What’s a sales job description, and what’s it like to be a sales executive?
Given the complexity of B2B selling, the single sales process requires multiple B2B sales professionals to get leads, develop relationships with prospects, maintain relationships with existing clients, analyze B2B sales leads, and so on. Sales executives, also known as account executives, oftentimes do everything related to sales management.
Working closely with Sales Development Representatives (SDRs) or Business Development Representatives (BDRs) who find and nurture prospects, sales executives take the final steps to make a sale: Give a product demo, answer questions about the product, and close a deal. In other words, sales executives are salespeople who work in the lower end of the sales funnel and take leads from consideration to closing deals.
What does a sales executive do?
The exact scope of duties and responsibilities will change across different companies and industries. SaaS companies rely on an outbound sales strategy, so SDRs will do cold emailing and schedule meetings while sales executives will close deals via phone or video calls. In other industries, sales executives need to meet up with potential clients face to face and answer their questions.
Whatever the working environment, a sales executive job always involves a lot of communication. As the point of contact between a company and its customers, a sales executive:
- Answers queries about products and services.
- Demonstrates and presents products and services.
- Negotiates deals and contracts.
- Has sales goals to achieve.
- Analyzes past deals.
- Develops new contacts and maintains relationships with existing clients.
What skills are required for a sales executive role?
A typical sales executive job description names the ability to sell and superb communication skills as requirements from the “must-have” category. It is impossible to imagine a salesperson unskilled in sales techniques and a bad communicator. However, sales roles are versatile. And a sales executive job description can vary from company to company.
Let’s look closer at these two major skills for a sales executive.
Communication skills. ‘Communication skills’ is an umbrella term for the successful exchange of verbal and non-verbal information between people. It’s obvious that a sales executive who is in constant contact with clients, prospects, and colleagues needs to be skilled in speaking and writing, but they also need to have a friendly demeanor, be an active listener, be emphatic, respectful, and confident. The better your communication skills, the higher you can climb the sales ladder.
Sales skills. Basically, negotiation is a go-to sales skill that all sales executives need. But when it comes to what negotiation style you choose, that’s quite a different matter. Being a sales professional doesn’t imply that you need to be a pushy, fast talker to sell well. These days, with personalization technology and automation, it is even possible to be a sales executive and do most of your job via email without ever picking up the phone and making a discovery call. If you know how sales work and how to prove your value, you can be successful in closing deals.
As for other skills, sales executives are never loners and have to be team players. On the other hand, if you can’t work on a team, your communication skills should also be questioned.
Sales executives definitely must be tech-savvy as the modern world of sales heavily relies on technology. From cold calls and B2B email marketing to reporting and analytics, everything is done using automation software.
Do sales executives need special qualifications and training?
Whether a degree is required or not largely depends on the industry. The medical and pharmaceutical industries will most likely require a 4-year degree in a relevant field of studies. Generally, a business administration or finance degree is among an employer’s requirements, but a less specific industry may require no degree for sales professionals.
In sales, personality and soft skills often override academic qualifications, especially if solid sales skills are reinforced with sales experience.
Thinking about a sales role?
If you have skills and experience for a sales role, Belkins is always on the lookout for talent. Let us know your scope of expertise, and we'll do our best to help you out.
Sales executive salary in the US 2022