Working in sales is not for the faint-hearted. You must know what you’re selling, why the client should buy, and how to reach time-sensitive targets. But, sales salaries for entry-level roles and beyond are enticing. Roles in sales usually have a fixed salary with add-ons bonuses and commissions. Meaning, the fixed salary is your annual income, and the add-ons are variable depending on targets reached and sales made. Here’s a list of typical graduate roles in sales and their salary expectations.
Entry-level sales salaries
Sales executives are the key point of contact for clients, retelling that information to the organisation. Many sales executive roles don’t require a degree or specific training qualifications, but entry-level roles are still well paid. Ranging from £18,000 - £24,000, entry-level salaries are said to increase quickly with time. For example, within four months your salary could increase by £5,000 - £10,000pa depending on commission and targets met. Read advice from a Performance Executive at Betfair.
A field sales executive visits potential clients and sells them to them in person. The whole job relies on long-term contacts, building relationships and understanding what the client wants. At entry-level, a field sales executive can expect to make roughly £20,000 - £28,000, depending on your location, company and experience requirements for the role. To gain experience, take a look at sales and commercial internships or industrial placements.
If you enjoy speaking on the phone, selling products or services and building a rapport with customers over the phone, a telesales role could be for you. A telesales executive can earn £20,000 - £26,000pa, with the potential for bonuses and target commissions. Like any sales role, you must have excellent product or service knowledge, know what sells to customers, especially during cold calls, and understand the market. A job in telesales is a good stepping stone into higher paid sales roles, like field sales, or accountancy. Learn about 10 popular graduate jobs in sales.
A technical sales role is perfect for engineering or science graduates who have an in-depth knowledge of the market and clients. A starting technical sales representative can earn between £19,000 - £28,000, depending on the company, and level of technical knowledge required.
The role of a business development executive is to assist the growth and sales of a business while building new contacts, business opportunities, and spotting potential new clients. The starting salary for a business development executive is £19,000 - £24,000, depending on location, the size of the business (start-up or a large corporation, etc.), and experience.
Once the clients have agreed or signed a contract with the business, the account manager’s job is to keep them happy. Ensuring the clients’ needs are met, and understanding what they want to achieve in the short and long-term. Typically, employers look for a Bachelor’s degree in administration, finance, public relations (or equivalent), but it is possible to break into the industry without a degree. Entry-level account managers can earn an average salary of £24,000. Learn about what type of sales you can get into.
A sales consultant is usually around for each part of the sales process. A sales consultant can earn a starting salary of up to £29,000, depending on the type of clients you deal with, and company. It would be beneficial to have a degree in marketing, finance, or communication, which would allow you to reach higher managerial positions later on.
Mid-level/senior sales salaries
To be a sales executive, you will need to pitch new products, review sales performance, achieve weekly or monthly targets and negotiate prices or contracts. More experienced sales executives can make anything between £30,000 and £43,000 without any commission. This is why a lot of sales executive roles have a variety of salaries on job descriptions.
Like a sales executive, field sales executives will also have weekly or monthly targets with emphasis on one-to-one client service. Employers will look for experience with face-to-face selling, a professional and personable attitude and self-motivated candidates. With more experience, you could earn between £29,000 - £38,000 as a fixed salary. Read the Bright Network guide to application advice.
A technical sales representative uses technical knowledge to sell and promote a range of products. They usually work in places like factories, hospitals, and utility providers. Moving up to middle-management and senior salaries, you could earn anything from £30,000 up to £67,000. This figure may increase with commissions and bonus payments, but remember, lots of sales roles depend on irregular working hours and a varied work-life balance. Be prepared to work hard for that higher salary. Learn about the qualities you need to work in the sales and commercial sectors.
Moving onto a senior business development executive who can earn roughly £40,000. An entry-level and senior role requires in-depth analytical skills, negotiation experience, creativity, and organisation. Employers look for experience within the particular market you’re applying for, for example, business to customer (B2C) or business to business (B2B), and someone with a track record for meeting targets. Learn about sales and commercial qualifications.
As an account manager, if your company doesn’t support clients how they want or need, their first point of contact will be you. This role requires the ability to deal with potentially difficult situations, attention to detail, and availability - this is not a 9-5 job! A mid-level salary is between £28,000 - £30,000pa.
Lastly, a sales consultants job is to network, reach potential clients, negotiate, bring in revenue, and build long-term relationships with customers for the future.
Employers will look for strong negotiation skills, presentable and confident, thrive under pressure, and reach difficult targets. A mid-level to senior role can earn roughly £48,000 up to £65,000.
If we’ve sparked an interest, browse graduate jobs in sales and commercial for an exciting opportunity in sales!