A sales person is employed to sell the products or services of an organisation. You have to use persuasion to win over new and old customers, as well as looking after their accounts. Some sales people specialise in a particular industry, although a good sales person will be able to use their charisma and knowledge to be able to discuss any product or service in a public setting.
A sales person has a number of specific duties. They include contacting customers both face-in-face and by telephone; meeting sales targets; promoting new products/services and special offers; making appointments to meet with customers; recording orders and sending details to the sales office; and reporting sales trends to their superiors. The main role of a sales person is to sell through persuasion and communication, but these and other tasks act as evidence that the job is about more than just discussing the benefits of a particular product or service.
Although employers will expect an aspiring sales person to have good GCSE and A Level results, they tend to focus more upon your sales skills and track record. Sales Jobs are available in all sectors and range from junior positions within call centres, right up to sales director level where the sales process can last 6 months to a year and can be worth millions of pounds.
There are some exceptions, though, the main one being technical or pharmaceutical sales, where qualifications and experience in relevant areas (such as engineering or science) are a necessity. Most employers do, however, request that a sales person has a driving licence, since the job involves a lot of travelling and entering new markets.
There are some qualifications which can help a sales person to develop their skills and/or gain an insight into the business that they are pursuing. Relevant introductory qualifications include the Institute of Sales and Marketing Management (ISMM) Level 1 Award in Basic Sales Skills and the Level 2 Award and Certificate in Sales and Marketing. As stated, previous qualifications are not essential, but having them will increase your chances of gaining work experience and, as a result, part- and full-time employment.
Once you start working as a sales person, you can have in-house training. Depending on your employer, this could include work-based NVQs at levels 2, 3 and 4 in Sales. Awards are also provided by the ISMM, the Managing and Marketing Sales Association (MAMSA) and the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM). Amongst the qualifications on offer are the ISMM Level 3 Award, Certificate and Diploma in Advanced Sales and Marketing; the MAMSA Standard Diploma in Salesmanship; and the CIM Certificate in Professional Sales Practice. These and other qualifications can be studied by distance learning or face-to-face at various colleges and training centres across the United Kingdom. Generally once in an organisation the opportunity to develop other skills will be provided by the employer.
Skills such as:
• Negotiation Skills
• Customer Service Training
• Qualification Techniques
• Internal sales management systems (ways of recording customer information)
What Employers Are Looking For
There are certain traits that an employer hopes to see within a successful sales person. The main characteristic is to possess excellent sales and negotiation skills.
This, more than anything, will define whether a sales person will be good at their job or not.
A sales person must also have good communication skills, and be personable for people to approach. Sales is primarily about persuasion, and someone who can communicate in the right way, using the right type of language, is more likely to have his/her efforts prove worthwhile. This ties in with having a good sense of humour, business sense and a professional manner.
How Much Money Will I Make as a Sales Person in the UK?
In addition to the basic salary, the majority of organisations offer commission, which is often based on whether or not a sales person meets their targets. That being said, there are some sales people whose earnings are based entirely around commission. Salaries can also include added extras such as a company car, bonus schemes and petrol allowance.