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What is a Sales Support Professional?

A sales support professional specializes in providing insights and assistance to the customer, internal staff, and other stakeholders. They partner with internal stakeholders to execute sales procedures, assemble critical data, and obtain resources that help make the customer happy.

A sales support professional is involved with most stages of the sales cycle. They troubleshoot sales-related issues, track pending orders, input new orders, and resolve shipping or logistics issues. If customers have a problem with their account, the sales support specialist will usually investigate this.

What Does a Sales Support Professional Do?

A sales support professional, often referred to as a sales support specialist, plays a vital role in the customer journey. They help the prospective or current customer navigate throughout the buying process. The sales support specialist serves as a critical resource by addressing customer questions. They also update the buyer on any hidden information or nuances throughout the sales process.

After the customer makes a purchase, the sales support specialist will provide key updates to the customer. Not only do sales support specialists process orders, but they also ship and track orders effectively. The sales support specialist also oversees a database of accounts and sales. They also evaluate new opportunities and develop a list of potential clients within this database.

Other essential tasks and responsibilities that a sales support specialist may need to perform are delivering real-time feedback and assistance to customers, including addressing questions about product availability, pricing changes, and promotions, initiating conversations with customers to discover their needs and offering potential solutions to meet those needs, and conducting follow-up processes with customers to gain feedback and answer any further questions.

Other potential duties include performing standard administrative tasks for the account executives or sales managers, including filing reports, handling phone calls, interfacing with clients, scheduling meetings, administering customer databases and organizing customer data, including interactions, buying preferences, and other qualifying information.

Sales support specialists will also have to enter data into company systems involving returns, sales, and other customer information, prepare, organize, and distribute sales contracts to ensure all data is accurate, provide critical feedback, problems, or unusual events to sales management, and work collaboratively with supervisors, team members, and departments to implement process improvements and better selling strategies.

Where Do Sales Support Professionals Work?

Sales support professionals work with any company that offers a product or service to customers. Much like the sales professional job market, there are sales support specialist opportunities in just about every industry. Any organization that solves problems for a customer will require the talents and skills of a sales support specialist.

Sales support specialists can work remotely or in-office. Most client interactions take place over the phone or video conference, which means a sales support specialist can work from anywhere. On the other hand, working onsite can keep the sales support specialist closer to other departments, the warehouse, or company resources.

What Education is Required to Become a Sales Support Professional?

To work as a sales support professional, you must obtain at least a high school diploma. Some companies might prioritize a candidate with a bachelor’s or associate’s degree in marketing or business. Regardless of your education level, you will have the upper hand if you have previous sales or office experience.

How Much Money Does a Sales Support Professional Make?

According to Zippia, the median average salary for a sales support specialist is $66,000. The salary can vary based on location, company size, industry, and level of experience. Lower salaries fluctuate around $45,000 annually or $22 per hour, and higher salaries are around $97,000 annually or $47 per hour.

Sales Support Job Requirements

Several hard and soft skills go into being a sales support specialist. Not only will companies require you to work independently, but you must also showcase the ability to collaborate with a sales team. Because most of the job involves interacting with customers, you must have reliable interpersonal communication skills.

Most organizations will have a solid on-the-job training program.This training will provide a comprehensive education program on the company’s services, products, and processes. The sales support specialist will likely shadow an existing sales representative to learn the ropes. Here, they learn about the customer onboarding process and the questions most frequently asked by customers.

Other qualifications include having reliable software systems experience or computer skills involving Microsoft Office Suite, having previous knowledge in data analysis or CRM software, and having the ability to work efficiently by yourself or collaboratively with a team

Customer service skills or the ability to resolve a wide range of customer issues are essential, as well as organizational skills and time management, including capabilities to prioritize projects and multitask. Having background knowledge of customer service strategies, sales practices, and cross-selling techniques is beneficial, as is the ability to perform data entry, evaluate sales metrics, and apply information to assist other employees

Sales Support Career Path

As you navigate through the sales support specialist career path, there are different ways to show you learned critical skills along the way. Sales support professionals can distinguish themselves by investing in various certifications, including certification from the National Retail Federation (NRF) Foundation.

To further enhance your skills and abilities, this 6-week certification course will teach you how to interact with customers of all personality types. Finally, certification as a Customer Care Professional will teach you communication and active listening skills and coach you on taking care of customers in different environments.

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