Sales executive

Sales Executive Jobs

Sales executive jobs… did you know?

Similar jobs: Salesperson, sales representative, sales rep, field sales executive

Sales executives often get the most satisfaction out of their job when they enjoy two things – negotiation and being with people. The job is given lots of different names, but as a sales executive it’s your mission to sell products and services on behalf of your company. You could be selling anything from cosmetics to IT software or insurance policies. If you’re selling services, you could be selling anything from marketing to construction services, and are more likely to sell to clients than customers. If you are selling services and work done by teams of people rather than goods you can touch, you may be called an account executive or business development executive, and will think of your customers as clients.

As a sales executive, who could you work for? Every business needs to drive sales to make a profit, so you could be working for a retailer, service provider, manufacturer or distributor of goods. You could be working in the world of finance, technology, consumer goods or health and medicine, to name just a few sectors.

DID YOU KNOW? As a sales executive, you can sell in two different ways depending on your employer and their business:

  1. Business-to-business (B2B)
This means your business is selling goods and services to other businesses, not directly to customers. For example, a sales executive for a toy manufacturer might sell toys to a national retailer. These toys will be stocked across the country and sold to customers, or consumers.
  2. Business-to-consumer (B2C)
Selling B2C means selling goods directly to customers. These are the final people to actually use the products or services.

Industry: Sales, Marketing and Procurement

Sales executive officer job trends

How much money can you make as a sales executive?

£15,000 – £50,000 (UK average)

Recent labour market information says you can earn on average between £15,000 and £50,000 a year as a sales executive in the UK.

Your starting salary can vary because of factors like level of experience, training, or location. Your salary as a sales executive will increase over time as you build skills, knowledge and experience – especially if you head into a managerial role.

You may also get a bonus for meeting targets, or allowances like a company car or phone.

What entry qualifications and training do you need for this job?

School, college and training

There are no set requirements to become a sales executive, but a good standard of general education with several GCSEs or their equivalents will help your application. Passing grades (9-4 / A*-C) in English and maths will be useful as your work will involve both written and verbal communication, and also numbers for handling sales figures and deal negotiations.
There is a wide range of qualifications available for school leavers. Examples include:

  • BTEC Level 2-3 in sales
  • City & Guilds level 3 in sales
  • Diplomas in business administration, finance and retail business
  • ISMM Level 2 award in sales and marketing

Examples of professional bodies you can gain sales qualifications from include the Institute of Sales and Marketing Management (ISSM), the Managing and Marketing Sales Association (MAMSA), and the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM).
For example, CIM offers an introductory course with no entry requirements which you can take on a part-time basis, leading to a certificate in professional sales.
In addition, foundation degrees and degrees are available across the UK in subjects like:

  • Sales and marketing
  • Sales and marketing management
  • Business studies
  • Business management

You don’t need a sales-related degree to head into this profession as a graduate. For example, a science degree could make you a great candidate in the pharmaceutical sales sector.

Career Progression

With time and experience you could become a sales team leader or area sales manager. You could also eventually become head of sales, or move into related business fields.

What experience do you need for sales executive jobs?

Work experience

It can help your application if you have done work experience or volunteering which required you to demonstrate your communication and negotiation skills.

Work experience in an office environment, or in sales and communication environment (e.g. a call centre or telephone sales environment can help. It can also help if you can demonstrate experience of keeping calm under pressure in a busy environment or with deadlines looming, or if you can soothe dissatisfied clients or customers with diplomacy and understanding.

Examples of relevant work experience include:

  • Work shadowing (even if it’s just for a day)
  • Work placements in a company
  • Work experience placements on a college or university course

Volunteering

A lot of volunteering relates to communication with people and displaying initiative – two skills that are highly rated in the sales sector.
For example, organising a school charity event or setting up a fundraising campaign for your charity efforts shows initiative and persuasion skills.
Taking part in a fun run or volunteering abroad shows you have drive and endurance, and the ambition to see a project through even if it’s out of your comfort zone.
Volunteering with vulnerable people like the homeless or elderly shows you are able to communicate with and relate to a wide range of people, using skills like diplomacy and tact.

What skills do you need for sales executive jobs?

Useful skills to highlight to your employer when applying for jobs like this one include:

  • Fantastic customer service and communication skills
  • Negotiation skills and being able to sell goods and services
  • IT and presentation skills (you may be asked to create easy-to-read reports, or slideshows, or you may need to juggle sales information and communications from one device to another, e.g. from laptop to phone)
  • Self-belief skills – you will have self-confidence and enthusiasm
  • Good personal presentation and hygiene as you are the ambassador for a product or service
  • Self-management skills so that you can plan your work day and never miss a meeting

Vocational qualifications and work experience will help you build these skills over time.

What does a sales executive do?

You could be selling to other businesses or directly to consumers. You could be spending time in an office, but also taking call meetings on the phone or heading out to meet clients.

Some day-to-day job responsibilities include:

  • Getting in touch with new and existing customers. Your job is to persuade new customers to love what your company offers, and make sure existing customers are really happy with the service they’re getting and want to continue the business relationship.
  • Making presentations to promote new products and services
  • Negotiating sales, prices and delivery
  • Keeping up the contact with customers before and after sales
  • Making a record of any orders or sales made
  • Heading to meetings with clients and customers, or going to conference to keep up with the latest industry trends
  • Meeting sales targets

Your first steps into sales executive jobs

Sales executive jobs are advertised under different job titles. When you’re looking on job boards, look for the following types of job:

  • Sales apprentice
  • Business development apprentice
  • Apprentice sales consultant
  • Trainee sales executive
  • Sales executive
  • Graduate sales executive

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