When hiring sales executives most companies look for individuals who know how to develop authentic, long-lasting relationships with customers and who have an established, productive network of professional connections. Strong candidates evidence the ability to move on after facing rejection, are willing to try new approaches and to modulate their sales approach to a customer's needs. Companies also look for individuals who can forecast and meet realistic sales targets and are able to be flexible.
Significant sales experience, 10 or more years, is often considered over education in the hiring process, although most sales executives have a bachelor's degree at minimum, coupled with one to five years experience. A candidate's past sales experience should show evidence that he manages and meets sales deadlines and quotas within the commonly recognized ethical parameters of the profession. Companies also are seeking individuals with strong analytic skills. They need sales executives who are able to interpret complex data in order to target new population centers and demographic groups and to determine the most effective sales strategies. Ideal candidates need to be able to work as part of a team and to communicate effectively with co-workers, as well as customers.
The median yearly wage for sales managers as of May 2012 was $105,260 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The most well-paid industry for sales executives in 2012 was finance and insurance, with a median yearly wage of $132,070. The retail trade evidenced the lowest annual median wage, $74,870, of the top five industries for sales managers.