Being an industrial sales executive is not only about having technical knowledge about products and offering them to customers. An industrial sales executive carries out the entire sales process from start to finish. You should have different qualifications than other salespeople; both a scientific perspective and the highest level of social skills.
The industrial sales profession is the perfect combination of technical knowledge and social skills. You cannot be a successful sales executive in industrial markets unless you have the power to investigate, acknowledge and correct your own shortcomings.
Sales officers in the new industrial era
Industrial sales executives face significant challenges. Leading a B2B sales team in a world where procurement trends are always shifting, new engagement platforms are growing, and clients are well educated is stressful. It takes persistence, flexibility, and plenty of motivational instruction. A successful B2B sales executive must always be on top of their game and ensure their sales team is focused, effective, and most importantly, productive.
Luckily, considering the digital age in which we live, there are great technologies that can significantly simplify the industrial sales process. From recognizing more profitable sales possibilities to gaining access to information from any location, sales managers– and their sales teams – can now interact with B2B customers far more successfully. However, no matter how technology advances, B2B sales executive responsibilities remain challenging and complicated.
Responsibilities of an industrial B2B sales executive
B2B sales executives carry a great deal of responsibility. While the primary tasks of a sales manager vary depending on the size of the company, the size of the sales team, the budget, and other variables, sales executives are responsible for a broad range of duties, including direct sales rep management, territory planning.
Sales managers also deal with developing the company’s sales strategy (and securing buy-in from both higher-ups and direct reports), managing change, and implementing B2B sales strategies.
Even inside the sales strategy framework, sales leaders are entrusted with researching and making sound decisions on a plethora of options and factors. Above all, the blame for an ineffective sales team frequently lies directly on the shoulders of an industrial sales manager.
That is why developing the appropriate B2B sales strategy, comprehending how the digital world affects B2B sales, coaching and mentoring sales representatives to exceed expectations, conducting competitive analysis, and implementing other best practices are critical to B2B sales success in today’s fast-paced sales organizations.
Required skills to be a good B2B sales executive
The critical nature of the sales executive’s work cannot be overstated. The sales force generates income for the business, and it is the sales manager’s responsibility to motivate the sales force. If the person responsible for the sales manager’s job function does not perform efficiently, the business will not produce cash and so will not survive.
Given the vital nature of the work, what are the critical skills that a sales leader must possess in order to be effective? Here are the required sales executive skills and qualities.
If you are selling a product or service that stands out with its technical features, know these features very well. As the industrial sales executive of the company, you must have expert level technical knowledge about the products and services you sell.
Learn absolutely everything possible about everything from the design and production process of products to after-sales service. Besides, have up-to-date information about the sector you work in and follow the current developments in the global market.
Customers always test your knowledge to evaluate you. They want to understand your perspective and way of thinking. You know your customers are not ordinary consumers.
You will work with experienced technical purchasing professionals, senior executives, vice presidents, or perhaps company owners. These people want to work with competent experts who will answer their questions, guide them and offer solutions.
An industrial sales executive who does not have sufficient technical knowledge cannot provide accurate answers to the questions asked. This salesperson does not have much of a chance against such knowledgeable and capable company executives.
As I mentioned several times, the most crucial weapon of an industrial sales executive is knowledge. Do not think about going into unarmed war.
Working under pressure
B2B sales is not a profession that anyone can learn immediately. Nobody goes into this business to get rich right away. It is not a suitable job for those looking for easy money. Being an industrial sales executive requires a lot of effort and dedication. Industrial markets are more challenging business fields compared to others.
So, any industrial sales executive is constantly under pressure that most people cannot cope with. You should be able to work comfortably under that pressure. The source of pressure can be an angry boss, an unsatisfied customer, or a delayed job. Actually, it doesn’t matter where the pressure comes from. Pressure and stress are a part of your life. The important thing is to convert this into an opportunity.
Dealing with pressure perception is the most challenging part of working under pressure. What stresses us out is often an apocalyptic scenario that we create in our minds—for example, losing an opportunity, a customer, or our business.
You should evaluate the stress-causing problem step by step in such a situation. Don’t try to solve a significant problem at once; handle it in chunks. If you believe that every step you take leads you to success, you will overcome all obstacles.
Being a team player
One of the most critical factors determining an organization’s success is team play. Even if our roles change, we are all part of a team at every moment of our lives. Our families, colleagues, and the social groups we belong to are all teams, and we play a different role in each of them.
Team spirit can only be achieved when people put their egos in the second plan and fight for the team’s success. Being a team means sharing the same values and walking towards a common goal.
Some people may think the sales job is a one-person show. This is wrong, especially for an industrial sales executive. They promote and sell their company’s products and solutions. And the employees —team members— ensure the company’s continuity.
As a team player, you are always responsible to your teammates. You should be honest, courteous, and respectful to them. Otherwise, not only the sales operation but your entire organization will fail.