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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.