It’s not easy to hide in plain sight. This is especially true when your job is to be a visible ambassador for a company and its products or services. Indeed, for as long as there have been salespeople, there have been efforts by those same people to escape the stigma that the title seems to convey.
Today, you’ll see far more transactors of products and services adopt terms like account, client, partner, and relationship manager for their job title than the overt “sales representative.”
Of course, there are myriad reasons for this — both good and bad. On the positive side, many of these new terms are being employed to convey the consultative sales approach that many modern salespeople now ascribe to.
On the downside is a reputational crisis caused by some bad apples. According to LinkedIn‘s Global State of Sales report, only 32% of people describe sales as a trustworthy profession. More importantly, the report also states that 88% of buyers only buy when they see a salesperson as a “trusted advisor.”
Given that, it makes sense that many sales leaders and sales professionals are trying to leverage creative sales job titles without the word sales in them.
Choosing the best title for your sales professionals — our preferred catch-all term here at The Brooks Group — can be a nuanced affair.
That’s why we’ve compiled an exhaustive (but by no means complete) list of modern job titles for sales professionals.
If you have one of these titles, there’s a pretty good chance you’re a sales professional…
- Account Achievement Visionary
- Account Associate
- Account Consultant
- Account Executive
- Account Growth Manager
- Account Manager
- Account Representative
- Account Specialist
- Area Sales Manager
- Business Developer
- Business Development Specialist
- Business Development Manager
- Client Advisor
- Client Engagement Specialist
- Client Growth Specialist
- Client Relationship Manager
- Client Success Consultant
- Client Success Manager
- Closer (LOL!)
- Customer Engagement Representative
- Customer Service Representative
- Customer Service Manager
- Director of Business Development
- Director of Sales
- In-Home Consultant
- Inside Sales Professional
- No Title At All
- National Sales Manager
- Outside Sales Representative
- Relationship Manager
- Results Achievement Specialist
- Sales Associate
- Sales Consultant
- Sales Director
- Sales Engineer
- Sales Professional
- Sales Rep
- Sales Representative
Just to prove we’ve plumbed the depths of the sales title archives, here are a few we’ve heard but wish we hadn’t…
- Merchant [admirable in the 19th century]
- Clerk [too close to a vending machine]
- Dealer [smoke and mirrors]
- Peddler [where’s the bike?]
- Hawker [that just sounds disgusting]
- Salesman [far too outdated for anyone to still use]
- Rainmaker [if you’re aiming to be a true strategic advisor, don’t use this title]
Taking a profession seriously can be tough for salespeople if they’re afraid of the sales title that goes along with it. More importantly, using a pseudonym to cover the real purpose of a role sends a subtle message to a prospective buyer that you have something to hide.
Most B2B buyers today know that “Business Development Professional,” “Relationship Manager,” or “Account Executive” all translate into “Salesperson.” So, for those interested in downplaying the obvious, this isn’t a tactic that will go very far.
Many looking for an alternative title to “salesperson” are actually looking for a way to position themselves (or their team of salespeople) more favorably with prospects and clients.
However, adding a different title to your business card isn’t going to go very far in that regard.
The path to a more trusted, valued, and strategic relationship with prospects and clients doesn’t lie in the title, or how great you are, or how important your quota is. Instead, you must shift your focus from yourself to your customer—and their wants and needs by leveraging a value-based sales approach.
Use Consultative Selling Skills to Gain Trust and Build Credibility with Prospects
Worry less about the job title on your business card, and let your actions build credibility for you and your company by:
- Sharpening your strategic questioning skills
- Becoming a strategic advisor, not a product-pusher
- Identifying highly-qualified prospects; asking to meet with them in a professional, respectful, and valuable way, and helping them understand how your products and services will help them achieve their business goals
- Recommending solutions that may (or may not) include your offerings
- Following up with prospects and customers and ensuring quality customer service
- Staying on top of industry trends and sharing these with your customers and prospects
Successful selling isn’t about using gimmicks or persuading a prospect to purchase something they don’t need. It is about using consultative selling techniques to identify their challenges and uncover their wants and needs in order to recommend an appropriate solution.
IMPACT Selling® is a straightforward, consultative sales process that allows salespeople to confidently guide their prospects and customers through to the close.
If you’re a sales leader looking to improve sales performance, consider our customized IMPACT Selling® Professional Sales Training Program for your team. They’ll learn a consultative selling approach that’s straightforward, flexible, and buyer-focused. Your team will discover how to meet prospects and customers where they are in the buying process to build credibility and trust, engage in meaningful dialogue that progresses the sale, and improve the predictability of your sales funnel.
If you’re a sales professional looking to improve selling skills, check out our IMPACT Selling® Professional Sales Training open enrollment program.
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