Sales executive job profile | (2023)

Sales executives help to drive a business forward by selling its products or services to customers

Your role as a sales executive is to sell a company's products and services to individuals, businesses, and government organisations. Sales may be domestic (within the UK), international, or a combination of both.

As well as approaching potential customers with the aim of winning new business, you'll strive to maintain good relationships with existing clients, gaining repeat business wherever possible.

Types of sales executive

Also known as sales representatives, sales consultants, territory managers or business development representatives, sales executives usually operate within one of two main categories of sales:

  • business to business (B2B)
  • business to customer or consumer (B2C).


As a sales executive, your duties will differ if you're working in B2B or B2C sales.

In B2B sales, you'll need to:

  • build good working relationships
  • understand the needs of your business customers
  • research the market and related products
  • present the product or service favourably and in a structured professional way face-to-face.

In B2C sales, you'll need to:

  • listen to customer requirements and present appropriately to make a sale
  • maintain and develop relationships with existing customers in person and via telephone calls and emails
  • cold call to arrange meetings with potential customers to prospect for new business
  • respond to incoming email and phone enquiries
  • act as a contact between a company and its existing and potential markets
  • negotiate the terms of an agreement and close sales
  • gather market and customer information
  • challenge any objections with a view to getting the customer to buy
  • advise on forthcoming product developments and discuss special promotions
  • create detailed proposal documents, often as part of a formal bidding process, which is largely dictated by the prospective customer
  • check the quantities of goods on display and in stock
  • make accurate, rapid cost calculations and providing customers with quotations.

For both roles, you'll be required to:

(Video) Sales executive roles and responsibilities | Roles and responsibilities of sales executive |

  • negotiate on price, costs, delivery and specifications with buyers and managers
  • liaise with suppliers to check the progress of existing orders
  • record sales and order information, sending copies to the sales office, or entering figures into a computer system
  • represent the company at trade exhibitions, events and demonstrations
  • feed future buying trends back to employers
  • review your own sales performance, aiming to meet or exceed targets
  • attend team meetings and share best practice with colleagues.


  • Salaries and commission rates vary considerably in sales. As a guide, basic salaries start in the range of £20,000 to £30,000.
  • Mid-range salaries with approximately three to five years' experience are usually around £28,000 to £40,000.
  • At senior level, you can earn a basic salary of £30,000 to £60,000, with commission or bonuses adding £2,000 to over £100,000, depending on the industry, product, location and level of individual success.

Salaries are usually a combination of a basic salary (a guaranteed amount, regardless of sales made) and a bonus or commission (an amount based on the quantity sold). The combined amount is often referred to as on-target earnings (OTE). Commission may be calculated as a percentage of or a flat rate for every sale. It can be capped or uncapped.

It's also possible to work on a commission-only basis, which means working without a basic salary and having an income based entirely on sales.

As considerable travel is often required, many employers provide a company car, petrol allowance or subsidised mileage in your own car.

Income figures are intended as a guide only.

Working hours

Working hours vary according to the sector but are generally quite long, with the pressure to meet targets making late finishes a regular part of the job, especially at the end of the employer's financial quarter or year.

Part-time work may be available.

What to expect

  • The sales industry is target driven and consequently, the work can sometimes be demanding and pressurised.
  • Conditions of work vary widely according to the field in which you operate. You could be based in the UK or overseas and may work from an office base, or office at home or use hotels as your office.
  • Sales executives are generally expected to look professional and smart, particularly when liaising with clients.
  • The working culture created by management and colleagues can often be competitive.
  • This is a male-dominated industry.
  • Travel within a working day, overnight absence from home and overseas work are all common. The constant travel, sometimes with overnight stays or longer business trips, may affect your social and personal life.


Although this area of work is open to all graduates, the following subjects may improve your chances:

  • business, management or marketing
  • computing, engineering or technology (for technical sales)
  • media studies (for advertising and media sales)
  • modern European or Asian languages (for organisations that operate in overseas markets).

Larger employers who operate graduate-training schemes usually look for a 2:1 or above, as well as evidence of involvement with university activities or some relevant work experience.

Academic qualifications are often less important than personality, attitude and abilities and a strong commercial awareness and excellent communication skills are particularly desirable attributes.

(Video) Marketing Executive | Job Role for Marketing Executive - Skills of a marketing Executive @Wisdomjobs

A pre-entry postgraduate qualification is not needed.


You'll need to have:

  • the ability and desire to sell
  • excellent communication skills
  • a positive, confident and determined approach
  • resilience and the ability to cope with rejection
  • a high degree of self-motivation and ambition
  • the skills to work both independently and as part of a team
  • the capability to flourish in a competitive environment
  • a good level of numeracy
  • a full driving licence
  • fluency in a foreign language - this can be helpful, particularly if working for an international company.

Work experience

A number of larger companies recruit for sales positions as part of their graduate training portfolio. The training is sometimes combined with marketing, as organisations seek graduates who will work towards becoming commercial leaders of the future.

It will be helpful to you if you can gain experience in a customer-facing environment, such as retail or hospitality.


A variety of companies across all sectors employ sales executives to broaden the demand for their brand, product or service. It's important to choose an area that suits your interests and career aspirations.

Typical sectors include:

  • fast-moving consumer goods (FMCGs), such as food and drink, dry commodities, tobacco and alcohol
  • technical, including automotive, aerospace, IT, electronics, construction and communications
  • business, such as consulting and advice, training, software and cloud-based computing services
  • advertising, including magazine publishers, radio, television, web and text message
  • pharmaceuticals, such as medical supplies and services
  • financial, including banks and financial services providers.

Look for job vacancies at:

Recruitment agencies, such as BMS Performance, Pareto Law andCelsius - The Graduate Recruitment Specialists commonly advertise sales executive vacancies.

Professional development

You may be put on a short induction course, covering knowledge of the company's products, goods or services, as well as the methods used for sales administration. This may be organised internally by your employer, or outsourced to an outside training company.

(Video) Unacademy Sales Excutive Job | Unacademy Hiring For Sales Profile | Unacademy Interview Process

After induction, it's usual to be given a period of time on probation, without any pressure to meet targets. Further development often takes place in the form of shadowing an experienced representative and gradually taking over sales calls, under supervision. However, after a relatively short period of time, you'll be expected to start bringing in the number of sales required to meet individual targets.

Training often includes role play and explores selling techniques, such as:

  • how to close sales
  • how to deal with potential objections
  • negotiation.

It's likely that some role-play exercises will be involved in this type of training.

Very small companies may offer little or no training beyond some basic instruction.

A wide range of sales and marketing courses are available, such as those offered by the Institute of Sales Professionals and the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM). You may wish to research how valuable prospective employers consider these to be before embarking on any courses.

You could consider going on to study for an MBA or undertake a postgraduate course in a particular area, such as sales management.

Career prospects

Promotion is usually based on results and so rapid progress and early promotion is common for high performers. A successful sales track record will generally result in promotion to:

  • handling larger and more prestigious customer accounts
  • taking responsibility for key products
  • working on national accounts, for example selling to retail buyers and wholesalers
  • a sales executive trainer role (usually as part of a current role)
  • a sales manager role with responsibility for a team of people.

Many larger companies have a promotion structure that typically involves moving up from sales executive to area sales manager, to national sales manager and ultimately to sales director. It's quite common to move between different companies to achieve promotion or a higher salary.

A move out of sales into training and education, or recruitment, is another possibility. Sales executives also have the option to move into related career areas, such as advertising, marketing, more general commercial management or public relations (PR).

(Video) Job Profile - Conference and Events Sales Manager, Manchester Airport Group

Find out how Grant became a sales performance manager at BBC Bitesize.

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What is the career path of a sales executive? ›

What is the career path of a sales executive? Sales executives have plenty of career growth potential. Many high-performing sales executives eventually move up to lead sales teams and even the entire sales department as Sales or Product Manager.

Is sales executive a good job? ›

Yes, sales is an excellent career. Salespeople have the potential to earn a high salary and often have a clear career path within their organizations. Most importantly, anyone can get into sales. You only need to have the drive to grow your sales skills and the desire to succeed.

Is sales Executive a high position? ›

No, a sales executive is not higher than a sales manager.

A sales executive is usually a client-facing role that is directly responsible for generating new sales leads and creating more business for the company.

How much does a sales executive earn UK? ›

Average £35,817 per year.

Is sales a good career UK? ›

From inside sales, to sales operations and business development, in sales you'll find many career paths and many levels of responsibility and roles to aspire to. Plus, there are always products and services to sell, so a good salesperson will never be short on job prospects.

What is sales executive job profile? ›

A Sales Executive is a professional who sets annual sales goals for the company and works towards achieving them with the assistance of the Sales Manager & Sales Associates. The job is based on setting up a strategy to find new prospects and sales leads and converting them into paid users or customers.

Is sales executive a stressful job? ›

Sales manager is a stressful job at many companies, but it becomes even tougher when the job focuses too much on “sales” and not enough on “manager.” Managers can become obsessed with The Number, as in: Will the sales team make The Number this week?

Is sales executive a field job? ›

A Field Sales Executive is given weekly/monthly sales targets that must be achieved. There will be personal as well as team targets. A Field Sales Executive is tasked with generating new business as well as ensuring existing clients are fully serviced and new offers and proposals put forward.

What is higher than a sales executive? ›

At a small business, the director of sales is usually the most senior-level salesperson. Large enterprises will sometimes have a vice president of sales or a chief sales officer who sits above the director of sales in the hierarchy.

What is the minimum salary of a sales executive? ›

Sales Executive salary in India with less than 1 year of experience to 7 years ranges from ₹ 1.1 Lakhs to ₹ 4.7 Lakhs with an average annual salary of ₹ 2.3 Lakhs based on 150.7k salaries.

How long should you stay at a sales job? ›

Whether you're new to sales and looking to launch your career, or you're interested in finding a better sales job, you need a sound strategy for how you're going to find the sales job that best suits your skills and goals. In sales, the average tenure is shorter than most other industries – between 14 and 30 months.

Is Sales Executive higher than account manager? ›

Account managers and account executives are often equal within a company's hierarchy. The positions usually require similar training, education and skillsets, so one is not necessarily higher ranking than the other.

How many hours do sales executives work? ›

Due to the high amount of responsibility that sales managers have on ensuring that core business functions are being executed, sales managers should expect to work more than forty hours a week, sometimes out of normal working hours.

Is an executive higher than a boss? ›

Let's clear something up: An executive is a type of manager in the business world. They sit at the highest level of leadership of an organization. Some examples of project executive meaning include: A Chief Executive Officer (CEO) oversees all of the organization's executives.

What are the highest paid sales position? ›

  • How We're Defining “High-Paying”
  • Enterprise Sales/Account Executive.
  • Pharmaceutical Sales Representative.
  • Realtor.
  • Medical Device Sales Representative.
  • Sales Engineer.
  • Software Sales Representative.
  • Major Gifts Officer.
26 Jan 2022

Is sales profile good? ›

You become an excellent conversationalist

This also helps you to develop leadership and charisma. If you want to improve your conversation skills, sales is the best job.

What is the highest salary in sales? ›

What is the highest salary in Sales India? The highest-paying job at Sales India is a Senior Manager with a salary of ₹36.4 Lakhs per year. The top 10% of employees earn more than ₹5.5 lakhs per year. The top 1% earn more than a whopping ₹27.44 lakhs per year.

Is sales a job of the future? ›

The future of the sales profession is very promising. With the advancement of technology, sales professionals will have more tools at their disposal to help them close deals and increase sales.

Is sales a happy career? ›

But if you're looking for a career that gives you a good income and the chance to truly succeed, you owe it to yourself to consider it. As a sales professional, you'll enjoy personal satisfaction, growth, an unmatched income potential, and financial stability.

Do sales jobs make a lot of money? ›

Do Sales Reps Get Paid Well? A career in sales pays well, and ranks third on this list of highest-paying jobs without a degree. A sales representative's earnings are directly linked to their sales performance, which means that a sales career offers excellent earnings potential.

What are 5 skills that are required to become a sales executive? ›

Top 5 skills for a career in sales
  • Confidence - maintaining a positive attitude.
  • Resilience - communicating with conviction.
  • Active listening - understanding the customers' needs.
  • Rapport building - selling your personality.
  • Entrepreneurial spirit - continual self-improvement.

Why should we hire you as sales Executive? ›

For starters, I have all the skills and experience listed in the job description, and I'm confident that I can make an immediate impact on your company. It's not just my background in leading successful projects for Fortune 500 companies, but also my passion for the industry that drives me to succeed.

What are 3 main duties of salesperson? ›

  • Present, promote and sell products/services using solid arguments to existing and prospective customers.
  • Perform cost-benefit and needs analysis of existing/potential customers to meet their needs.
  • Establish, develop and maintain positive business and customer relationships.

How long do people stay in sales? ›

The average sales rep tenure is 18, months according to HubSpot. This is troubling. Xactly Insights data shows that sales reps hit their peak performance between two and three years in their role. That means most reps are leaving before they've reached their maximum potential.

Is sales a high pressure job? ›

Sales is already a high-pressure, results-driven career. That's why, when disaster strikes, the results of a high-stress environment on an already stressful job can seriously take their toll on your mental health.

Is being a sales executive hard? ›

Sales Is Not an Easy Job

Working in sales is a tough job. If you are considering a sales job, you must first understand that you will be expected to work very hard, long hours before you can earn some of the privileges of being in sales.

Is sales executive same as salesman? ›

While you may have some goal and strategy setting duties, this job is typically more focused inward. A sales executive, however, is in charge of the company's sales strategies overall. In this role, you can look outside of the sales department. A major aspect of your job is developing client relationships.

Is sales executive same as sales engineer? ›

Direct work with the product

Salespeople and engineers both work with a product directly. Sales professionals may handle and use a product while trying to sell it to potential customers. Engineers work with a product to make improvements or fix issues with it.

What is the difference between sales officer and sales executive? ›

Even where there is no title of officer, it is assumed that all those personnel who are occupying chairs in top management are officers even if they are being called President, Vice President, and so on. Executive is a title that is used for senior level personnel in a company or an organization.

What is another name for sales executive? ›

Sales Representative, Sales Executive, Sales Consultant, Sales Agent. Direct Salesperson. New Business Development Manager, Business Development Manager.

What qualities should have a sales executive? ›

Let us go through some qualities which a sales professional must have:
  • Patience. A sales manager needs to be extremely patient. ...
  • People Oriented. It is essential for a sales manager to be customer centric. ...
  • Aggressive. ...
  • Go-Getter Attitude. ...
  • Value Time. ...
  • Sense of Commitment. ...
  • Reliable. ...
  • Flexible.

What is below sales executive? ›

- Outside Sales Representative – These reps call on customers to sell a company's products, services, or both. Common roles include account manager, sales engineer, sales consultant & account executive.

Why is sales a good career? ›

Why pursue a career in sales? A career in sales can provide you with exciting and lucrative opportunities in both your personal and professional life. People who are creative, knowledgeable, strategic, independent, confident and motivated have the opportunity to become top earners as salespeople.

Why sales is the best possible career? ›

A career in sales is worth exploring if you're looking for a flexible work environment, high earning potential, a way to challenge yourself, and continuously develop your skills and grow your professional capabilities.

Do most sales jobs have a base salary? ›

Since success is often dependent on foot traffic rather than sales activity, retail salespersons are often compensated by a base salary only.

Is sales a 9 5 job? ›

Most sales teams that I have worked with over the years work 9-5 because that's how it has always been done. Times have changed though, and sales is NO LONGER a 9-5 job. The problem is, you can't expect everyone to go above and beyond and work more than their contracted hours.

Is sales a tough career? ›

Sales is a tough industry. It takes an average of 18 calls to even just connect with a prospect. With these numbers, it isn't surprising that most salespeople experience a sales slump at least once in their careers. During a slump, you may lose focus and motivation in your ability to sell.

What can I do after being in sales? ›

The Most Common Paths for Former Salespeople
  • Marketing Specialist.
  • Corporate Strategist.
  • Consultant.
  • Operations Manager.
  • Business Owner.
  • Retail Salesperson.
26 Jan 2021

Is account executive A good career? ›

Yes, being an account executive is a good job.

An account executive works mostly in sales but can cover a wide range of roles, including; sales, advertising, marketing, and finance. An account executive is a good job for individuals who are naturally "social butterflies" with high energy and excellent people skills.

What's better manager or executive? ›

' A manager is the person who is responsible for the activities of a group of employees in an organization. ... In short, an executive has to oversee the administration function of the organization. An executive has a higher standing in an organization than a manager.

Is a sales executive and account manager the same? ›

Account managers nurture and grow client accounts. They check in on customers, serve as main point of contact, and handle upsells and contract renewals when appropriate. Account executives generally hold pre-sale roles prospecting, presenting, and closing initial client deals. But the two roles aren't always separate.

Can you be a sales executive with no experience? ›

A no-experience sales job is a position in sales for which you have no prior experience or training. These positions may require a high school diploma or even a bachelor's degree, but they often accept applications from people who have never worked in sales before.

Is marketing better than sales? ›

Sales works faster than marketing. Marketing can take several months, even years, to realize its impact. However, many people do not respond well to salespeople. You have to be okay with a lot of rejection or hire people with the skills to do this for you.

At what level are you considered an executive? ›

An executive is defined as an individual who holds administrative or supervisory authority in an organization. So, while many companies consider positions in the C-suite to be executive positions, any managerial position is an executive position. This includes C-level, V-level, D-level, and B-level.

Is executive a senior position? ›

V-level executives are people like the vice president and its derivatives. C-level executives are the highest officials in a company, and they can include chief executive officer, chief operating officer, chief technology officer and chief financial officer.

Is executive a high rank? ›

In short, an executive has to oversee the administration function of the organization. An executive has a higher standing in an organization than a manager.

How much can you earn in sales UK? ›

Average £28,269 per year.

Why is sales so highly paid? ›

As a company scales, revenue per engineer should skyrocket. But salespeople do not get much more productive and revenue for salesperson is much more constant over time. That means that salespeople are always in demand. There is always need for more great salespeople since they are often directly tied to more revenue.

Is sales a stable job? ›

Yes, sales is an excellent career. Salespeople have the potential to earn a high salary and often have a clear career path within their organizations.

What is the career growth in sales? ›

Sales executives have plenty of career growth potential. Many high-performing sales executives eventually move up to lead sales teams and even the entire sales department as Sales or Product Manager.

What is sales executive profile? ›

A Sales Executive is a professional who sets annual sales goals for the company and works towards achieving them with the assistance of the Sales Manager & Sales Associates. The job is based on setting up a strategy to find new prospects and sales leads and converting them into paid users or customers.

How much do sales executives make UK? ›

The average salary for Sales Executive is £32,719 per year in the London Area. The average additional cash compensation for a Sales Executive in the London Area is £12,442, with a range from £2,211 - £70,024.

Which industry is best for sales job? ›

So what are the top industries to look for a great sales job? At Peak Sales Recruiting, we're finding the largest demand (and compensation) in four major B2B market segments: technology and software, healthcare, financial services, and consumer packaged goods (CPG).

Is sales a good career 2022? ›

Sales tools are better than ever.

New sales tools are constantly being developed, and in 2022, we'll see more companies investing in tools that will improve sales. According to one LinkedIn survey, ​​74% of respondents said their organizations plan to invest more in sales intelligence tools in the near future.

Is there career progression in sales? ›

Sales professionals who have some level of experience and expertise in the field don't typically spend their entire careers in entry-level rep positions, of course. Instead, they use their knowledge to advance to mid-level sales positions.

What are the disadvantages of being a salesperson? ›

  • Irregular income.
  • Demanding expectations.
  • Unpredictable schedule.
  • Constant pressure to find the next opportunity.
  • Moving from “hero to zero”

Why sales job is better than any other job? ›

Variety in your day-to-day activities is one of the main reasons why a career in sales can be exciting. You get to engage different people, many in different types of sales jobs, analyze emerging market needs and propose ingenious solutions to different problems.

Why is sales so hard? ›

Taking personal responsibility for results is not easy and is part of what makes it true that sales is so hard, but sales people must accept these conditions every day. In sales, you are largely accountable for deciding whom to call, how to approach your work, and even when you will perform certain tasks over others.

What is the highest position in sales? ›

Chief sales officer (CSO)

A chief sales officer (CSO) is the highest sales position in an organization. A CSO is the person in charge of leading and managing the entire sales function of a company. They manage the company's VP of sales and oversee all sales activities of the company.

What is the highest paying sales field? ›

11 highest paid sales jobs
  • Pharmaceutical sales representative.
  • Direct sales representative.
  • Business development representative.
  • Sales engineer.
  • Sales professional.
  • Sales manager.
  • Real estate agent.
  • Vice president of sales.

What should I say in a sales interview? ›

Sales Interview Tips. Concisely summarize what you've learned about the organization's solutions, who they serve, who they compete with, and what industry experts say about them. Explain why you're interested in this company and role. Talk very specifically about how you execute your sales role from start to finish.

What are the five qualities of salesperson? ›

5 Qualities That Make a Great Sales Person
  • Communication Skills. Sales is basically all-day communication. ...
  • Drive. A great salesperson needs to be passionate about what they do and have a drive to be successful. ...
  • Patience. Similar to commitment, a good sales person must also have a great deal of patience. ...
  • Empathy.
24 Sept 2018

What are the 6 categories of a sales job? ›

The Six Dimensions Of Sales Roles
  • Sales Strategy Responsibility. This dimension defines the type of customers the organization is targeting. ...
  • Product Responsibility. ...
  • Market Segment and Channel Responsibility. ...
  • Sales Process Responsibility. ...
  • Marketing, Technical, and Operations Responsibilities. ...
  • Management Responsibility.

What should I transition to after sales career? ›

The Most Common Paths for Former Salespeople
  • Marketing Specialist.
  • Corporate Strategist.
  • Consultant.
  • Operations Manager.
  • Business Owner.
  • Retail Salesperson.
26 Jan 2021

How do you progress a career in sales? ›

How to Progress Your Sales Career to the Next Level
  1. Decide What Progression Means for You. ...
  2. Make It Known That You Want to Progress. ...
  3. Establish a Position of Strength. ...
  4. Agree a Plan with Your Manager. ...
  5. Discuss With a Mentor Too. ...
  6. Check the Career Path Actually Exists. ...
  7. Talk With Those Doing the Job You Want.
15 Mar 2021

Is sales a high paying career? ›

Earning potential: Top-selling agents can earn nearly $165,000 a year. However, most agents average closer to $56,860. Unlike many other high-paying sales jobs, you only need a high school diploma (and certain licenses) to enter the field.

Is sales executive the same as marketing? ›

The biggest difference is that professionals in marketing target customers who may be interested in buying a product or service, while sales professionals make the transaction and sell the product or service.

Is sales job good for career? ›

If you want to grow fast and live well in life quickly, sales is probably the best job. If you don't perform well, it is difficult to hide if you are doing a sales job. Similarly, it is difficult to deny you rewards if you do well as a salesperson.

Is sales a difficult career? ›

Sales Is Not an Easy Job

Working in sales is a tough job. If you are considering a sales job, you must first understand that you will be expected to work very hard, long hours before you can earn some of the privileges of being in sales.

How can I grow my sales job fast? ›

Some tips to grow in sales career
  1. Try to gain more skills and knowledge about public dealing.
  2. Learn required skills like how to convince people.
  3. Try to learn maintaining relationships.
  4. Take new challenges for learning purposes.
  5. Keep upskilling yourself.
  6. Learn from your seniors and experienced people.


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