The sales support staff is entrusted with the rewarding and equally diverse world of client demand of products and services. Not only is this activity the lifeblood of many business, it also offers the opportunity to secure a strong foothold in existing and non-existing markets. For this reason, staff must strike the right balance between administrative and customer service duties. When sales opportunities are maximized through the proper mindset, like you can learn in the Secrets of a Master Closer course, guarantee success for the sales team and higher profitability for the company in question. In essence, it is a ‘WIN WIN‘ to have the right staff at the helm supporting sales representatives in their daily operations.
Sales Support Staff Duties
The sales support staff operates under different roles and titles with the main aim of providing essential support to sales representatives. While travel opportunities do exist for the profession, this is generally closely related with the type of industry that determines the overall extent of functions and how roles will be performed on a daily basis to guarantee the best results. Some companies allow their support staff to work remotely from home without the regular need to appear in an office setting.
Daily duties are mainly administrative in nature, but the role creates an important link in ensuring that client demands are handled in a professional manner with both pre-sales and after-sales assistance. The sales support staff is not involved in the selling of goods and services, but in working with all sales related paper work and personnel to perform their functions. This support can be in the form of sharing information with the team to help them to foresee any possible relationship strains that can occur with existing or potential clients. Likewise travel arrangements, appointment or any other activity directly related to the roles of sales representatives can be handled by the support staff to ensure that operations flow seamlessly.
Job titles that are usually associated with sales support include: sales support executive, sales support assistance, sales administrator, sales coordinator and sales support manager.
Sales Support Assistant: Responsible for the general administrative tasks that include: basic bookkeeping, send relevant information to Sales and Account Managers, conduct pre-verification checks, answer e-mail inquiries, conduct different checks as needed among other functions.
Sales Administrator: Responsible for ensuring that sales targets are met and that fielding calls are carried out when necessary. They also work directly with clients by processing the sales orders they receive. Sales team administration is also conducted by sales administrators through the established targets and end results to gauge performance and improve productivity.
Sales Support Executive: This is a leadership role in which the selected individual is placed in charge of sales teams. The position can include considerable traveling overseas and locally depending on the industry. Direct contact with clients and other people is frequent in the role so it is important that people-skills are honed.
Sales Coordinator: A sales coordinator must use relevant market research skills and sales training to improve sales prospects by also working closely with assistants and clients. The functions conducted are managerial in nature by being the go-to person for sales representatives and upper top management.
Sales Support Manager: This person is responsible for the support of the sales team and also works closely with targets to ensure results are met. This can be done through the development of sales force programs that are designed to boost sales.
In industries that are highly technical in nature, the sales support staff must have at least a bachelor’s degree in the related field. Graduates or those with relevant vocational background will need a solid background in sales training. Brush up on these skills with our Master Sales Training course to effectively align your academic knowledge and skills with the needs and goals of the organization they seek to promote.
A high school diploma or certificate qualifications may also be considered. Some companies are usually prepared to deliver the required on-the-job training to ensure that the trainee is fully immersed in the policies and goals of the business and how it intends to serve clients. This move ensures that job candidates are assessed on different factors and not just educational background. In some cases an educational background that is unrelated with the task at hand will not deter a hiring manager from considering a candidate provided the right training is in place to ensure successful integration into the company’s operations.
In a world where changes are an important staple to survival, companies involved in selling goods and services must demonstrate that their staff is tech-savvy and up-to-date if they intend to be competitive. Outdated thinking that limits development and restricts companies to old practices that indirectly or directly reject an open mind and “out of the box” approach are now considered archaic and not admitted as professional qualities. Support staff must be able to provide relevant suggestions that boost performance and significantly alter the course results are taking to enhance performance and put the sales team on the right path to success.
The sales support staff must have dynamism, innovation, and resilience as part of their skills to get the job done in the shortest possible time without compromising results or quality. In some industries commissions are paid for results so the more delivered, the higher the rewards for effort. Additional skills that are assessed during an interview or on-the-job assessment include:
Excellent interpersonal skills;
Administrative, record-keeping, and clerical skills;
Ability to multi-task;
Focus and goal-oriented disposition;
Attention to detail;
Knowledge of and ability to collaborate when necessary with other departments;
Excellent organizational skills;
Demonstrate enthusiasm about the sales support role and remain up-to-date with changes;
Experience with CRM applications and knowing the purpose of CRM in sales;
Strong analytical and problem-solving skills;
Ability to meet deadlines without compromising consistency in the process;
Experience dealing and handling sensitive information;
Ability to work under pressure:
Ability to prioritize to guarantee that all issues are allocated the required time to be handled in a professional manner.
The demands of working with sales representative and carrying the company’s brand become easy when different departments are coordinated and working towards a common goal. To achieve this all professionals must have the same or complementary mindsets to make this possible.
Salary Scale and Benefits
The salary offered will be based on experience, relevant academic qualification, demonstrated goals achieved if coming from another company and the urgency in filling an existing vacancy. Additionally, the salary will also take into account whether the individual in question is needed part-time or full-time. The more responsibilities, the higher the pay depending on the industry and company in question. The annual salary for sales support ranges from $33,000 to $64,000. The basic salary usually increases if the company works with a commission based structure that awards for results and effectiveness, which you can learn in our blog post Sales Technique 101.
Benefits are generally considered if the employee in question works full-time and may be expanded after working with the company for a certain number of years. This can include anything from health to educational benefits, commuting costs, retirement packages, travel benefits and more. High selling activity in different sectors positively influence the job outlook for those interested in the profession but this also depends on economic sensitivity to different factors.
High turnover of sales support staff and sales representatives in some industries highlight the importance of delivering results and the consequences that follow for falling short. Candidates that are able to deliver results can follow a promising career with different growth potentials that are deeply linked to experience and on-the-job performance.
Career Ascension Prospects
With the right educational background and ample experience, it is possible to climb the career ladder and occupy leadership roles in management. This can either be as sales manager, operations manager or similar roles that capitalize on the experience gained as sales support staff. These higher level administrative positions may require additional training depending at the company to enable interested candidates to occupy roles as team leaders, account managers and office manager.
Alternatively there is also the option of investing the acquired skills in an entrepreneurial endeavor to tap into better financial freedom and the endless opportunities and possibilities that exist for being your own boss. This move should only be made after considerable experience have been amassed over the years to bolster confidence in particular markets and the know-how to deliver excellent customer service around the service and products on sale.
While the sales support staff is not involved in selling, courses such as Train Your Mental Game For Sales Success and Eight Sales Success Secrets form a crucial part of the mindset these professionals should have.