Careers: jobs in sales
Products and services don’t sell themselves Celebrating sales success requires thoughtful sales and marketing strategies and dedicated employees. The range of tasks in sales management is broad, from sales planning to direct conversations with customers.
Sales staff almost always need a dual qualification. For one, you must be familiar with the specific products and market conditions, i.e. have expertise in the sports business industry. Secondly, you must have commercial expertise so the figures always add up in the end.
Both qualifications are of little use without a healthy business acumen and loyalty to your employer. A surplus in turnover and profits usually makes for a noticeable bonus thanks to corresponding employment contracts in Sales. This strengthens the employer-employee bond.
Jobs in sales – The right qualifications
Those seeking a sales job in the sports industry have several ways to get started. A degree in sports economics, which combines professional and commercial knowledge, is ideal. A classic economics degree would also work, possibly with a Master’s degree specializing in sales and marketing.
Another advantage, particularly for business administration graduates, is if sports plays a role in your private life. The applicant may be able to focus on their sport of choice later on, and practical experience goes a long way to closing any gaps in knowledge of sports theory. In any case, the most impressive aspect in sales – both within the company and with respect to customers – is when the sales employee is familiar with products from their own experience.
Sales requires a knack for communication
The sale of sporting goods is driven by emotion. "Fair play" has just an important role to play as customer loyalty to certain teams or brands. Sales managers in the sports sector must quickly adapt to their customers' needs, which requires the ability to listen and rapidly process information. Only those who openly approach and personally persuade customers, regardless of the distribution channel, are successful in sales.
One of the most important aspects in sales involving direct customer contact is authenticity. The best products will stay on the shelves for those who only serve as a walking megaphone for advertisements.
Marketing and sales strategies
Professional profiles in sales and marketing often have no clear dividing line. The rule of thumb here is that the smaller the company, the greater the overlap. The sales sector can even be seen as part of the field of marketing: The marketing plan is the “superstructure," which also determines the key figures in sales.
Sales jobs in major companies will be different. Here, marketing focuses more on long-term brand establishment, creating desire for the product amongst customers. Sales, on the other hand, focuses on optimizing sales channels and actual product sales.
Small but powerful
The distinction between sales and marketing is well disputed. One thing is certain: Before applying for a job in sales, it is worthwhile to pay attention to the size of the sports company in question. This will affect your job later on. And it is not a simple matter of a larger number of employees doing the same job in larger companies. It’s more a matter of specialization that involves a more marked distinction between sales and marketing. If you are looking for insight into the overall process, it would therefore be better to start in a small or medium-sized company. These kinds of positions are available across Germany.