Sales executives uncover new business opportunities, develop strategies, and build long-lasting customer relationships. Outsourcing your sales executives can offer companies flexibility and savings while they try to hit their sales objectives.
Sales Executive Job Description
A sales executive (SE) is responsible for uncovering new opportunities and developing sales strategies aligned with the company’s objectives.
Average base salary of sales executive:
The average salary of sales executives in the United States is between $65,266 and $82,752. They can earn more with commissions for exceeding sales targets within a specific period.
Here’s a quick overview of a sales executive’s career path:
Roles and Responsibilities of a Sales Executive
The responsibilities of a sales executive can differ from one company to another, but they generally include:
- Finding new sales opportunities: Sales executives evaluate customer needs to identify new selling opportunities. They do this using techniques such as cold calling, cold emailing, and networking.
- Conducting market research: To identify new customers, sales executives track and analyze market trends. This also allows them to understand their target audience’s pain points and create strategies that resonate with their needs.
- Building relationships with prospects: Sales executives reach out to leads to build rapport, nurturing them into paying customers and increasing the chance of repeat purchases. They also negotiate with clients, handling questions and concerns.
- Preparing sales reports: After conducting extensive market research, sales executives consolidate their data in reports. These reports are shared with managers and other decision-makers to assess sales strategies’ performances.
The basic skills that a sales executive must have include:
- Written and verbal communication: Sales executives deal directly with clients and work closely with decision-makers. Because of their role’s nature, they should be able to effectively express their ideas in both written and spoken form.
- Negotiation: A successful sales executive is an excellent negotiator. They must be able to put their company in an advantageous position while giving the customers the best deal possible.
- IT: IT skills are a must-have for a successful sales executive as most processes happen through computers. Sales executives must also be able to leverage technology to their advantage to increase work productivity and efficiency.
- Resilience: Sales executives are more likely to face rejection and setbacks. They should be able to easily overcome these challenges and turn them into opportunities.
Sales Executive vs. Sales Manager
SEs are often confused with sales managers, but these are distinct roles. Sales executives make decisions on sales strategies and look for new opportunities, while managers are responsible for the day-to-day operation of the sales team. In some companies, they can have overlapping responsibilities in their job descriptions.
Sales Executive vs. Sales Development Representative
Sales executives and SDRs are both client-facing roles. They use similar techniques when engaging leads, such as cold calling and emailing. The main difference between these roles is that SDRs focus on qualifying leads while sales executives close deals.
Sales executives can also directly influence team strategies because they are in charge of developing them. SDRs, on the other hand, implement the strategies SEs create.
Sales Executive vs. Account Executive
Sales executives and account executives have many overlapping responsibilities. In some companies, these roles are even merged into one single title. The essential difference between these functions is that account executives dedicate their effort to converting specific named accounts while SEs look for new opportunities.
Understanding Segmented Sales Processes
A segmented sales process involves creating dedicated teams for specific tasks within a department. It can help speed up your company’s sales cycle and increase efficiency and productivity.
Not many companies have a segmented sales process because:
- Onboarding salespeople takes time: The average onboarding time of a sales representative is 4.5 months.1 It can take even longer to find sales executives and managers, as these are specialized functions.
- It requires a huge investment: Having multiple teams within your sales department means increasing your workforce. You’ll not only pay for salaries and benefits but also for training, equipment, and other associated costs, which can significantly increase your company’s bottom line.
Outsourcing: The Solution to Segmenting Sales Processes
If you are planning on segmenting your sales process, one of the best solutions to consider is outsourcing. Sales outsourcing involves delegating part or the entire sales process to a third-party agency or individual.
Possible sales tasks to outsource include:
- Lead generation: Lead generation is a crucial part of sales because it fills the pipeline with opportunities. Without a proper lead generation strategy, your business will not have a steady stream of revenue.
- Lead qualification: The process of identifying which lead fits the company’s ideal customer profile. This task can be time-consuming and labor-intensive when you get a diverse lead list from the marketing team, which makes appointment setting programs a great candidate for outsourcing.
- Data management: Organizing the data that goes through the hands of salespeople is often not a priority but can significantly affect their workflow and efficiency. By outsourcing data management tasks, salespeople can easily get the information they need to close deals quickly.
Your business can greatly benefit from outsourcing sales by:
- Boosting efficiency: According to a recent study, 57% of salespeople2 are overworked, affecting the quality of their job performance. You can choose to outsource as a way to reduce your sales team’s workload and mitigate the risk of burnout.
- Shortening the sales cycle: Outsourcing your sales process allows your team to focus on essential tasks to grow revenue.
- Driving cost savings: Outsourcing agencies have fixed rates, which means you don’t have to pay for training, equipment, and other associated costs of hiring an in-house employee. For custom solutions, you’ll pay a retainer fee significantly lower than what you would spend with full-time employees.
- Increasing flexibility: Outsourcing sales tasks allows you to try different strategies without risking too much, as most of them are project-based. If the strategy is not delivering the expected results, you can simply choose not to renew the project.
Outsourcing sales also has its fair share of disadvantages, including:
- Lack of control: You can’t supervise outsourced sales teams because they usually work remotely.
- Service delivery issues: Outsourced sales teams represent your brand. If they fail to make a positive impression, your brand’s image can be significantly affected.
Working with a reliable service provider will prevent the pitfalls of outsourcing sales.
Characteristics of a Reliable Sales Outsourcing Service Provider
Choosing a sales outsourcing company is similar to hiring an in-house employee. You need to find the most suitable candidate–hiring the wrong one will make you waste time and money.
These are the must-have attributes of a trustworthy outsourcing sales company:
There are two ways to check the credibility of a sales outsourcing company: you can look into reviews or ask previous clients directly.
You can easily check customer reviews of a sales outsourcing company by using Google. Type the company name + “reviews” on the search bar to get a list of results from different sources.
When checking reviews, make sure to read not only the positive feedback but also the negative ones. This will give you a good idea of the possible worst-case scenario if you choose to work with the agency. It will also show you how they handle feedback and resolve issues.
Another way to check the service provider’s credibility is by reaching out to previous clients. You can email prior customers and politely ask whether they would recommend the service provider based on their experience.
Responsive customer service means the sales outsourcing company values you as a client. Pay attention to how long it takes for them to reply when you inquire about their services and how they handle your questions. It’s a positive sign if they respond within the day and provide you with assistance and helpful answers.
You can assess the efficiency of a sales outsourcing company by looking at its processes. Pay attention to how they onboard sales professionals and what criteria they use when assigning them to clients.
It’s also recommended to get a detailed timetable of their service deliverables to assess their efficiency. The schedule should answer the following essential questions:
- How long will it take for your project to launch?
- How much time do they need to deliver the results you want?
A transparent sales outsourcing agency will not hesitate to answer the following questions:
- What are their experience and degree of knowledge in your industry?
- What assessment does the company make to determine which sales professionals fit your project?
- What training will the sales professionals undergo to familiarize your industry and sales playbook?
- Will you get an exclusive sales team, or will their employees also work on other projects?
- How much will the services you avail cost?
It’s recommended to avoid companies unable to provide clear answers to these questions. Work with a transparent, accommodating outsourcing agency to avoid potential misunderstandings later on.
Sales executives play a vital role in creating strategies and closing deals. You can boost revenue and shorten conversion time by segmenting your sales process and outsourcing sales executives.