Sales Executive Apprenticeship – Reference Number: ST0572

Who is it for?

The Sales Executive apprenticeship is suitable for sales individuals working in either the Business to Business or Business to Consumer markets, with responsibility to sell a specific product line or service. Once completed, a Sales Executive will understand and be able to implement the essentials of selling and sales representation at this level. They will possess excellent product knowledge, allowing them to win business through proposals, negotiation and sales presentations. They will be able to find and generate opportunities, planning sales activities to allow them to keep and develop business, leveraging resources and professional performance. All of this will be developed within the apprenticeship.

How is the Training Delivered and what can you expect?

Training will be delivered by a mixture of face to face and virtual delivery. All apprentices will have access to the OneFile virtual learning environment for reading, study, communication and to evidence learning and progression. Line managers also have access to the OneFile system.

The apprenticeship will take approximately 18-24 months to complete during which time the apprentice will gather evidence that apprenticeship outcomes have been met. During this time, the apprentice will have regular meetings (every 6-8 weeks) with their mentor / assessor to check progress.

What will be covered?

Upon completion of the apprenticeship, Sales Executives will have knowledge and an understanding of:

Organisational Knowledge

  • Understand your organisation’s vision, values and capabilities, the principle goals of its overall strategy, and the specific objectives of its marketing and sales strategies. Know how to analyse your organisation’s sales and marketing strategies and objectives and translate them into plans and actions for your role.

Product, Service and Sector Knowledge

  • Identify the features and advantages of the product(s) and/or services(s) you sell, understand how these meet customer needs, and examine how they compare to competitor’s solutions. Understand the nature of your sector and the likely forthcoming changes to it. Understand the legal, regulatory and ethical frameworks relating to your sector and role.

Market Knowledge

  • Understand how your market is segmented and how to target specific segments through effective product or service positioning.

Customer Knowledge

  • Know how to analyse the macro and micro environment of individual customers. Understand the challenges and purchasing motivations of your customers and the internal and external factors that impact their purchasing decisions. Understand expectations of what constitutes a high-quality customer experience.

Commercial and Financial Acumen

  • Understand the principles of finance for sales, such as profit and loss, return on investment and budgeting. Appreciate the impacts of different types of costs on the business and the drivers of profitable performance. Understand the impact of any discount or variation in terms that you may offer.

Digital Knowledge

  • Understands how to exploit digital technologies to aid the sales cycle.

Upon completion of the apprenticeship, Sales Executives will have and be able to exhibit skills in the following areas:

Sales Planning and Preparation

  • Set effective targets using sales forecasts. Prioritise customers and activities to grow account value and maximise return-on-investment in line with your organisation’s strategy. Formulate or refine customer plans and objectives. Create efficient territory plans where appropriate.

  • Use and adapt appropriate tools and techniques to prioritise and manage your time effectively.

Customer Engagement and Experience Management

  • Effectively communicate and interpret customer information exchanged through written, verbal and non-verbal communication. Develop a customer engagement style that effectively opens sales conversations, builds rapport, enhances customer relationships, and adapts to different customer’s social preferences.

  • Deliver a positive customer experience. Manage customer enquiries and issues effectively. Take proactive action to prevent and minimise customer concerns and complaints. Handle all customer interactions professionally to the customer’s satisfaction.

Customer Needs Analysis

  • Be highly skilled at effective questioning and active listening techniques to understand the customer’s needs, guide the sales conversation appropriately, create mutual understanding, and build trust and affinity with customers.

  • Effectively use digital tools to conduct research and target customers in line with the overall sales strategy. Able to deliver presentations and meetings using digital communication. Complete accurate records and process sales in accordance with your organisation’s policies, procedures and digital CRM systems.

Propose and Present Solutions

  • Develop sales proposals and deliver them using a presentation style and technique appropriate for your customer. Present relevant products and/or services, explain features and their advantages, and clearly articulate the value and benefit of the solution for the specific customer. Use and adapt a range of techniques to draw-out and overcome common sales objections.

Negotiate and Close Sales

  • Research the customer’s likely desired outcomes and negotiating stance.  Develop responses to likely objections. Identify your own organisation’s needs, such as minimum price and acceptable terms. Negotiate or trade variables effectively.

  • Be attuned to verbal and non-verbal buying-signals andmove to close at an appropriate point in sales conversations. Develop ethical techniques to close sales and confirm customers’ purchase agreement.

Collaboration and team-work

  • Contribute effectively within a team environment. Work collaboratively with both internal and external stakeholders. Manage communications with the cross-functional team in relation to the effective delivery of your sales, such as finance and service delivery. Support continual business improvement by sharing best practice with sales team colleagues and assist the marketing team to develop new marketing collateral.

  • Collect, analyse and interpret market intelligence and share it appropriately and effectively within your organisation.

Upon completion of the apprenticeship, Sales Executives will exhibit the following behaviours:

Ethics and Integrity

  • Present yourself as an ambassador for your employer’s brand, and act in accordance with your organisation’s values and code of conduct at all times. Maintain integrity in all business relationships. Challenge unethical behaviour.

Proactivity

  • Proactively develop new and existing customer relationships. Plan and lead sales conversations and make recommendations to support the customers’ requirements.  Proactively monitor the customer experience.

Self-discipline