If you’re a people person and would like the opportunity to
help individuals and/or businesses solve problems and achieve their goals, then
a career in sales could be for you. Contemporary sales roles are all about
identifying what the customer needs and then providing it for them. With an
emphasis on building long-term relationships, encouraging brand loyalty and
putting the customer at the heart of every transaction, successful sales people
need to be empathetic, hard-working, and enthusiastic, an excellent
communicator and a good listener. They also need to be able to handle
rejection, as not every client will want to engage! Here we take a look at the
various sales jobs out there, as well as consider the sort of salary you might
What type of sales jobs are there?
Almost everything needs selling, so there is enormous variety in the roles available. For example:
- Salespeople may sell to individuals or to businesses (B2C or B2B).
- They may follow leads, or go “cold calling”.
- They may be based in a showroom or shop, visit clients’ and potential clients’ premises or sell over the phone (telesales).
- To improve customer retention and loyalty, many companies employ account managers: their job is to manage individual clients with a view to retaining and enhancing the business relationship. They also enable the client to take advantage of fresh services and/or products as they become available.
- Particularly if you’re working in a B2B
environment, you may become a sales engineer or other technical expert. Selling
to businesses requires an excellent understanding of the sector as well as a
wealth of specialist knowledge. – In addition, sales teams also need a sales
manager, who in turn may answer to a head of sales or the executive sales
Basic and commission
unlike many jobs, which just pay a pre-determined salary, sales salaries frequently have a commission element. Some sales jobs are 100% commission, others pay a basic salary with commission as an add on. If you see the term “OTE” (On Target Earnings) after a salary, that’s the salary you can expect if you earn an average amount of commission.
What sort of salary can I expect?
- Average salaries for salespersons vary between £25,000pa and £57,500pa with the average nationally being around £37,500. These salaries can usually be considerably enhanced with the addition of commission.
- The median salary for sales managers being around £47,000pa (which can rise to around £68,000pa with bonuses and/or commission).
- Senior sales personnel, for example
international sales managers, heads of sales and executive level sales
personnel can expect to command six figure salaries, as well as a formidable
package of bonuses and benefits.
Which industries can I work in?
Almost every sector needs assistance with sales, so there is an enormous diversity of roles. Commonly, sales positions may be found in:
- Service sector
- Communication sector
- Healthcare and pharmaceuticals
Highly varied and always challenging, if you like working with people and are goal orientated, a career in sales could be a lucrative and rewarding option.