s her sample sales representative cover letter:
Example #2: Entry-Level Candidate (No Experience)
September 25, 2019
Furious Flavors Drink Company
469 Hewes Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21201
As a fresh college graduate with great communication skills, excellent time management, and unwavering resilience, I am ecstatic to apply for the junior sales representative position at Furious Flavors. Combining those skills with my penchant for healthy competition and friendly rivalry, I believe I have what it takes to be a great choice for the role.
According to the job description, you’re searching for applicants who’ll be able to clearly communicate, generate lucrative sales leads, and nurture ongoing business relationships. As a college student majoring in business management, my studies focused on business and client relationships, leadership, and marketing methods. Also, during my studies, I was employed as a barista for a non-chain cafe, and I was instrumental in creating much of their sales campaigns (e.g., specials) and marketing promotions on social media. I know that I would bring this same drive and determination to work as a junior sales associate at Furious Flavors.
It would be wonderful if you granted me the time to discuss your upcoming sales campaigns, obstacles, and objectives so I could show you how I may help with them in the upcoming quarter.
There you have it—
You’ve just seen two salesperson cover letter samples sure to seal the deal.
Now let’s fix yours up.
We’re about to teach you how to write your cover letter, and we’ll give you easy, fill-in-the-blanks examples to use for yourself.
Also, what about your sales resumes? You can’t sell yourself compellingly without a great resume for sales jobs. Have a look at this guide and example: Sales Associate Resume Sample (Examples & 25+ Writing Tips)
2. How to Write a Cover Letter for Sales Jobs Step by Step (Template)
Here’s how to write a cover letter for sales positions:
1. Follow Formal Formatting Rules on a Sales Cover Letter
There’s a high churn rate when it comes to sales directors and HR staff taking in cover letters—dozens come in each day, but they’ll only hold on to a select few for an interview.
How can your sales position cover letter beat out the others?
To make sure yours doesn’t get dismissed at the very start, format your cover letter effectively.
Here’s how to format a sales cover letter template:
- Left-align all the parts of a cover letter, from info at the top to your complimentary close.
- Use single line spacing in your body text, and leave a 1-inch border around all the edges of your food or pharma sales cover letter.
- Select the best font for a cover letter, ideally one that matches your sales associate resume and is easy to read.
- Keep your sales rep cover letter down to a single page; any more should be trimmed down.
Expert Hint: One study from the Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing documented a strong correlation between presentation skills and sales performance. Your sales cover letter is a presentation in itself, so if you do it right, you’ll show you’re a solid contender for the position.
2. Create a Professional Cover Letter Header with Contact Information
A cover letter is like a sales funnel, where an interview is the “action” at the narrow, bottom end.
And, like the sales funnel, you’ve got to start at the top.
Here, that’s your sales cover letter header.
It’s quite easy—
Since it’s a formal letter, the best sales cover letter will be formatted like a business document. Put your details on top, the date of writing next, followed by the recipient’s name, title, and company details.
Here’s a simple template to follow:
Saleswoman / Salesman Cover Letter Example Template
[Your Professional Title] (Optional)
[Your Phone Number]
[Sales Manager’s Full Name]
[Sales Manager’s Professional Title]
[Company Street Address]
[City, State, Zip Code]
To provide the employer with the most effective job application, make your cover letter header match the header on your sales representative resume.
3. Introduce Yourself and Describe the Sales Job to Which You’re Applying
Cold calling is tough, and it’s one of the most dreaded duties of any inside sales position.
Where in cold calling you can create and nurture a working relationship over time, a cover letter intro has to intrigue the employer enough to read further. You want them to check out your resume and call you in for an interview.
So, to be effective, start by using the HR manager’s name. You can locate their name on the company’s website, LinkedIn, or by calling up the receptionist.
Next, use the first paragraph of your sales introduction letter to introduce yourself and identify the specific sales position you’re aiming for. Go on to describe your sales skills, marketing experience, and professional background.
Here’s an example:
Sales Cover Letter Sample: Intro Statement
Dear [Sales Manager’s Name]:
I was elated when I stumbled upon the opening for a [Specific Sales Job Position] position at [Company Name]. Having [###] years of sales experience and a strong background in [Sales Skills, e.g., Lead Qualification, Prospecting, Relationship Building, Customer Needs Analysis, etc.], I know that I would make a top candidate for your sales and marketing efforts.
Expert Hint: Don’t be afraid to move away from formality on a sales cover letter. A study by the Journal of Organizational Behavior found that displays of creativity helped to enhance sales effectiveness, meaning being creative here may show employers you’ll be a kick-ass hire.
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4. Talk Up Relevant Sales Skills & Marketing Abilities
If you’ve handled sales in the past, you know the value of a powerful positioning statement to address the client’s needs, concerns, and pain points.
Use this second paragraph the same way—
First, go to the sales job description and find the requirements section. Use those to determine the company’s pain points. Then, describe how your skills and experience make you the best candidate capable to drive them into future success.
If it’s not an open position but a company that you’re interested in, reference specific information about the company or the market that would affect that company – for example, ‘With your recent acquisition of (blank)...’ or ‘I saw that your competitor (blank) recently launched a next generation product...’
Tom McGeeVP & GM of Sales & Marketing, Lucas Group
Example Cover Letter for Sales Associate: Middle Paragraph
In the job advertisement I found on [Job Board or Website], you mentioned that you are searching for a [Sales Job Position] having experience in [List a Particular Job Requirement or Two]. In my current job at [Name of Company],I was instrumental in [List Specific Duties and Responsibilities, Using Numbers to Quantify Whenever Possible]. I am confident that the knowledge and experience I’ve gained will be able to translate into similar results at [Company Name].
Talk up your conversion rate metrics, net promoter scores (NPS), closed-won to closed-lost ratio, and lifetime value of the clients you managed. The more specific you are, the easier it is for the sales manager or hiring manager to see you in the role.
Include specific numbers whenever possible to illustrate what you've accomplished. This include sales numbers, people you've trained, customers you speak with on a daily basis. This will give the hiring manager concrete details on your experience.
Amy NguyenBusiness Communications Lecturer at California State University, Los Angeles
Expert Hint: Moving up from a sales associate to a sales manager may be harder than a simple promotion. A study by the American Psychological Association found that employers value a whole different set of skills. If you're aiming to reach the next rung of the ladder, don't list exactly the same skills and abilities on a sales supervisor resume as you would on one for sales reps.
5. Explain Why You’d Like to Sell on Their Behalf
Whether you’re writing a cover letter for retail sales or medical sales cover letter, now it’s time to shower them with praise.
In the third paragraph, explain why you’re particularly interested in this company, rather than just a sales job anywhere.
Of course, they want to know about your sales representative skills and experience. But—they also want to make sure you’re the right fit for their sales team and company (e.g., company culture).
Here’s what I mean by that:
Sample Cover Letter Sales Jobs Motivation Statement
I have admired [Company Name] very much, due to the fact that [Something That Impresses You, e.g., Contributions, Company Values, Products or Services, etc.]. These values easily reflect my own personal beliefs and alignment. I would be very honored to be chosen to work at [Company Name].
6. Finish Using a Powerful CTA as a Value Proposition
You’re now at the bottom of the cover letter sales funnel.
One more thing to tweak before you send it off—
Here, ask for a meeting or a call. Emphasize your value proposal.
Here’s a sample sales cover letter closing for reference:
Sample Cover Letter for Sales Jobs: Call to Action & Formal Closing
Could I book some time with you for a brief call or meeting to chat about how I may be able to help [Company Name] achieve its upcoming sales goals, targets, and objectives?
[Digital Version of Signature]
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Here’s what to remember when writing a cover letter for sales jobs:
- Format sales rep cover letters before you start the writing process.
- Address sales associate or sales manager cover letters directly to the employer.
- Introduce yourself, identify the sales position you’re applying for, and give a brief summary of your sales background, experience, and skills.
- Consult the sales job description and use the middle paragraph to focus on how you are the best sales candidate to help this company meet upcoming challenges.
- Give a statement about what impresses you and attracts you to this particular company.
- Close the deal with a call to action and a formal sign-off.
Got any questions on pharmaceutical sales cover letters or cover letters for inside or outside sales? Need further sales cover letter samples? Let’s chat here in the comment section, and thanks for reading!