A sales executive is responsible for generating leads, following up with clients and maintaining professional relationships with others to secure future business. Most of these individuals have predefined quotas or goals they are required to reach. In order to meet or exceed challenging objectives set by superiors, some people visit local businesses to solicit a service; others fly around the world promoting new products. They also often make numerous cold calls each day to find new opportunities. Once a client expresses interest, a sales executive may be required to perform administrative tasks, such as filling out paperwork, to complete the transaction.

Interpersonal skills, perseverance and tenacity are traits that most people in this position share. Successful salespeople usually enjoy meeting and interacting with others. They frequently seek out new ways to promote themselves and the company or product they represent. Most of them network with others to encourage referrals and foster relationships with those who may be in a position to help them generate business. These individuals also spend time looking for potential customers in unique and creative ways.
Money is usually the motivating factor for these professionals. A sales executive often works on a commission structure as opposed to a predetermined salary. Therefore, he is in charge of his own earnings. Some business owners offer substantial bonuses and rewards in addition to regular compensation when salespeople exceed their goals. For this reason, successful sellers can make lucrative incomes. On the other hand, if a sales executive does not devote the required hours and effort to foster business relationships and seek out new clientele, he may not earn as much as his peers.
Most of the time, a sales executive is not required to have a higher level of education in order to obtain a sales position, though it certainly helps. Excellent written and verbal skills help inspire the confidence of others. When people feel that a sales executive is intelligent, eloquent and personable, they are often more likely to buy a product from him or sign a contract for services.
While a pleasant personality is an important trait, product knowledge is crucial. A sales executive should have a comprehensive understanding about the merchandise or service he sells. When a potential client asks questions, the representative should be able to respond appropriately. Additionally, if the customer poses objections or is unsure about whether or not he wants to purchase something, the salesperson should be adept at emphasizing the positive qualities of the brand.


Top Sales Executives Work Smart

Top sales executives recognize their time is precious and finite. These sales representatives know their primary job is to identify and call on the most profitable accounts first. Examining their current customer base and finding the common characteristics or demographics (gross sales, number of employees, industries, etc.) top salespeople know in advance what types of accounts where they make the most money. They separate their accounts by time zone enabling them to make the best use of their phone time throughout the day.

Once prioritized and sorted, top sales executives use their sharp questioning and listening skills to reach the decision maker and determine, with reasonable certainty, whether or not a business opportunity exists within an account. When a business opportunity is found within a department, business unit, location, joint venture, affiliate, reseller or partner, these successful sales reps always remember to set up specific action steps or a sales m.a.p. (tm) (Mutually agreed upon process) with the individual or individuals who influence the buying decision. Then they politely yet persistently follow up on these action steps through completion. Knowing how valuable their time is, the most successful salespeople do only those things they cannot delegate to someone else.

Top Sales Executives Think like Business Owners

Top sales executives adopt an attitude that they are in business for themselves not in business by themselves. These top salespeople make decisions upon seeing themselves as the business owner.

Organization and Prioritization of Goals

Top sales executives recognize the importance of organizing and prioritizing their goals. These people get ahead by planning ahead. They have clearly defined lofty goals and self discipline to see them through. Top sales executives are goal getters not just goal setters.

Top Sales Executives are Persuasive Communicators

The top successful salespeople are listening for reasons to buy and for ways to sell. Sensitive to an account's time available to speak with them and enthusiastic in their presentations and these top sales reps have mastered the technique of carefully selecting words for their positive connotations.

Top Sales Executives Are Always Striving for Self-improvement

Always growing, studying, reading, attending seminars, learning all the time, their goal is movement in a positive direction. These salespeople seek out opportunities to perfect their presentations and volunteer for leadership positions so they can stretch themselves as people and professionals.

Top Sales Executives have Positive Self-esteem

Strong, balanced sense of self worth combined with confidence in themselves and a belief in what they are doing are the hallmark of a great sales rep. Enthusiasm, excitement and zeal are elements of their character.

These people do a better job and become more productive by learning, practicing, changing and developing these new habits so they are incorporated and internalized qualities in both their personal and professional life.

First and foremost is the right attitude. You will hear this throughout most sales workshops because the right attitude is the difference between those that give up and those who never quit. There is no silver or magic bullet. Only hard work and persistence pays off.

To become a great sales executive, one must enjoy working with people and have a strong sense of curiosity, great listening skills and the ability to see the big picture. The best sales executives are able to produce results. Pay for performance is the way they prefer to work.

A great sales executive is someone who has a working knowledge of their company's operations, products and services, and possesses the ability to collect useful business sales intelligence(tm) about their accounts and translate the information into additional sales. They are persistent and tenacious to find the answers to their questions and they keep going until they do.

David R. Bender of the Special Libraries Association sums it up well: " many people have the expertise to evaluate, analyze, organize and package raw data-transforming it into meaningful information that can be put to work?"

He goes on to say "...not many, and the explanation is quite simple." As management expert Peter Drucker wrote in a column for the Wall Street Journal, "There is a big difference between being computer literate and information literate."

Bender writes, "Drucker explained that for data to become useful information, it must be organized for a task or applied to a decision." He contended, however, "Few people are adept at determining exactly what information they need to do their jobs, when they need the information, and where they can get it."

A great sales executive knows what data is needed, where it can be found and how to get it and provide it in a manner enabling them to increase their sales. In striving to become the best, top sales executives focus on creating value for their clients and a sense of pride and accomplishment for themselves.
Top 10 Qualities That Make A Good Sales Exeuctive
Having a great idea, and assembling a team to bring that concept to life is the first step in creating a successful business venture. While finding a new and unique idea is rare enough; the ability to successfully execute this idea is what separates the dreamers from the entrepreneurs. However you see yourself, whatever your age may be, as soon as you make that exciting first hire, you have taken the first steps in becoming a powerful leader. When money is tight, stress levels are high, and the visions of instant success don’t happen like you thought, it’s easy to let those emotions get to you, and thereby your team. Take a breath, calm yourself down, and remind yourself of the leader you are and would like to become. Here are some key qualities that every good leader should possess, and learn to emphasize.
Whatever ethical plane you hold yourself to, when you are responsible for a team of people, its important to raise the bar even higher. Your business and its employees are a reflection of yourself, and if you make honest and ethical behavior a key value, your team will follow suit.
As we do at Onevest, the crowdfunding platform for entrepreneurs and small businesses I co-founded, try to make a list of values and core beliefs that both you and your brand represent, and post this in your office. Promote a healthy interoffice lifestyle, and encourage your team to live up to these standards. By emphasizing these standards, and displaying them yourself, you will hopefully influence the office environment into a friendly and helpful workspace.
Ability to Delegate
Finessing your brand vision is essential to creating an organized and efficient business, but if you don’t learn to trust your team with that vision, you might never progress to the next stage. Its important to remember that trusting your team with your idea is a sign of strength, not weakness. Delegating tasks to the appropriate departments is one of the most important skills you can develop as your business grows. The emails and tasks will begin to pile up, and the more you stretch yourself thin, the lower the quality of your work will become, and the less you will produce.
The key to delegation is identifying the strengths of your team, and capitalizing on them. Find out what each team member enjoys doing most. Chances are if they find that task more enjoyable, they will likely put more thought and effort behind it. This will not only prove to your team that you trust and believe in them, but will also free up your time to focus on the higher level tasks, that should not be delegated. It’s a fine balance, but one that will have a huge impact on the productivity of your business.
Knowing what you want accomplished may seem clear in your head, but if you try to explain it to someone else and are met with a blank expression, you know there is a problem. If this has been your experience, then you may want to focus on honing your communication skills. Being able to clearly and succinctly describe what you want done is extremely important. If you can’t relate your vision to your team, you won’t all be working towards the same goal.
Training new members and creating a productive work environment all depend on healthy lines of communication. Whether that stems from an open door policy to your office, or making it a point to talk to your staff on a daily basis, making yourself available to discuss interoffice issues is vital. Your team will learn to trust and depend on you, and will be less hesitant to work harder.
Sense of Humor
If your website crashes, you lose that major client, or your funding dries up, guiding your team through the process without panicking is as challenging as it is important. Morale is linked to productivity, and it’s your job as the team leader to instill a positive energy. That’s where your sense of humor will finally pay off. Encourage your team to laugh at the mistakes instead of crying. If you are constantly learning to find the humor in the struggles, your work environment will become a happy and healthy space, where your employees look forward to working in, rather than dreading it. Make it a point to crack jokes with your team and encourage personal discussions of weekend plans and trips. It’s these short breaks from the task at hand that help keep productivity levels high and morale even higher.
At Onevest, we place a huge emphasis on humor and a light atmosphere. Our office is dog friendly, and we really believe it is the small, light hearted moments in the day that help keep our work creative and fresh. One tradition that we like to do and brings the team closer is we plan a fun prank on all new employees, on their first day. It breaks the ice and immediately creates that sense of familiarity.
There may be days where the future of your brand is worrisome and things aren’t going according to plan. This is true with any business, large or small, and the most important thing is not to panic. Part of your job as a leader is to put out fires and maintain the team morale. Keep up your confidence level, and assure everyone that setbacks are natural and the important thing is to focus on the larger goal. As the leader, by staying calm and confident, you will help keep the team feeling the same. Remember, your team will take cues from you, so if you exude a level of calm damage control, your team will pick up on that feeling. The key objective is to keep everyone working and moving ahead.
If you expect your team to work hard and produce quality content, you’re going to need to lead by example. There is no greater motivation than seeing the boss down in the trenches working alongside everyone else, showing that hard work is being done on every level. By proving your commitment to the brand and your role, you will not only earn the respect of your team, but will also instill that same hardworking energy among your staff. It’s important to show your commitment not only to the work at hand, but also to your promises. If you pledged to host a holiday party, or uphold summer Fridays, keep your word. You want to create a reputation for not just working hard, but also be known as a fair leader. Once you have gained the respect of your team, they are more likely to deliver the peak amount of quality work possible.
Positive Attitude
You want to keep your team motivated towards the continued success of the company, and keep the energy levels up. Whether that means providing snacks, coffee, relationship advice, or even just an occasional beer in the office, remember that everyone on your team is a person. Keep the office mood a fine balance between productivity and playfulness.
If your team is feeling happy and upbeat, chances are they won’t mind staying that extra hour to finish a report, or devoting their best work to the brand.
Some decisions will not always be so clear-cut. You may be forced at times to deviate from your set course and make an on the fly decision. This is where your creativity will prove to be vital. It is during these critical situations that your team will look to you for guidance and you may be forced to make a quick decision. As a leader, its important to learn to think outside the box and to choose which of two bad choices is the best option. Don’t immediately choose the first or easiest possibility; sometimes its best to give these issues some thought, and even turn to your team for guidance. By utilizing all possible options before making a rash decision, you can typically reach the end conclusion you were aiming for.
When leading a team through uncharted waters, there is no roadmap on what to do. Everything is uncertain, and the higher the risk, the higher the pressure. That is where your natural intuition has to kick in. Guiding your team through the process of your day-to-day tasks can be honed down to a science. But when something unexpected occurs, or you are thrown into a new scenario, your team will look to you for guidance. Drawing on past experience is a good reflex, as is reaching out to your mentors for support. Eventually though, the tough decisions will be up to you to decide and you will need to depend on your gut instinct for answers. Learning to trust yourself is as important as your team learning to trust you.
Ability to Inspire
Creating a business often involves a bit of forecasting. Especially in the beginning stages of a startup, inspiring your team to see the vision of the successes to come is vital. Make your team feel invested in the accomplishments of the company. Whether everyone owns a piece of equity, or you operate on a bonus system, generating enthusiasm for the hard work you are all putting in is so important. Being able to inspire your team is great for focusing on the future goals, but it is also important for the current issues. When you are all mired deep in work, morale is low, and energy levels are fading, recognize that everyone needs a break now and then. Acknowledge the work that everyone has dedicated and commend the team on each of their efforts. It is your job to keep spirits up, and that begins with an appreciation for the hard work.
Over a period, you should check how your customers perceive YOUR VALUE, such as does your customers call you when they need some thing, does your customer call you when they have a problem. If the answer is yes, actually your customer value you and you should be able to quantify your value in volume of order and price.
What quality should a sales executive have to increase the Perceived Value of the product?
1.      Self confidence and polite
Self-confidence is the first step to success. Lau Tze said: Every creature is useful otherwise it will not be created (sound familiar like Survival of the Fitness/Charles Darwin). Be confident; if you are not sure yourselves, how can you convince your customer. Self confidence is not arrogance, be polite.
2.      Commitment
You have to commit to your job, this industry is too tough for those who has only half-hearted, committed or choose another field, do not waste your time.
3.      Discipline
Do not expect a “hit and run” system can bring any result, you should have discipline to follow up all your commitment.
4.      Honest and Enthusiastic
All you tell should be the truth, but does not mean you have to tell all the truth which you have to keep due to positioning and negotiation. Do not over promise, if you are not sure, tell them I will find the answer for you.
5.      Give impact
There are two many sales knocking at your customers’ door, they can only remember the sales executive who give them an impact (either good or bad).
6.      Preparation
A good impact can only achieved if you prepare properly. I will not see any High Way salesman who just drop in and  hear him talking nonsense, but I will accept somebody who has prepared a relevant topic which can arouse my interest (to get more value from him/her). No preparation do not go to see the customer, you waste you time and the company money.
7.      Keep on learning
Every day we learn, we can only advise our customers if we know what they are current doing. And usually you learn more from your customers (on field learning) by asking relevant question, but before you can ask relevant questions you should have some basic knowledge on the issue.
8.      Convey your idea to your customer
You should have a courage to convey your idea, not just “Yes, Sir”, you will lose your value if every time your response is “Yes, Sir”, then the customer will send you away with 1 kg of spray powder or ink. Usually, most of the idea comes from your observation/listen from others customer. By systematically learning, you can obtain a lot of idea.
9.      Be creative and pro active
Don’t bring the same topic every time you visit your customer, otherwise you become Order Taker and they will happily send you away with 1 kg of spray powder. Think of different topic, (ink, graphic supplier, logistic, business environment, competition, payment, pricing, investment, interest rate, capital etc.). The more knowledge you know on your relevant field, the more your customer will value you.
10. Killer instinct alias closing sales
whatever value you add to the customer, some body has to pay and it is your customer who is going to pay. If you can’t close the sales, you have to question yourself: does my customer aware of my value? Does my customer appreciate my value? Or I do not know how to close the sales? Most of the time closing sales is just easy as asking for it. Do not be shy to ask for ORDERs.
Over a period, you should check how your customers perceive YOUR VALUE, such as does your customers call you when they need some thing, does your customer call you when they have a problem. If the answer is yes, actually your customer value you and you should be able to quantify your value in volume of order and price.
An excellent sales executive for the education market is easy to find. What’s the big deal? All you need is someone who walks on water, whose heart-rending speech can bring grown men and children to tears, and who motivates field-hardened salespeople to accomplish what they never thought possible, year after year. Easy!  Well, just in case you haven’t yet found the perfect sales executive, here are a few other ways to identify this extraordinarily important member of your company’s management team.
Why Is It So Hard to Find the Right Sales Executive? More than any other leader on the executive team, the sales executive must exercise multiple skills to be effective.
In addition to meeting or exceeding sales objectives, he or she also needs to demonstrate excellent interpersonal skills, superb management ability, and exceptional strategic talents.  Each of these skill sets is intensely demanding. What makes the matter even more difficult is the diversity of the skills required—they are not logical extensions of one another. It’s unusual for any one person to have had the constellation of career experiences necessary to be fully equipped to perform the range of responsibilities required of a sales executive.
It isn’t that many individuals don’t have some of these skills. The scarcity of individuals in whom these three difficult skill sets coalesce is what makes top sales  executives few and far between.  Adding to the difficulty and diversity of the skills required, the sales manager must be able to work  effectively with three distinct groups of stakeholders or constituents: customers, company managers and sales representatives, and the company’s executives and board/investors. Even as the necessary skills are different from each other, each constituent audience requires the sales manager to perform a very different role as well. For example, customers need to feel genuineness,
Trust worthiness, and to some extent, even friendship with the sales executive. Company managers need a sense that the sales  executive can deliver the assigned quota. The sales organization needs to feel that quotas are achievable  and fair, and that sales representatives can count on the support of “their boss.”
The third constituency is the company’s executives and its board or investor group. To succeed here, the sales executive must frequently perform tasks that require  abilities quite different from interpersonal and management skills. For example, the board or investors typically think in highly quantitative terms using an array of analytical tools. The sales executive must portray field experiences and management wisdom in language that is cogent and useful to these critical decision makers. As illustrated by the following chart, the three critical skill sets are valued very differently by the three  constituencies with whom the sales executive interacts
So, What Are the Criteria that Determine an Excellent Sales Executive?
While walking on water may not be a formal  requirement, there are eight essential criteria that docompany’s immediate and long-term needs, these criteria will be weighted differently. But strength, if not excellence,
is required in each.
The criteria may be grouped into three categories:
1. Industry expertise
2. Management expertise
3. Strategic capabilities
Industry Expertise
1. Passion for education To be successful in this industry, a sales executive must feel and demonstrate passion about education and children. The education “market” or “industry” is different from other markets because the key players are essentially mission-driven. Teachers, administrators, and even many support staff are motivated principally by a sense of  purpose and the desire to make a difference in the lives of children. A sales executive who is anything less than passionate about making a difference with children will be perceived by prospects as “just a vendor.” Without sensing such passion from the sales executive, the prospect is likely to remain a prospect rather than becoming a devoted customer.
2. Knowledge of the education market Leading a successful sales effort in the education market demands an accurate understanding of the many cycles and timing milestones that influence educators’ buying decisions. In addition to these decision-making cycles, the sales executive must also understand how trends in public policy and changes in funding sources affect purchasing decisions. Educators face many over- lapping challenges such as standardized objectives, high stakes testing, etc. The sales executive must appreciate these sufficiently so that the sales organization can respond appropriately to customer needs and recognize opportunities for sales.
3. Building relationships through listening Listen! Listening is the cornerstone ability of successful communication. This is true whether meeting with
customers, sales representatives, management team members, or investors.
The common presumption is that a successful  salesperson, and even more, a sales executive, is a  “silver-tongued orator” who can motivate through
define the successful sales executive. Depending on a powerful speeches and make the sale with clever  “closes.” Not so. Educators make purchases. They do not like to be“sold to.”It is the case in most industries, but especially so in education, that sales are built on relationships. Trust,along with all the other ingredients of a relationship, is the basis of an education buyer’s decision in favor of product and a company.
There are many dimensions to establishing and growing a relationship with a customer. Listening is the essential underpinning that allows the relationship to develop. The importance of this criterion—building relationships through listening—is emphasized here because so many education customers state how infrequently representatives of companies really do listen. Whether it’s the regional sales rep or the national sales manager, building a  relationship is hindered when salespeople start “selling products” rather than listening. As a relationship develops and the salesperson begins to understand customer issues from the perspective of the educator, solutions can be presented that the buyer will welcome.  Modeling listening skills is the most effective way to train sales reps to listen and ultimately achieve sales.
Thus, the behavior of the sales executive sets the tone for the entire organization.  As with all relationships, whether romantic, parent-child, or business, creative listening establishes understanding, trust, and friendship. And purchasers  like to buy from friends.
Management Expertise
4. Compensation plan expertise Sales executives face two challenges in developing and implementing compensation plans. First, the plan must provide incentives for representatives to sell and to exceed quotas. The key here is not only to give financial rewards, but also to creatively shape compensation to engage the different motivational “hot buttons” of individual reps. Second, compensation plans can be used as strategic tools to achieve goals other than simply producing revenue. Depending on the company’s objectives, particular 
The Experts’ Guide to K-12 School Publishing 187 products may merit some difference in sales incentives. Incentive payments can also be used to accomplish other strategic business objectives. The sales executive needs to be an expert in the wide variety of compensation approaches that can be designed to meet a broad range of company objectives.
5. Recruiting exceptional talent Sales executives tend to recruit sales representatives who have an established sales track record and a
“rolodex” of long-term relationships in a territory. This approach can result in a reasonably satisfactory sales force, but not always a great one.
The most outstanding sales executives target not just “the usual suspects.” In addition to hiring people with proven sales track records, the objective should be to build a sales force comprised of individuals who have consistently excelled in their chosen endeavors across the board. The dimension to capture is not necessarily competitiveness, but excellence at whatever the individ-ual has been passionate about, whether in academics,
arts, human services, politics, or sports. Being a successful sales rep should be only the price of admission to an interview. The outstanding sales  executive seeks to recruit sales representatives who con-sistently outperform their peers throughout their lives.
6. Team and infrastructure building Excellent sales executives build teams of people, and they also work to create the essential infrastructure needed to support those teams in multiple ways. Moreover, they recognize that the sales organization is one of many company teams that together are responsible for customer enthusiasm, company profitability, and individual sales quota performance.  Building an effective infrastructure means creating and/or refining the operational resources throughout the company
that are necessary to support the sales organization.
Essential components of the sales infrastructure include:
• Recruiting;
• Sales training;
• Shared objectives between related functional units, such as customer support, technology services, and marketing;
• Reporting systems that are accurate and timely;
• Accurate accounting for and prompt payment of incentives and expenses. Strategic Capabilities
7. Forecasting accuracy The essential quantitative skill sales executives need is forecasting accuracy. Sales executives must be able to translate an ocean of individual field experiences and anecdotal encounters with customers and reps into a highly reliable forecast. Other company managers base crucial decisions on the sales forecast, including what products and services are
to be available to customers and when. Pricing and pro- curement are contingent on accurate forecasts. Financial decisions made by chief financial officers are inextricably linked to the sales forecast. The chief executive office  decides about strategic alliances or acquisitions based in part on forecasting. And board members and investors sift through forecasts very carefully as they decide whether or not to make substantial financial investments. Sales executives are expected to make quota. However, the professional sales leader becomes most valuable to the management and investment process when he or she not only makes quota but also accurately forecasts when and how much revenue will be booked.
If the sales executive anticipates a shortfall, it is critical that he or she present an accurate revised forecast to company management as soon as possible. Although making quota is the number one responsibility of a sales executive, the ability to foresee when expected numbers cannot be achieved—and to understand and explain the reasons why—can be invaluable to company decision makers.
8. Vision In designing company strategy with other managers, executives, and investors, the sales executive plays an efficacious role by sharing his or her vision of the point on the horizon that the company should aim for. In this role the sales executive is a team member working in concert with others who also are staring at the horizon trying to determine the most appropriate long-term targets. Being competent to discuss the state and direction of the entire education industry is also essential because the sales executive may have the opportunity to represent the company with high-level education leaders. For example, the sales executive may meet with state education depart- ment leaders, political executives such as governors or even, given our current political climate, the president. Chief executives and other senior management people from major companies or investment banks may also merit a “sales call.”
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