Tag Archives: Customer Service

Sales and Customer Service

I joined Atwood Tate in February 2018 and specialise in recruiting for Sales, Production, Production Editorial, Rights, Contracts, Project Management, Design, Distribution & Operations roles.  In this blog, I will be explaining jobs in Sales and Customer Service sectors within publishing.

Sales

What is a sales role in publishing?

Sales roles are diverse – from Sales Assistant, Sales Executive, Sales Representation roles which bring in new business to an Account Manager role looking after a designated group of client/company products, i.e an Account Manager for children titles in the US market for an international leading trade book publisher.  For sales roles, it is also usually divided into a specific list of titles and accounts: normal accounts (bookshops/direct customers) and special sales (supermarkets/retail stores/ wholesalers). 

What does a sales role involve?

Your job is to understand the front list titles, prepare new titles presentation, build and maintain relationships with customers/clients, represent your publisher and persuade your target audience to sell your titles or products.

What skills do you need to succeed in a sales role?

Communication and presentation skills. You need to be results and target driven and have a good head for numbers. Excellent negotiating skills are a must.  You will also need to keep up with latest market trends, observe the market, feed it back to your publisher and make strategic plans to keep the business going. 

Is there good progression in sales?

Sales roles are very diverse so they are always full of opportunity and progression.  You can make a lateral move or you move upwards and onwards.  The contacts and relationships you will build up throughout the years will also become one of you biggest assets when you look for a new opportunity – so make sure you stay in touch with everybody!

Customer Service

What is a customer service role?

Customer service is fundamentally a role to support the operations of a sales department.  You will update metadata on the company database, websites or other online platforms.  You will also handle queries from booksellers/clients/direct customers, issue invoice and follow up on the finances.  Other responsibilities may include logistics management, stock queries, and resolving problems.

What skills do you need in a customer service role?

As for the nature of the role, you will be a tech-savvy person.  Preparing sales materials for your colleagues, updating the database and processing orders will be your main duties so a good eye for detail, good communications skills and a high ability to solve problems will be essential.  

How do you progress in a sales/customer service role?

You can start as a Sales Coordinator and then move towards managing accounts and eventually overseeing a sales operations team.  Keep up with the latest technology and software, be an expert in what you do.  If you eventually wanted to have a fresh challenge, you could look into operations or project management roles.

If you have any questions about Sales or Customer Services roles in publishing, don’t hesitate to get in touch!

Clare Chan, Senior Publishing Recruitment Consultant

Tel:        0203 574 4428 Email: clarechan@atwoodtate.co.uk

Specialist areas: Sales, Production, Production Editorial, Rights, Contracts, Project Management, Design, Distribution & Operations roles.

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Industry Spotlight: Sales and Customer Service

 

Welcome to Atwood Tate’s industry spotlight series, where we go behind the scenes of each of our recruitment desks to give you the scoop on working with Atwood Tate. This week’s entry is with Olivia Constantinides, who works on Sales, Marketing, Publicity and Customer Service roles in London and East Anglia. She covers all sectors, except B2B.

In this spotlight Olivia will focus on Sales and Customer Service roles and will tell you more about what these jobs involve and the types of skills they require. At a later date she will cover Marketing and Publicity positions.

Types of roles

Sales roles in publishing are really diverse. Whether you’re an Account Manager looking after existing customers or a Business Development Manager focused on bringing in new business, your job is to build relationships with customers and persuade them to buy your company’s products or services.

One of the great things about working in sales is that you get to handle the finished product, whether that be a children’s book, a scientific journal or an online learning platform. You also get a real insight into the market and what the customer wants or needs. This knowledge is invaluable for the business as a whole and can be used to influence what is published in the future and how products are marketed to customers.

Some sales roles will include elements of customer service and if you’re selling digital products or software, you may train customers how to use it.

Customer service roles are closely linked to sales and involve dealing with the customer post-sales, usually over phone or email. Common responsibilities include answering order or stock related queries or resolving problems and complaints.

Do sales roles involve lots of cold calling?

A common misconception is that sales roles involve endless cold calling. It’s not usually like that in publishing. You might be selling books to bookshops or retailers, or software to universities, libraries and hospitals. Therefore you’ll need to meet customers face to face and adopt a softer and more consultative sales approach.

What is the pay like in sales?

Sales salaries often exceed those of other roles. In addition to your basic annual salary you will likely receive a bonus or commission based on the amount you sell and revenue that you bring in for the company. This might be paid out monthly, quarterly or annually. It is sometimes uncapped so your earning capacity is limitless.

Is there good room for progression?

There is really good room for progression in sales. You could start out in a sales support or administrative role and gradually progress to managing your own accounts and then eventually overseeing a team of sales people.

One of the advantages of sales roles is that the skills you develop are really transferable so you could find yourself working for a variety of publishers and selling to a variety of customers. Skilled sales people will always be in demand.

Whilst there aren’t nearly as many customer service roles out there, there is still good room for progression and you could end up managing a team of Customer Service advisors and overseeing the strategy for the department. Like sales, the skills you develop are very transferable and customer service people often find themselves working for a range of organisations.

Do you get to travel?

Sales roles will usually involve some element of travel but the amount will depend largely on the role. You might look after a specific territory, which could be as big as London or the whole of the UK. Some roles can cover regions as large as Europe, the Middle East, Latin America or Asia. International sales people may find they are travelling at least 50% of their time. If you like being out and about, a field based or international sales role would suit you.

On the other hand, some roles are more office based, with most sales being conducted over the phone or via email and only occasional visits to customers being needed. You may find the opportunities to travel increase as you progress into more senior positions.

Customer service roles are usually office based but depending on the company you work for, you may take occasional trips to visit colleagues in other offices, which could be in the UK or overseas.

 

What key skills do you need to succeed?

To succeed in sales you need excellent communication and presentation skills. You need to be results and target driven with a good head for numbers and a knack for negotiating. You also need to be driven, determined and ambitious.

For customer service roles, excellent communication skills are also vital along with the ability to problem solve and empathise with customers.

If you’re considering a sales or customer service role in publishing or already work in the industry and are looking for your next opportunity, contact Olivia at olivia@atwoodtate.co.uk.

 

Atwood Tate recruits across all levels and all functions so if you are looking for a new role in publishing please get in touch with us at info@atwoodtate.co.uk. We also have a very active temps and freelance desk, so if you are open to short term contracts or are looking to boost your freelance career, you can reach Alison at alisonredfearn@atwoodtate.co.uk.

 

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