Switching Career From Sales To Business Analyst Could Be Very Easy – 6 Steps

Switching career from sales to business analysts shouldn’t be as difficult as it sounds. There are many skill similarity exists between a sales professional and a business analyst that helps easy transition between these two roles. So, if you have decided to transition your career from sales to the business analyst profession then you will find this article very helpful.

Switching From Sales To Business Analyst

Before we jump into the steps to transition your career from sales job to business analyst, let’s first know about the sales job and the responsibilities of the sales professionals.

What is a Sales job?

A sales executive or professional is a key point of contact between a company and its clients. They play many different roles i.e. selling products, finding business opportunities, building client relationships, and acquiring new clients for the organization, etc. They visit the client’s site to demonstrate the company’s product, finalize the deals, and more.

In a nutshell, sales executive or sales professional focuses on bringing new business opportunities and maintaining existing ones for the company. They play very important roles in an organization for its growth.

A sales executive’s key job could be listed as following;

  • Finding new business opportunities and clients.
  • Establishing the relationship with existing clients.
  • Demonstrate the company’s product to finalize the deal.
  • Generate continuous revenue for the company.
  • Negotiate contracts.
  • Review sales performance and finding opportunities to increase sales.
  • Attending conferences, meetings, conferences, and exhibitions to acquire more clients.
  • Achieve monthly, quarterly, and yearly targets as set by the company.

Read Also… Business Analyst vs Business Development | Which Is Best?

Skills that a sales professional will already have

Now, we know that sales professionals are the heart of the company and play a very important role in keeping the company profitable. To achieve their goals and meet their monthly, quarterly, or yearly targets effectively, they need to have the required skills. Some of the key skills (essential for the BA job) that a sales professional will usually have are the following;

  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills
  • Presentation and product demonstration skills
  • Client relationship management
  • Meeting management
  • Convincing and negotiation skills
  • Record management and analytical skills to some extent

Additional Skills required to become a Business Analyst

Even though sales professionals already have some of the key skills to become a business analyst, there are many more skills that you need to have to become a successful BA. Following are some of the additional essential skills that you should have to become a business analyst;

  • Documentation skills
  • Analytical skills
  • Requirement gathering or elicitation skills
  • Problem-Solving and decision making skills
  • Time management
  • Leadership
  • UML design and prototyping
  • Domain knowledge
  • SDLC i.e. Software Development Life-Cycle knowledge
  • Strong in Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint, Visio, and other tools.

You can check out my article on business analyst skills where I have listed all the essential skills in detail.

Read Also... 23 Essential Business Analyst Skills That Are High In Demand

How to switch from sales to business analyst profession?

Now, you know about the sales job and what skills they have which overlaps the business analyst’s skills. You also know the additional skills that a sales professional should acquire to become a business analyst. It’s time to go through the steps to prepare yourself for the career transition from a sales job to a business analyst.

1. Plan for it

The first thing that you need to do is to make up your mind for the career transition. Whether you are planning to find an opportunity outside your company or looking for change within the same company, you need to have a strong plan and it should include the time-frame you are targeting.

Perform a SWOT analysis to find your strength, weakness, opportunity, and threats. You can list down these points to decide whether you can put efforts to become a business analyst or not.

You can refer this book on “How to Start a Business Analyst Career”

2. Gain Maximum Knowledge

You should start getting the maximum knowledge about the business analyst’s roles and responsibilities, their work style, important deliverable, etc. There are many ways to get the maximum knowledge about the business analyst profession, you can read books, search for it on the internet, or watch youtube videos.

However, I would suggest to get in touch with business analyst professionals in your company and try to learn from them. The advantage of this approach is that you gain practical knowledge and you can relate to it. The practical knowledge will help you to answer the interview questions effectively.

You can refer BABOK (Business Analysis Body of Knowledge).

You can also approach your manager and ask if he/she can put you in some activities that are related to the BA job. However, you shouldn’t express your intention to quieting your sales job or not be interested in the sales job. You must fulfill your primary duties as a sales professional and put additional efforts to learn about business analysts jobs.

3. Consider entry-level BA certification

There are many business analysts certification offered by many institutes and you can go for any entry-level BA certification to add some weight on your application.

You can go for ECBA certification which is issued by IIBA i.e. International Institute of Business Analysis and widely recognize by industries.

CertificationExperienceLearning HoursFees
ECBA i.e. Entry Certificate in Business AnalysisNot RequiredMinimum of 21 Professional Development (PD) hours within the last four years.Application Fee: US$60
Exam Fee (Member): US$110
Exam Fee (Non-Members): US$235

Learn more about ECBA certification on the official IIBA website .

4. Update your resume

Now when you have obtained business analyst skills and awareness of their roles and responsibilities, it is time for updating your resume. Your resume should reflect your work experience, skills, and expertise related to business analysis. However, you shouldn’t lie about it. You can list down the projects you worked on, achievements, and your responsibilities in those projects. Keep it simple and transparent.

Read Also… Writing An Irresistible LinkedIn Professional Summary And Headline For Business Analysts

5. Prepare yourself for the interview

Now, you have everything ready with you and it is time for preparing yourself for the interview. Business analysts interviews and different than the technical interviews. Most of the questions you will face will be scenario-based, behavioral, and related to the projects you worked on. Therefore, you should allocate some time in preparing for the interviews. You should focus on learning the following as part of interview preparation;

  • Domain knowledge e.g. if you are into the healthcare domain then you should know about insurance life-cycle, end-to-end process, claims, etc.
  • Project Information i.e. everything about the project that you have mentioned on your resume.
  • Common interview questions like, tell me something about yourself, strengths, weaknesses, etc.
  • About requirement gathering techniques and SDLC.

Read Also… Effectively Answering “Tell Me Something About Yourself”

6. Start attending interviews

The final step would be – to start applying for BA positions and start attending interviews. You can reach out to your LinkedIn connection for any possible open position or use online job portals. Once, you start attending interviews, you will get more insight into the required skills and knowledge required for the business analyst profession.

It would be difficult to crack the interview in the first go but it will boost your confidence and help you to prepare efficiently for your next interview.

Read Also…


Now, you know the 6 steps to switch from the sales to the business analyst profession. You should be able to prepare yourself for a business analyst job.

You might find it difficult to get into a business analysis job in other companies unless you have enough experience or skills however, switching within the same company is more feasible. You can consider moving into a business analysis role within the same company and gain enough experience before jumping into the new company.

I believe you found this article useful and it helped in your career growth. Please share it with your friends and colleagues if you enjoyed reading this article. You can also consider subscribing to the BABeginners mailing list to get the latest post directly into your inbox.


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