Discover the graduate sales role that best suits your skillset and enables you to make a strong impression in this challenging yet rewarding profession
Operating within a business to business (B2B) or business to customer (B2C) environment, as a sales executive/consultant you could be selling products and services to clients in the UK or overseas. In addition to seeking new business, you'll also need to keep existing customers happy and maintain lasting relationships.
Whatever the specifics of the job, you'll require negotiation and numeracy skills and the ambition to meet or exceed your sales targets. Explore whether the sales executive role is for you and discover the top 5 skills you'll need for a career in sales.
Medical sales representative
Providing the bridge between medical and pharmaceutical companies and healthcare organisations, medical sales representatives, or 'reps', focus their efforts on selling products to potential customers.
As nurses, pharmacists and doctors will be buying these products, you'll require a strong technical knowledge - so a degree in medicine, nursing, dentistry or pharmacy may improve your chances of landing a job. However, sales and customer service skills are of equal importance, as you'll be expected to meet annual sales targets.
Find out more about the skills and attributes of a medical sales representative.
IT sales professional
When it comes to IT sales jobs, you'll need to be adept at interacting with clients either face-to-face or over the phone. If you work in pre-sales, you'll need to be familiar with the technical specifications of the hardware or software, while the aftersales service may involve providing solutions to problems and faults, or demonstrating to customers the best ways to get the most out of the product's features.
Customer service manager
Promoting a high level of customer satisfaction as a goal throughout your organisation, you'll typically manage a customer service team. Being able to satisfactorily resolve customers' often complex problems and complaints is crucial.
You'll likely have to communicate with customers via email, letter and phone, although face-to-face meetings are also common. If you work in banking, sales or retail, the customer service manager salary will often be boosted by generous commission or bonuses.
Business development manager
While there are all kinds of business development jobs available, a sales-focused managerial role will enable you to perform such duties as planning sales campaigns, producing sales forecasts and creating a sales pipeline.
The improvement and growth of an organisation will still be your priority, with opportunities to specialise in a particular job sector - for example, IT, education or telecommunications.
Find out more about working as a business development manager and get an overview of the UK's business sector.
Whether you choose to specialise in residential or commercial sales/lettings, you'll get to work with solicitors, banks, surveyors, brokers and other interested parties as you negotiate the best prices for your clients and monitor transactions.
By representing the seller, you'll be expected to negotiate with prospective buyers and advise clients on buying property. As with other sales positions, salaries are typically made up of a basic wage, plus commission.
Discover more about the role of an estate agent.
To buy the most efficient products or services for your organisation, you'll need to be good at networking, negotiating and number-crunching. Whatever the nature of your business and what you're purchasing, you'll be liaising with a range of manufacturers, suppliers, customers and departments within your own company in order to help save money and boost profits.
To progress your career as a purchasing manager, you can work towards gaining MCIPS status with the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS).
Matching suitable candidates to advertised temporary or permanent jobs is your main responsibility. You'll be building relationships with clients on the employer side as well as attracting candidates through a variety of methods, including networking via social media.
There's often the opportunity to specialise within a certain sector or niche industry, or you could recruit those already in employment for a headhunting agency. Explore the recruitment consultant role and read our 5 tips for a successful recruitment career.
Call centre manager
To achieve the smooth running of the call centre, you'll need to hit sales performance targets, while looking at areas of improvement. You can work in a specialist inbound or outbound centre, although some businesses provide both functions.
These jobs are usually based within large, open offices and with a lot of calls to make you can expect the environment to be noisy and the work fast-paced. The motivation and retention of staff will also likely be on your remit as a call centre manager.
Sales promotion account executive
By using a number of incentives - from samples and point of sale displays to promotions and competitions - a sales promotion account executive works to increase the sales of a product or service.
You'll get to create and run promotional marketing campaigns that can reach the customer in various ways, such as websites, social media and press advertising, or by attending exhibitions and events.
Eventually, you may wish to progress to an account director and then senior account director role. Read the full job description at sales promotion account executive.
Technical sales engineer
This job is ideal for those with sales skills accompanied by a strong technical knowledge of the products in question. Providing expert opinion, you'll typically get to work on bids and tenders for new business opportunities.
Available as the main contact for clients, you will typically offer advice both before and after the sale, while dividing your time between the office and external meetings. In addition to the sales team and customers, you'll also need to interact with other departments, including design and development, as you look to keep your knowledge up to date.
Find out more about working as a technical sales engineer.
Travel agency manager
Whether working in a small business or large chain, as a travel agency manager, you'll be responsible for the promotion and sale of holidays and other travel products. Jobs are usually available across the UK.
You'll get to put your passion for travel to good use as you seek to meet the demands of your customer base. Specialising in an area such as business travel or a particular destination is common.
If you've the relevant travel-related and managerial experience, explore what it's like to be a travel agency manager.