what is a sales executive?

Your role as a sales executive is to promote and sell products or services to potential customers, with the goal of generating revenue and driving business growth for your organisation. You typically work for a company on their sales, but consulting roles are available, where you are hired to provide your skills to different companies.

You are responsible for identifying potential customers, reaching out to them, and selling them on your company or client's products or services. This process involves carrying out research to find those potential customers. Once they are identified, you use strong communication skills to get the message across in a way that the customer will be receptive to. This requires persistence without being too forceful, as being overly pushy can reflect badly on your organisation.

Your work can be challenging, but it can also be highly rewarding, both financially and in terms of personal growth and development. With the right combination of skills, experience, and determination, you can significantly contribute to your company's success while also building a successful and fulfilling career for yourself.

Does this sound like a good fit for your communication skills and persuasive nature? If so, keep reading to find out what skills and competencies you need to find success as a sales executive.

sales executive roles

average sales executive salary

According to Payscale, the average salary of a sales executive in India is around ₹256,054 per year. For entry-level sales executives, the typical salary is closer to ₹148,000 per year. At the upper end of the spectrum, the highest-earning sales executives can make as much as ₹459,000 per year. On top of the amounts mentioned here, many sales executives will earn bonuses or commissions based on their performance. The specifics of any such bonuses will be unique to your job and employer, but the potential salary for this profession reaches as high as ₹512,000 per year.

factors that affect sales executive's pay

For sales executives who earn a commission or have a profit-sharing agreement, one of the most significant factors in your potential salary is your own performance. The better you perform, the more you will earn.

After this, one of the biggest factors in your earnings is your level of experience. Senior sales executives with many years of experience in the field can command a higher salary than entry-level sales executives. In addition, sales executives who specialise in a particular area or industry—such as pharmaceuticals or technology—often earn more than those who have a general sales background.

Finally, education can be a factor when first looking for a job as a sales executive. Once experience is gained, that experience and your track record will become a more relevant factor. However, qualifications or specialised sales training can help you negotiate a higher starting salary when first entering the job market.

young woman of color sitting in front of laptop
young woman of color sitting in front of laptop

types of sales executive

There are many different types of sales executives, each with unique aspects that change the role somewhat. Here are the most common types of sales executive:

  • inside sales executive: in this role, you mainly work from an office or remote location and focus on selling to potential customers over the phone, email, or through other digital channels. You are often responsible for identifying potential customers, qualifying leads, and setting up appointments with more senior sales executives.
  • outside sales executive: as an outside sales executive, you are for meeting with potential customers in person, often travelling to their location. You have a more comprehensive understanding of the products or services they are selling, as well as the ability to build and maintain relationships with clients.
  • key account sales executive: in this role, you work with your organisation's most important clients and are often responsible for managing and maintaining these relationships. You are able to understand the client's needs and provide solutions that help them achieve their goals.
  • technical sales executive: as a technical sales executive, you sell products or services that require a high level of technical expertise or knowledge. Depending on the product, you may need to have an advanced degree or certification in the relevant field, such as engineering or software development.

working as a sales executive

The specific duties of a sales executive include the following:


education and skills

Qualifications are not as essential when becoming a sales executive as they are for other professions. That being said, most employers will likely require at least a higher secondary education.

The situation changes somewhat if you are heading into a specialised sales executive role. In this case, you may need a degree or diploma in a relevant subject, both as a requirement by your employer and so that you understand the products and services you are selling.

sales executive skills and competencies

Some of the qualities of a sales executive include:

  • adaptability: you are able to stay up-to-date on industry developments and adjust your sales strategies and tactics accordingly. You are also able to work well under pressure and handle rejection or setbacks with a positive attitude.
  • time management: you are responsible for balancing multiple tasks and responsibilities. You prioritise your tasks based on their potential value to the company and are able to manage your time effectively in order to meet your targets and close deals.
  • communication: the core of your role as a sales executive is built on a foundation of communication. Your ability to effectively communicate the positives of your organisation's products and services makes it easier for you close deals with customers.
seated woman working on tablet
seated woman working on tablet

FAQs about working as a sales executive

Here, you will find the answers to the most frequently asked questions about the profession of sales executive.

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