Those who have been employed in sales executive jobs for some time may be looking for their next step - maybe they've found that sales executive salaries are not appropriate for them, maybe there is another reason. Fortunately, there are many opportunities for progression when it comes to the role, and salespeople will find themselves in a rather unique position when it comes to their field.
Routes for development.
While other roles tend to follow a more rigid, linear method to promotion, with clearly-defined routes for progression, sales executives may find opportunities for advancement in different niches and within different fields altogether.
The most obvious career option for further development of sales executives is sales management. Sales managers retain all of the duties they have become accustomed to as an executive but become responsible for the leadership of a team. This will include training new salespeople, ensuring targets are met, and finding ways to motivate both their teams and the general public towards closing the deal.
Sales managers will often take it upon themselves to take additional courses in professional development. While some of this may be required by their employer, sales managers will require the different skills and advancing techniques to ensure they are staying ahead of the game when it comes to closing sales. This knowledge will then be relayed to their team to ensure their personal objectives are being met and that their team is operating as efficiently as possible.
Those who wish to leave the customer-facing nature of sales, but still retain the duties they have otherwise become familiar with, may want to consider account management. This will place former executives in a more responsible role that oversees the financial side of sales. They will become responsible for the overseeing of financial databasing, chasing delinquent accounts, and general aftersales support, as they will occasionally be contacted for further advice regarding a product's use or may be required to field complaints regarding a service's performance.
Account managers will often be working “behind the scenes” so may find themselves in a more administrative, office setting for the majority of their duties. However, they will not be completely excused from the sales force, since there will be occasions where they will be required to step out into the field to generate leads or close deals, depending on the business' needs at the time of their dispatch. It should not be seen as a way of “getting away from the field”. Instead, account management is a far more responsible role that ensures the team itself runs as smoothly as possible from the financial side of things.
Sales executives who have proven abilities in the aftercare department may also want to consider becoming relationship managers. They will still find themselves completing sales on a day-to-day basis, but will also become points of customer contact. They will often take it upon themselves to contact purchasers to ensure the product or service is working as it should and answer any further questions that customers may have at that point. Depending on the nature of the product, they may sometimes be able to upsell additional products or services that enhance it in some way.
Relationship managers may also be required to enter the field to sell a business' product or service to a larger firm and this is an especially popular opening in the financial sector, where relationship managers try to upsell their products to wealth-management firms.
Those with backgrounds in advertising and marketing, in addition to their sales presence, can consider becoming marketing managers. Here, they will become responsible for the presence of a business' product or service within the open marketplace. They will develop marketing strategies that align themselves with a business' objectives, in addition to training personnel beneath them, to ensure new sales techniques are being used and targets are being reached.