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Sales Specialist

Position Overview

Sales specialists handle the technical offerings of a company and encourage strong customer relationships. This is done by supporting sales efforts and assisting in the development of product lines; this position is also referred to as a sales engineer. They work with marketers, engineers, and other sales specialists to complete the tasks at hand. While some sales specialists focus on selling the company's offerings to customers, others focus on the technical aspects of each product/service and explains how it works to customers and other staff members. They handle contract presentations and negotiate with customers. Sales specialists should understand the current market to ensure consumer needs are being met. Sometimes market research helps them recognize what offerings need to be modified in order to better align with the target market. Individuals in this position sometimes need to travel regionally or internationally to reach their clients. Sales specialists need to have a working knowledge of technology and science; they should also have strong interpersonal skills if they hope to flourish in this position.

Sales Specialist Duties

  • Present contracts to clients and negotiate accordingly
  • Market research
  • Product or service modification
  • Reach out to potential customers to sell products or services
  • Follow up with current customers to check in and potentially sell additional offerings
  • Meet targets for sales growth for different product lines
  • Give presentations to sales representatives and provide them with coaching
  • Develop important performance indicators
  • Provide solutions to customers and troubleshoot when necessary
  • Develop strong customer relationships to maintain key accounts
  • Implement customer training programs for new products
  • Ensure product profitability
  • Maintain customer satisfaction

Typical Employers

  • Wholesale trade companies
  • Scientific service companies
  • Electronic manufacturers
  • Equipment manufacturers
  • Federated Co-operatives
  • Energy companies
  • Food and beverage companies
  • Construction companies
  • Agriculture companies
  • Pharmaceutical companies

Required Education and Training

Sales specialists should have a bachelor's degree in technology, science, or engineering so that they can easily understand complex technical products. While a bachelor's degree is not always required, it provides a science background and valuable knowledge for those who apply. Having previous sales experience can also give candidates a competitive advantage. If candidates do not have sales experience, they should still have some customer experience to display that they have the ability to work with others and build professional relationships. A business or communications background can also be beneficial, or working in a business-to-business environment. Sales specialists will receive plenty of training from their employer once they are hired on.

Key Skills and Qualities

  • Goal-oriented
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Strong verbal and communication skills
  • Ability to troubleshoot and problem solve
  • Strong researching capabilities
  • Persuasive abilities
  • Perseverance
  • Proficient with technology

Average Salary

  • Entry level sales specialists will make approximately £15,122
  • Experienced and successful sales specialists can make upwards of £103,000
  • The average sales specialist salary is £28,372

Depending on the industry and employer, sales specialists may make a significant portion of their salary on commission and profit sharing. Some employers also offer bonuses for reaching assigned targets, which explains the large variation of salaries that can be earned in this position.