Professional Sales

Definition: The representation of a company to customers in a geographic region with the mission to grow sales revenue by selling products.

General: Sales is a key area of Corporate America. More CEO’s come from sales than any other area in business. You will have responsibility for growing the revenue in a sales territory, which is defined either by geographic boundaries or by a list of accounts. You will spend the majority of your time with customers in their environment, learning their processes and developing ways that your products can positively impact on those processes. Because these are professional sales positions, you will be calling on professionals and selling products to them that have a major impact on their operations. In most cases you will take over a territory that already has a significant amount of existing business and customers.

Key Connecting Points:
Relationship builders: Customers buy from people they like, and you will spend the majority of your time establishing professional relationships with your customers. The better you are at establishing healthy relationships with all of the buying influences in your accounts (remember The New Strategic Selling), the more effective you will be at managing and growing your business. Remember, the military is a “melting pot” of different kinds of people, and the successful officer can build relationships with all of them.

Technical mastery: Becoming a master of every aspect of your business is an integral part of professional selling. You not only will continually improve your understanding of the technical aspects of your products, but you will also have to master the APPLICATION of your products in your accounts. Think of times in the military where you learned new skills and applied them to produce enhanced results. This is a big part of selling.

Goal-oriented/autonomy: Sales representatives have the goal of strategically developing ways to grow a business in a territory. You must have a track record of establishing and achieving high demanding goals despite adversity, especially when you had the responsibility to make it happen. Use military examples where you set demanding objectives and worked hard to accomplish them. Remember, as a sales representative, you are like a Commander, who has total responsibility for everything that happens and fails to happen in your market.

Competition: Your competitors will also call on your accounts. Excellent sales representatives like to win the business and are competitive. Just as you will target your competitors’ accounts to acquire and grow your business, so will they target your accounts. Think of times in your life when you excelled in a competitive environment.

Work ethic: Excellent sales professionals work hard. The harder (and smarter) you work, the more successful you and your company will be. This is not a 9 to 5 job, but you will be well-compensated for producing results. Highlight times in the military when you went “above and beyond” to be successful.

Communication skills: Sales representatives spend the majority of their time in front of customers discussing the ways a product can impact a customer’s business. You must be able to stand up in front of a group of people and make points in a way that they will understand (persuasive communication).

Possible Job Titles:
Sales Representative
Account Manager
Territory Manager

Sample Job Description – Professional Sales Please keep in mind the following job description is just one of many possible Sales job descriptions.

You will have responsibility for the sale of your company’s products in your territory (either defined by a geographic boundary or a list of accounts). Your mission is to grow the sales revenue in your territory by building relationships with your accounts and helping them become more successful by using your products and services. Professional selling is a consultative process where you play a key role in understanding the business processes and needs of your customers and consulting on how your products can impact their results. You will become an expert on all aspects of your product capabilities and their application in the customer’s environment. You will spend the majority of your time in the customer environment, building relationships with key buying influences, analyzing processes, uncovering needs and presenting ways that your products can add value. Since this is repeat selling, you will play a key role in your company’s long-term success in your accounts. You will also have a large role in providing world class service to your customers after the sale. You will get involved in order management, inventory control, pricing strategies, contract management, working with business partners (distributors, etc.), product delivery, product training and problem solving. You will be the “steward” of the customer relationship, acting as the point person for all of your company’s activities in your customer accounts. You will have full responsibility for everything that happens or fails to happen in your territory (you will run a business within a business). Successful sales representatives have excellent career opportunities throughout the company in areas such as sales management, marketing, operations, manufacturing, product development and more.