The duties involved in field sales jobs may range from cold calling, to following up on leads, to developing sales campaigns, and/or to finding new clients. These tasks may involve a great deal of travelling, holding meetings as a representative of the company, services, and products. Of course, the specific client-facing role will depend upon the sector and the organisation for which the employee is working.
People in field sales jobs in different sectors will often manage accounts and maintain relationship with clients, as well as endeavour to generate as much revenue that is possible through sales. There is also an administrative role in this position that requires attending to all the paperwork and logistical issues related to this work.
Sales jobs by definition are primarily focus on generating sales. There is a distinction, however, between field sales jobs and standard sales jobs. Fields sales jobs typically have a heavier workload compared to the standard type. Duties of people in field sales inside and outside of the office may involve:
- Keeping meticulous records of all client accounts, including contact details.
- Keeping track of past and future meetings.
- Making bookings that involve legal matters or arranging insurance for products.
- Keeping databases up to date on the computer in the office.
- Reporting back to area managers and working with the in-house team of telesales.
- Coming up with initiatives to generate more sales and thus more revenue.
Education and needed skills.
Attitude and ability are often more important than academic qualifications; often there are no minimum requirements. However, graduates with education in business management are in most demand. For advertising and media sales it helps to have education in subject like journalism or media studies. For technical sales the preference is education in computing, engineering, or technology, and modern European languages.
It helps to have some relevant work experience or related university activities for larger employers. A 2:1 may be required if the employer operates a graduate training scheme.
Certain positions may require A-Levels or NVQs, while others will stipulate a university degree, though not always a prerequisite to getting the job. Sales jobs obviously require considerable personal skills of individuals, but they should also be engaging, well-presented, and articulate. A level of technological skill may or may not be necessary, but will be advantageous.
Applicants for field sales jobs will do best to get hired if they have some experience in a role of sales. This is especially true when that experience is client-facing and six months or more. A strong reference and a good record of sales will help to prove adequate performance in this capacity.
Career progression in field sales jobs.
Many companies have a structure for promotion which employees can endeavour to progress through. The progress may begin at area sales, progress to regional sales manager, and then to sales director. Promotions in this type of structure are generally results based, meaning there is real potential for progress and advancement in sales jobs. Most all promotions to higher levels in sales come from within the company and not from people applying from outside (though it does happen).
Companies view a familiarity of current employees with the company and the product or service as more desirable. Often promotions in sales jobs coincide with the handling of more significant client accounts. The ultimate level of progress would be to create a company and be self-employed.
The salaries of sales jobs are often predicated upon meeting certain sales targets, with these jobs being advertised as on target earnings (OTE). There is usually a commission or bonus scheme applied to a basic salary in many companies. These will be based on the industry, the market sector, and especially on experience. A decent basic salary will range from £15,000 to £25,000 for a junior position. On target earnings can take this salary to as much as £30,000 with the bonus.
Many companies are offering uncapped bonuses to attract the best prospects in the field. Other attractions for this type of job may include perks like first-class travel and even a company car.
This type of job will often operate during normal office hours, by may include evening or even weekend activities like meetings or return travel. This will vary based on the needs of the client as well as the requirements of the company. To hit targets some overtime or working late may be necessary in order to reach rewards and bonuses.
There are some stressors that arise due to the nature of the work, but this is what people in sales thrive on.