Sales Jobs and Careers
If you are looking for a lucrative career that offers challenges and excitement, then sales might be the right profession for you, providing you have the right blend of training and experience, as well as an outgoing personality. With a host of different industries to work in, you can be part of a team that drives any business venture to success.
Sales teams are important within the retail, medical, IT, engineering and science, leisure, media, pharmaceutical, property and recruitment industries. In each industry, the sales team is responsible for selling the company's goods and services to customers at home or abroad. Customers range from individual consumers to other businesses and public sector organisations.
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Selling to Businesses or Customers
Sales teams' work varies depending on whether they are selling to other businesses or to members of the public. These two areas are known as business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-customer (B2C).
Manufacturers who sell goods to retailers are involved in B2B sales. The sales teams are involved in formalised professional relationships, first researching the marketplace and competitors' products, before making individual presentations to secure shelf-space. Magazines selling advertising space to product manufacturers or retailers are also involved in B2B sales.
Retailers who are selling to the public, i.e., the consumer or end-user, are involved in B2C sales. Examples would be selling financial products such as insurance, estate agencies selling domestic properties or cars.
Typical Sales Duties
With such variety in the industries, the roles of sales executives and sales managers can differ greatly. They will include some or all of the following activities.
- Cold calling potential customers to arrange preliminary meetings.
- Identifying prospective customers, listening to their needs and presenting quotations and solutions to make a sale.
- Closing sales, negotiating terms of the sale and formulating contracts.
- Negotiating delivery and supply chain stages with buyers and managers (B2B).
- Collaborating on product research and development with merchandisers (B2B).
- Collaborating with wider marketing team on special promotions and offers.
- Maintaining contact with existing customers via electronic communications and in person.
- Representing the company at trade fairs and events (B2B), as well as public exhibitions (B2C).
- Recording sales and order data, and submitting reports to other departments in the business.
- Monitoring inventory, anticipating sales volumes and liaising with suppliers on orders.
- Monitoring performance and attainment of goals.
- Responding to enquiries by phone and email.
Car Sales Jobs
Car salespeople don't always enjoy the best image, particularly in the used vehicle market. However, if you are hard working and have strong interpersonal skills, it's possibly to build a highly successful career that pays well, without undertaking extensive training or academic study. It's more the interpersonal skills you possess and how you apply these in the sales context that will bring you success. At present, recruitment amongst new car dealerships has slowed due to the recession, so while high commissions can be earned, it is now harder to achieve minimum sales targets.
Car sales jobs sites:
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Construction Sales Jobs
Construction sales agents work for construction manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers and contractors, selling equipment and materials to purchasing agents and buyers. They usually specialise in a particular brand and work on a salaried basis, with commission awarded on sales. At present, the construction industries are experiencing contraction due to the recession, so sales positions are not in abundance.
Construction sales jobs sites:
Financial Sales Jobs
This B2C role is highly visible, as most people have talked to a financial sales consultant at some point. Other job titles include financial planner or advisor. Their role is to help customers select investments, insurance and other financial products. They assist customers with funding university study, pension planning or general investment. The challenge in this role is finding clients and building a customer base amidst the heavy regulation surrounding the industry. This can be achieved through cold calling, through tapping into social or business networks, presence at trade fairs, or through seminars or lectures.
Financial sales jobs sites:
FCMG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods)
A sales position is a key route to a longer term management career in the FCMG industry. The areas of sales include front line sales, which involves working to maximise sales and profits by visiting retail buyers to develop and maintain accounts, and trade marketing, which involves communicating directly with customers in the retail store. Additionally, there is category management, which involves effective use of the retail space to optimise sales.
FMCG sales jobs sites:
Healthcare and Medical Sales Jobs
The pharmaceutical companies employ sales staff to promote and sell medicines to pharmacists and doctors. Sales representatives work largely independently, due to the large amount of travel involved. Despite being a people job, this can be an isolated role. Qualifications in life sciences or a medically-related subject are a good advantage.
Healthcare and medical sales jobs sites:
IT Sales Jobs
IT sales staff demonstrate work for computer manufacturers, peripheral manufacturers and suppliers to present computer and software products to potential customers. They aim to make sure that the product is a good fit for the customer's needs, while ensuring that sufficient information and support is provided for the customer to use it once bought. The role can lead to consultancy work, especially if you hold business or computing qualifications already.
IT sales jobs sites:
Leisure and Travel Sales Jobs
A travel agent promotes and sells holiday or business travel products to customers, aiming to meet targets while satisfying customer needs. They advise on all aspects of travel and also sell associated products, such as travel insurance and tours. Benefits include free or discounted travel. The leisure industry involves similar roles, but involves the sale of tickets for leisure facilities, events and functions.
Leisure and travel sales jobs sites:
Media Sales Jobs
Media sales executives were initially responses for selling advertising space in printed publications, as well as in the broadcast media of TV and radio. This has now expanded with the development of online publications. Most client contact is by telephone, with occasional visits to clients such as advertising agents in person.
Media sales jobs sites:
Sales Negotiator Jobs
Estate agents are responsible for selling property, as well as (to differing degrees) mortgage broking, property management, brokerage and leasing. This role is suitable if you are people-oriented with good communication skills and a commitment to excellent customer service. Being an estate agent requires confidence, as well as the willingness to keep training and learning. Downsides are the long hours, with late night and weekend working. At present, the recession is slowing property sales, which means there are fewer openings for people wishing to enter the industry.
Sales negotiator jobs sites:
Sales Jobs Sites
Sales Jobs can be found on the following sites: