In today’s business environment, each industry has its own dynamics; however, it is essential for the sales staff to have knowledge of the sector they are specializing in. For example, real estate sales agents are required to be skilled in the sale and purchase of properties and be familiar with the real estate market. Advertising sales agents, on the other hand, focus on selling ad spaces.
Programs Offered in Sales
There are a number of programs through which students can choose to pursue their degree in sales. Some of them include:
Associate’s degree in sales
Bachelor’s degree in sales and marketing
Master’s degree in sales and marketing
Students get to learn various aspects of business, marketing and sales in these programs. Generally these programs include courses such as
The main focus of these programs is to impart sales industry-specific knowledge and skills to students.
Students can also go for online programs other than regular campus based studies in specialized sales. The online degree programs are particularly very suitable for individuals who are busy with part time or full time employment. They often find that getting back to traditional school is not possible for them while working. Online education provides them with a suitable alternative to upgrade their knowledge and possibly give a boost to their career.
Important Qualities of Sales Representatives
Working in sales can be a challenging experience. With the following qualities and skills it will be much easier for you to adapt to a career in sales and marketing.
Analytical skills—to gauge the situation the customer is in and guide them accordingly.
Communication skills—to ensure an easy communication flow with customers and colleagues.
Self confidence—talking to and interacting with customers takes self-confidence, which is the key to any successful sales job.
Careers in Sales
There are a number of industries where specialized sales professionals can work related to their area of expertise. Some of the major sectors include advertising, real estate, and the pharmaceutical industry. The exact income of sales professionals depends on the degree level, experience and expertise of the applicant and the geographic location of the company. The major factor that determines the salary of a sales representative is the area of specialization in which he or she has earned a related degree.
Retail Sales Workers
They are responsible for selling retail merchandise, such as furniture, automobiles and clothing. They help customers find products that they want to purchase. Retail sales workers had an annual median pay of $21,410 in 2012 while the expected job growth from 2012 to 2022 is 10%.
They are responsible for selling complex technological and scientific products and services. They mostly deal with businesses and sell large quantities of products. They are required to have an in-depth technical knowledge of the product they are selling. Sales engineers had an annual median pay of $91,830 in 2012 while the expected job growth from 2012 to 2022 is at 9%.
Financial Services Sales Agents
They are responsible for connecting sellers and buyers in financial markets. They also sell securities to people and advise companies that are searching for investors. Financial services sales agents earned an annual median pay of $71,720 in 2012 while the expected job growth from 2012 to 2022 is 11%.
Manufacturing and Wholesale Representatives
Sell goods and services on behalf of manufacturers and wholesalers to agencies, government organizations and businesses. Manufacturing and wholesale representatives earned an annual median pay of $57,870 in 2012 while the expected job growth from 2012 to 2022 is 9%.
Advertising Sales Agents
They sell ad space to businesses and individuals. Advertising sales agents had an annual median pay of $46,290 in 2012.
Insurance Sales Agents
They are responsible for contacting potential clients and persuading them to buy insurance. They help clients choose an insurance policy that is best for them. Insurance sales agents earned an annual median pay of $48,150 in 2012 while the expected job growth from 2012 to 2022 is at 10%.
*All salary related figures have been taken from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.