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The Definitive Guide: How To Become A Sales Executive

Published on: 16 Oct 2018
sales executive hero

Have you got the gift of the gab? Think you are confident, persuasive and enjoy the buzz of achieving goals? Then this is the career for you.

What is a Sales Executive?

  • Job Description

    As a sales executive you are on the front line – answering queries and questions, cold calling, meeting face to face and emailing customers. You will be liaising with both suppliers and customers on a day-to-day basis so excellent communication skills are a must. You can’t be shy in this industry, You’ll be doing everything you can to close that sale whilst remaining professional and building lasting relationships to ensure that the customer keeps on coming back.

  • Hours of Work

    As a sales executive, your working hours will depend on the industry that you are in. You will most likely be working office hours, around 40 hours per week with any additional hours added on in order for you to meet your targets. This could mean that you work long hours, sometimes into the evenings. However, you will be motivated to work hard as you will be earning commission. More work = more money!

    You will be expected to attend networking or sales events, often outside of your normal working hours.

  • Main Responsibilities

    So, what will your main responsibilities be as a Sales Executive?

    Duties typically include:

    • Selling products and services through phone calls, meetings and emails
    • Meeting sales targets
    • Providing information
    • Answering customer queries
    • Building and maintaining relationships with customers
    • Understanding the customer needs
    • Researching the market and gathering information
    • Negotiating prices
    • Providing quotations
    • Making sure stock levels are high
    • Liaising with suppliers
    • Attending networking events and meetings
    • Checking progress of existing orders

Key Sales Executive qualifications

Do you have the qualifications to get the job?

There are different routes to consider when thinking about becoming a sales executive. It isn’t always necessary to have a degree, but it is preferred if you have one in sales, marketing or business. As in any industry, qualifications will only make you more appealing to the employer and especially in a sales environment, personality and your ability to do the job can be more important than any qualification.

sales executive education

Some people simply work and train their way up from the bottom within a company – experience is often worth more than a qualification.

You could also consider starting your career by completing a sales apprenticeship. This way, you can earn whilst you learn.

Vital Sales Executive Skills

Want to know if you’ve got what it takes? These are the skills you’ll need for the role

  • Communication skills
  • Drive
  • Confidence
  • Negotiation skills
  • Perseverance
  • Patience
  • Customer service
  • Ability to work under pressure
  • Ability to work towards targets
  • Professional manner
  • IT skills
  • Numerical skills
  • A driving license may be preferred depending on location as you may need to travel to meet with clients
  • It is not usually essential but can be beneficial if you can speak additional languages

What is a Sales Executive salary?

Now we’re getting down to the nitty gritty…

Of course your pay will depend on the size of the company you work for, the location and your experience – however you can expect to earn between £18,000 and £35,000, with commission on top of that.

sales executive salary

How to become a Sales Executive

Now that you know what a Sales Executive does, how do you become one?

Firstly, you will need previous sales experience in order to impress the employers. Usually it doesn’t matter which industry you gained your experience in, as long as you have mastered sales you can learn about the industry that you are moving into on the job.

How to develop your Sales Executive career

The next step is to continue to climb the ladder.

A managerial position could be what you are striving for and with patience, hard work, and dedication, the next stage of your career will be within reach.

There are so many opportunities to be had in sales; you can work in a variety of industries, and if you like to travel, then keep your eye out for sales jobs with travel opportunities. This is the great thing about sales – it can take you anywhere and you can be extremely successful if you put in the work.

So there you have it; everything you need to set out on the road to a new Sales Executive career!

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