Important Skill Sets for Top Sales Executives Today
As most top sales executives know, every business discipline and profession is related to sales in one fashion or another. The successful sales executive also knows how to navigate across these fields with ease. “No matter how an organization is structured, all the business units will interact with the sales organization or sales professionals at some point directly or indirectly to support the sale,” says the United Professional Sales Association. “Since sales professionals are the focal point for driving the organization’s revenue, proper support (or alignment) of the business functions inside the selling organization is crucial to achieving a competitive position in the marketplace.”
The UPSA also cautions sales executives to take the time to understand the multiple facets of their corporation:
- Marketing: When sales works with marketing, an organization will achieve greater profits and drive more revenue.
- Customer Service: Customer service professionals work alongside sales executives to create a positive buying atmosphere. Customer service is a value-added service that is often integral to the success of the sale.
- Information Technology: IT and the deployment and support of that technology will often make or break the effectiveness of a sales executive. IT employees will enable the sales process and will often help troubleshoot field sales calls.
- Project Management: Many solution-selling organizations and those organizations selling services rely on project managers to define the requirements, determine the scope, manage communication, and create the service offering. Project Managers work with sales executives to create the right service or product for the customer.
- Production: This is the crucial business unit that produces what the sales executive is selling. This could be the production facility, the organization that codes software, the custom database programmer, or the customization team, to name but a few.
- Training: Training provides a crucial link in the continued advancement of the sales executive.
- Administration: The administration of the internal forms, documentation, and other paperwork are crucial to properly selling the product and or service.
- Accounting/Finance: Accounting and finance organizations play a crucial role in helping sales executives build a return on investment strategy that resonates with the buying organization, as well as maintain competitive advantage in the marketplace
- Executive Management: Obviously, the proper executive level leadership is crucial to the overall alignment of the organization to support its sales executives.
- Human Resource: Human Resource functions such as compensation, hiring, and development practices for sales executives must encompass the entire continuum of the sales experience. The right talent must be hired into the best sales positions that fit individual strengths and weaknesses.
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