Positions in field sales involve the selling of goods and services throughout a predefined area. Sales personnel also work to maintain existing client relationships, explore new avenues of opportunity and offer customer service when required.
The pathway into field sales is rarely defined. Good candidates include people with experience or qualifications in business-related subjects; however, many roles are filled by people with technical expertise, marketing credentials or any specific experience that is relevant to the job. Whilst recruitment agencies will have different criteria for recruiting staff in this discipline, an ability to persuade and communicate with people from all walks of life is always a prerequisite to employment.
Vacancies include those for sales executives, sales managers and merchandising specialists. These positions usually exist in the retail, manufacturing, IT and marketing sectors, and many of them with the UK's biggest companies. Fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) account for many of the current vacancies, and employers such as Coca Cola Enterprises, Heineken, Proctor & Gamble and British Imperial Tobacco are always on the lookout for talented sales professionals. Positions also exist in more niche sectors such as recruitment, engineering and car production.
Roles usually cover vast geographical areas, so a driving licence is always essential. Candidates will also need to commit to many hours on the road, and regular overnight trips are not uncommon. However, the rewards can be substantial - basic salaries of between £18,000 and £50,000 are available for outstanding candidates, as well as significant bonuses based on sales performance.