An export sales manager sells a company’s services or products to overseas buyers.
You could be:
studying the market in the target country or countries
identifying new markets for exports and developing new business accounts
planning a sales campaign suited to that country and current consumer trends
planning and reviewing budgets for product ranges
meeting with clients here or overseas
negotiating the sale terms and meeting sales targets
organising licences and other legal requirements for certain products, such as pharmaceuticals
managing administration, such as orders, contracts and export documents
troubleshooting to sort out any problems with the exports.
The figures below are only a guide. Actual pay rates may vary, depending on:
where you work
the size of company or organisation you work for
the demand for the job.
As an export sales manager, with some experience in international sales, you might expect a salary between £25,000 and £35,000 a year. With more experience this may rise to £45,000 to £60,000 or more. Some of your salary may be based on commission (how much you sell).
In addition to salary some companies offer benefits such as a company car and expenses account.
You will work long and irregular hours.
You will work in an office here, but travel regularly abroad.
You may spend long periods away from home.
You will have to spend time developing and maintaining good contacts with clients, distributers and suppliers.
You can enter export sales management in several ways.
With a degree (SCQF Level 9-10) in any subject, but preferably including business, marketing or languages. You need 4-5 Highers for entry to a degree.
With an HNC (SCQF Level 7) or HND (SCQF Level 8) in Business. You need 1 or 2 Highers and some subjects at National 5 for entry.
With Highers, get a job as an export assistant and work your way up.
Get a job in sales and later move into the field of export sales.
You can get a job with a company with trade links abroad, or with an export agency which sells goods abroad on behalf of several companies.
Language skills are useful. For some jobs employers specify the language required.
What Does it Take?
You need to be:
self-confident and outgoing
a good organiser
an excellent communicator
persuasive and a good negotiator
business minded, with IT and finance skills
able to work under pressure to meet deadlines and targets
able to build up good business relationships.
The Institute of Export offers several courses including: the Certificate in International Trade (CIT) (entry level), the Level 4 and 5 Diploma in International Trade and Foundation Degree in Professional Practice in International Trade.
These are mainly studied via distance learning. See the Institute of Export website for entry requirements.
With more experience you can apply for a job as a senior manager or a company director.
You might become self-employed, working freelance for several firms.