Every business has some sort of sales and marketing department, which means that there are sales consultant jobs in most companies.
Since the aim of business is to make profits by selling products or services, sales consultants are employed to maximise sales. A sales consultant’s job is to come up with ideas of ways to do this the most effectively, whether that’s by selling more products to existing clients or finding new clients.
Sales consultants – the basics.
It’s best to think of a sales consultant as the bridge between your company and its customers. Their job is to promote their firm’s products and services, while building and maintaining a healthy, long-term relationship with clients.
Really good sales consultants know the relationship doesn’t just go one way - they pay close attention to what their clients say, and feed that information back to the company so that it can improve its products and exploit new opportunities in the market.
What does a sales consultant do all day?
1. Sales consultants make sure they understand the market and their products.
The first thing a sales consultant needs to do is to get a thorough understanding of the products they are responsible for selling. It’s only by understanding the product’s benefits that a sales consultant can answer the wide variety of questions that customers might have about it.
Understanding a product also helps sales consultants to work out the most effective strategies to sell it. For that, they also need to develop a good understanding of competitors’ products, to see what else is on offer for clients and in particular to know what new, innovative products are on the market.
2. Finding clients and converting leads into sales.
Most sales consultants will have a particular territory or segment of the market to deal with, and they need to identify potential clients in this area and develop relationships with them.
A sales consultant or sales associate will generally have a sales target to reach each month and a good way of achieving this is to find new clients. If you can identify a new market segment, it can lead to a big rise in sales figures.
The most successful sales consultants are positive and upbeat, and give their customers a service that has a personal touch.
3. Developing relationships with clients.
A happy customer is a customer who will return for repeat business or recommend your company to friends and colleagues. So it’s important for sales consultants to have good after-sales relationships.
A follow-up call can lead to another sale, perhaps of a different product in your range. Trade shows, local trade associations and exhibitions all provide great opportunities to meet existing clients as well as new ones.
4. Keep good records.
Since a sales consultant’s job is often about maximising their opportunities to sell to clients, it’s important to be organised and keep good records, usually via a CRM system or sales management tool. That means organising customer appointments, keeping track of completed sales and updating IT systems with any new information. Good organisational skills allow you to contact more clients in a working day and that means more sales.
Sales consultants use various sales techniques to maximise success in their daily activities.
How long do sales consultants work for?
Often standard working hours, but in some industries and roles the job will involve working weekends. Since a sales consultant’s job is to sell to clients, they need to work according to their client’s needs.
For some sales consultants this means being flexible. A sales consultant working in business-to-business sales can expect to meet and talk to clients during office hours. But someone selling directly to consumers might need to work in the evenings and weekends.
What industries could I work in as a sales consultant?
Selling is a major part of business and almost all companies will have a sales department of some sort.
This could mean working in the building industry, selling materials to building suppliers, or it could mean selling perfume to high-end department stores, or advertising space to big companies.
Estate agents, recruitment consultants and insurance salespeople all have jobs that involve selling directly to the public.
Sales consultancy as a career.
Being a sales consultant is much more than just calling clients or meeting them face to face – there are a wide range of things that sales consultants need to do in their jobs each day.
Keeping up to date with market trends, maintaining client relationships and ensuring that your company continues to shape the market place are all vitally important things for good sales consultants.