A chief sales officer is a professional responsible for overseeing all operations related to customer accounts, marketing, and other factors that contribute to increased sales. Professionals in these positions often communicate sales strategies and goals with employees, advise marketing specialists, and meet with managers and executives from other departments to determine business plans. To become a chief sales officer, it can be a good idea to get a strong educational background in a concentration such as marketing or in a field related to your industry. Chief sales officers tend to be professionals with many years of experience, so you might have to begin in several entry level positions before you can earn this title.
An individual who wants to become a chief sales officer can benefit from a college education in business. Courses in marketing and management can provide you with principles and terminology used by sales professionals. Many employers prefer job applicants who list college degrees on their applications.
To become a chief sales officer in a specialized industry, such as software or pharmaceuticals, it might be a better idea to study a corresponding discipline. For example, an individual who is interested in selling computer software products can benefit from a strong background in computer science. In order to sell more complex or specialized products, it often is necessary to know a particular jargon.
In sales, personality can be just as valuable as education. Individuals who excel in sales are often charismatic or likable. They might find it easier to make friends or gain trust in people they have just met. For this reason, some sales professionals find it possible to excel in this field without formal academic training. Keep in mind, however, that many positions such as sales manager, which can be good experience for a chief sales officer, might require applicants to have college degrees.
Regardless of the level at which you begin your sales career, you should have a resume and several reference letters ready to distribute to employers. A resume often is a single page document on which a professional lists instances of his or her work and educational experience. Under each listing, an job applicant lists skills he or she practiced during that experience. Reference letters are written by past employers, colleagues, and professors who can attest to your skills and professionalism.
A salesperson who would like to become a chief sales officer can begin his or her career path by developing effective sales techniques. Supervisors who see you demonstrate proficiency and dedication can help you to earn promotions. It also can be valuable to find opportunities to develop management and leadership skills.