A senior sales associate organizes and manages a company's sales force. Senior sales associates hire and train other salespersons, assigning territories and helping develop leads. Senior sales associates often do some selling themselves, with most receiving a base salary along with a commission--or a percentage of what they sell.
Senior sales associates work in a wide variety of industries, which include retail, automotive, manufacturing and wholesale. They play a vital role, as how well they perform their jobs often determines the success of their company. Therefore, senior sales associates must make certain their staff understands all the sales goals, as well as its products and services. Most have to demonstrate how the products and services are used to potential customers. Or in the case of the auto industry, allow consumers to take the product for a test drive.
Senior sales associates must possess excellent leadership skills, keeping their employees motivated and working as a team. They need to be strong communicators who are driven, energetic, professional and extremely organized. They also must be personable and creative in reaching out to possible clients. Most need at least basic math and computer skills as well, enabling them to total sales during a certain period, as well as track new accounts. On top of those things, senior sales associates need to maintain a positive attitude, strong work ethic and an abundance of resiliency.
Requirements to become a senior sales associate differ depending on their industry. Most need at least an associate's degree, with some companies even requiring a bachelor's degree. Most senior sales associates have studied subjects such as marketing, advertising, communications and business. The majority have also had to work their way through the ranks, spending time as everyday salespersons before being promoted into a management position.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), jobs for sales worker supervisors will increase 5 percent from 2008 to 2018. The BLS added that "faster growth is expected in the professional, scientific and technical services industry."
Senior sales associates earned a median salary of just more than $35,000 in May 2008, according to the BLS. Much of it was determined by the sales associate's industry, experience and, of course, rate of success.
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