Sales executives promote products and services to customers and negotiate contracts with the aim of maximizing profits.
As well as approaching potential customers with the aim of winning new business, sales executives strive to maintain good relationships with existing clients, gaining repeat business wherever possible.
Types of sales executive
Sales executives usually operate within business to business (B2B) or business to customer or consumer (B2C).
The job title may vary in different organizations and may also be referred to as a:
- sales representative
- sales consultant
- territory manager
- business development representative.
Employers of sales executives
A variety of companies across all sectors employ sales executives to broaden the demand for their brand, product or service. It is important to choose an area that suits your interests and career aspirations.
- organizing sales visits
- demonstrating and presenting products
- establishing new business
- maintaining accurate records
- attending trade exhibitions, conferences and meetings
- reviewing sales performance
- negotiating contracts and packages
- aiming to achieve monthly or annual targets.
There are routes into sales for both university graduates and school leavers.
Any degree subject is acceptable, although relevant qualifications are preferred for some positions, particularly within medical or technical sales.
Relevant experience gained in any commercial area involving contact with customers or the general public can be beneficial.
The following subjects may improve your chances:
- business, management or marketing
- computing, engineering or technology (for technical sales)
- media studies (for advertising and media sales)
- the ability and desire to sell
- excellent communication skills
- a positive, confident and determined approach
- resilience and the ability to cope with rejection
- a high degree of self-motivation and ambition
- the skills to work both independently and as part of a team
- the capability to flourish in a competitive environment
- a good level of numeracy
- a full driving license
- fluency in a foreign language – this can be helpful, particularly if working for an international company.