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Sales executives sell their company’s goods and services. Customers may include businesses, governmental organisations and individuals, both in the UK and abroad.
Sales executives approach potential customers with the aim of winning new business, as well as maintaining good relationships with clients.
They are also responsible for making repeat sales to their employer’s existing customers. Sales is a targets driven industry and the work can sometimes be demanding.
Within the sales environment a number of other job titles are also used to refer to a similar job role, including: sales representative; sales consultant; territory manager; business development representative.
Typical work activities depend on the market and the setting. A basic distinction can be made between two types of sales: business to business (B2B) and business to customer or consumer (B2C).
B2B sales involve selling products or services from one business to another. This is a typical avenue for graduates. For example, a sales executive in a company that manufactures fast moving consumer goods (FMCG), e.g. soft drinks, will sell to the retailer and may be involved in making a strong argument so the products get shelf space. Activities important for success include:
B2C sales involve direct selling to the consumer or end user. Examples include selling credit cards via the telephone or selling new cars in a showroom.
Typical activities for sales executives generally include:
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