Virtually every business relies upon sales to drive profit. A sales officer is an executive that focuses on the best way to entice customers and other businesses to buy services and products. A keen sense of the market and an understanding of sales strategies is essential to being successful in this position. Sales officers often oversee other people as they work together to meet income projections for an organization. Cultivating clients and a strong track record of success is essential in landing a sales officer position.
A sales officer works closely with organizational leaders to develop target income goals. Goal oriented and driven, a sales officer must create a sales plan that meets specific benchmarks and offers room for growth. Often, a sales officer works hand in hand with a marketing team to ensure that the company has a strong presence and is reaching the right client base. Meeting with clients is an important part of this job. It isn’t unusual for a sales officer to spend significant time developing strong relationships with individuals and businesses that are current or prospective customers. Most sales officers work with a team of sales representatives that assist in selling products and services. A common duty of a sales officer is to recruit, train and supervise a sales team. Developing sales and expense reports is a critical aspect of this job. Strong communication and analytical skills enable a sales officer to develop reports that outline current revenue and forecast the financial future of the organization. A sales officer must keep their finger on the pulse of the competition. Anticipating market needs and informing product developers of needed changes allows a business to keep ahead of the curve.
Since a sales officer serves as a lead account executive for a business, training and education is key. Most sales officers hold an undergraduate or graduate degree in business. A specialization in sales, sales management or marketing will add to your skill set. You’ll take classes like principles of macroeconomics, financial accounting, business communications, principles of management, principles of marketing and advanced selling. A specialization in sales may include principles of retailing, services marketing, principles of advertising and negotiation, mediation and arbitration in business. Most programs encourage students to complete an internship to offer the opportunity to gain practical experience in a business setting. While in school, it’s important to begin working in a sales environment. Demonstrated success in a sales position will help you build a portfolio that will be enticing to prospective employers. You may also want to seek a mentor in the field to provide guidance and help you network with businesses.
A sales officer works in a wide variety of settings. Retail, manufacturing, wholesale operations, finance, insurance and the service industry are just a few examples of the organizations that are home to this position. It’s common for a sales officer to spend a significant amount of time traveling to prospective customers.
Years of Experience and Salary
In 2017, the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicated the average salary for a sales officer was $121,060, or $58.20, per hour. A sales officer working in finance and insurance may make as much as $152,590. Businesses have various ways to figure compensation. Some sales officer positions are salaried and others are a combination of commission and salary. Positions based upon commission have the potential to earn substantially more.
Job Growth Trend
An increase of seven percent is expected for sales officer jobs between now and 2026. The strength of the economy will drive the need for this profession. As online sales continue to grow, the need for sales officers may decline. Businesses will continue to need sales officers to bridge the gap between retail stores and online sales.