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Sales Executive

Education and Training: Bachelor’s degree
Average Salary: $107,000
Job Outlook: Good

A sales executive is a high-level sales representative who is responsible, most of the time, for managing a sales team. For the most part, these executives work their way into their jobs from lower-level sales to sales management. Executives are responsible for delegating responsibility among other sales managers, as well as meeting with account executives.

The sales executive is often responsible for putting a public face on the company they work for, and they often participate in meetings with higher-level potential customers and accounts. Sales executives are also responsible for some administrative duties, including tracking and analyzing sales records and maintaining customer records. These representatives are often responsible for maintaining customer relations, and they must ensure that customer communications with the sales team are excellent.

Education and Training Requirements

For the most part, a sales executive should have a bachelor’s degree, although not all businesses require this. The most important requirement for sales executives is experience on the sales floor, as well as in sales management positions. Most companies require that their sales executives have at least two or three years, if not five or six, in sales management.

Many companies pay for training for their sales executives, and continued education is often a necessity. Sales executives must stay on top of the latest developments for products within their own companies and in competing companies, as well as the latest information about sales techniques.

Getting the Job

Most of the time, sales executives are promoted from within the company that they have worked as sales managers for. Companies are likely to promote their highest performing sales managers to sales executive positions, though sales executives must have not only good sales skills but also good leadership skills.

Job Prospects, Employment Outlook and Career Development

Job prospects in sales depend very much on the economy, so the job outlook for sales executives depends on the economy. However, it’s expected to be good for the next several years, though positions are competitive.

Sales executive positions are often the top level jobs for those who are in sales. However, some sales executives can advance into even higher level executive positions, depending on the structure of the company in question.

Working Conditions and Environment

Depending on the structure of the company, a sales executive may have to travel 40% or more of the time in order to meet with various sales teams in different locations. Sales executives are also expected to attend major company events and meetings with clients, which may extend their work hours into evenings and weekends. They often work long hours, depending on how many sales are in the works at any given time.

When not traveling, sales executives normally work in an office setting, and they are likely to have their own offices in the main company building. Though they may work somewhat long hours, they typically do the bulk of their work during the day, they may work some evenings and weekends.

Salary and Benefits

The average salary for a sales executive is about $100,000 per year, though they can make anywhere from $70,000 to $130,000 per year, depending on their level of responsibility and the company they work for. Sales executives with larger territories, such as regional or national territories, are more likely to be in the top pay brackets.

This full time job typically comes with health benefits and vacation time, and sales executives are usually eligible for bonuses or commission, depending on the structure of the company.

Where to Go for More Information

Manufacturer’s Agents National Association
16 A Journey, Ste. 200
Aliso Viejo, CA 92656
(877) 626-2776

National Automobile Dealers Association
8400 Westpark Dr.
McLean, VA 22102
(703) 821-7000

National Retail Federation
325 7th St. NW, Ste. 1100
Washington, DC 20004
(202) 673-7971

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