In February 2023, the 100,000th electric car hit the road in Belgium, and it is estimated that the total number of electric cars in Belgium will exceed 125,000 by the end of 2023. This represents an increase of as much as 75% compared to 2022. Staffing specialist Walters People notes strong growth in demand for sales support talent in the mobility sector as a result. Lauren Van Hoof, Recruitment Consultant in the business support division at Walters People, explains what opportunities sales professionals can expect in this rapidly evolving sector.
What exactly does an inside sales employee do?
Lauren: "An inside sales associate reports to the sales supervisor. As the job title suggests, he or she works mainly from the office, and does not go out on the road like an account manager, for example. As an inside sales employee, you manage your own customer portfolio from A to Z: you handle orders from existing customers, analyse the results, give advice and provide sustainable solutions. In addition, you map out the potential market by actively approaching potential customers and analysing their needs. You make quotations and follow them up meticulously. You also maintain close contact with suppliers. Administratively, you ensure that new orders are processed quickly and keep the database up-to-date."
What skills does a successful inside sales employee need to have?
"First of all, an inside sales employee must have a commercial attitude. In other words, a real salesperson who is result-oriented and kicks at targets. You are in daily contact with customers, prospects and suppliers, so strong communication skills are also a must. If you speak several languages, that is obviously a plus", says Lauren.
Of course, not everything goes smoothly every day. In busy periods, it is important to be able to set priorities, be well organised and handle stress.
"Does something go wrong? Then the inside sales employee is expected to be empathetic and problem-solving to think with the customer and come up with a solution quickly."
What about the demand for inside sales staff at the moment?
Lauren: "The demand for inside sales staff remained continuously high during the first half of 2023, peaking in February and March.
In general, we can say that this high demand applies to several sectors, but we notice that the mobility sector in particular is pulling the cart. This sector plays an important role in our evolution towards a more ecological and sustainable economy. We see no less than a 75% increase compared to last year in the demand for electric cars. To meet this demand, there is therefore also a need for sales profiles. Besides inside sales staff, sales managers, sales assistants and customer service staff are in high demand. And these do not necessarily have to be people with loads of experience: there are also plenty of great opportunities in this sector for school leavers with a Bachelor's degree or starters with their first work experience. "
What career opportunities are there for starting inside sales staff?
"If you start your career in an inside sales position, this is an excellent start to develop quickly both professionally and personally. You gain a lot of knowledge in the short term, get to know the ins and outs of your organisation thoroughly and are the first to know when an interesting opportunity arises within the sales department. Do you like the commercial side? Then you can grow into an outside sales or account manager position, for example. Do you already have more experience and do you want to transfer your knowledge to new employees? Then, provided you have the necessary people management skills, you can advance to the role of sales supervisor," Lauren says.
What salary can an inside sales employee expect?
"If you have just completed a Bachelor's degree and are starting as an inside sales associate, you can expect a salary of EUR 2100-2700 gross per month. With 3-6 years' experience in a sales support role, you will earn an average of EUR 2400-3000 gross per month. From the moment you have more than 6 years of experience, you can count on a gross salary of 2600-3800 EUR per month. There are usually extras such as meal vouchers or a transport allowance, eco cheques, an insurance package and possibly an annual bonus.
Some organisations give their employees discounts on their products. In the mobility sector, for example, you can opt for a personal leasing car on very advantageous terms. And last but not least: most organisations currently also offer their employees the option of teleworking," says Lauren.
Are you interested?