what is a sales executive?

As a sales executive, you liaise between customers and the company. From initial contact to facilitating continued business, your ability to build and nurture profitable relationships directly impacts your company's growth and performance. Successful sales executives are naturally good at creating a personal connection and utilising this skill to negotiate deals.

As a sales executive, you also take on the role of a client relationship manager once the initial sale has been made. As the main point of contact, you provide helpful insights about clients' expectations to up-sell further opportunities.

what do sales executives do?

Sales executives work in all industries, and any organisation that sells products or services requires someone in this role. As a sales executive, you work in business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-consumer (B2C) sales, acting as the primary contact between your employer and the target market.

In order to be effective in sales, it is crucial to be very familiar with the products and services you sell. You might attend product training events and seminars, and you are invariably required to travel to meet clients, making this job ideal for those who love visiting new places. A successful sales executive needs a wide-ranging skill set that includes excellent people skills, well-developed communication skills and the ability to anticipate customer needs.

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average salary of a sales executive

Sales executive remuneration packages usually combine basic salaries and performance-related earnings. The average salary of a sales executive is $85,000 per year. 

how to increase your salary as a sales executive

Sales executive earnings vary depending on performance, so your wages are higher if you sell additional products. Some companies pay their sales executives a percentage of the revenue generated from sales. The products or services you sell also influence your earnings. 

When you sell to businesses, your remuneration package is higher than selling to personal customers. That's because companies will have significant orders compared to individuals. Other general salary factors like your experience and skills also influence your earnings. As an experienced sales executive, you have a strong track record and sell large amounts of expensive products to businesses.

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types of sales executives

The types of sales executives include:

  • business to business (B2B): as a B2B sales executive, you mainly sell services and products to other companies. B2B sales executives use their skills to develop business relationships with procurement officers and usually focus on selling large volumes of products to business customers. B2B sales executives need a deep understanding of corporate procurement to excel.
  • business to consumer (B2C): as a B2C sales executive, you sell products and services directly to end-users or customers. B2C sales executives generally manage more clients than B2B sales executives and focus on selling smaller quantities to individual customers.

working as a sales executive

As a sales executive, you find new customers for the company's products and services. Here are the specific duties and the work schedules involved in the role:

2 males having a discussion at a table with tablet in front of them
2 males having a discussion at a table with tablet in front of them

education and skills

While formal education is not mandatory for becoming a sales executive, the following qualifications can improve your job prospects:

  • bachelor's degree: a bachelor's degree in marketing or business improves your employment prospects. Completing a bachelor's degree will help you develop and strengthen your sales skills.
  • experience: to become a successful sales executive, you require sales experience. You can gain experience through entry-level sales positions or customer service roles. Some companies also provide on-the-job training to help you improve your skills.

sales executive skills and competencies

For success in the role of a sales executive, you require the following sales skills and competencies:

  • people skills: properly connecting with clients requires good relationship-building skills and excellent written and verbal communication. Anticipating a client's needs is important, but effectively communicating your understanding of their requirements is vital.
  • ability to work independently: sales executives often work towards specific targets with little or no supervision. Managing your workday and prioritising tasks in order of importance is crucial to reach your goals.
  • organisational skills: tracking everything is how you turn a natural affinity for building relationships into a successful career as a sales executive. From contracts to travel schedules, negotiation documents and sales reports, keeping up with your administrative responsibilities is important.
  • interpersonal skills: as a sales executive, you require strong persuasive skills to convince customers to buy products. Your interpersonal skills help you to build long-term customer relationships that make your clients feel valued.
  • product knowledge: as a sales executive, knowing every aspect of your company's products or services is crucial. Understanding the products helps you answer customer questions and explain the product's benefits.
  • commitment: sales executive roles are results-driven, and you will only meet your targets with commitment. Along with effective time management, your responsibility improves your performance and advances your career.

FAQs about working as a sales executive

Here, you will find the answers to the most frequently asked questions about the profession of a sales executive.

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