B2B Sales Jobs in Automotive

If you work in a sales role in the automotive industry, there will probably come a point when you start to think about your next career move. With over 20 years’ experience helping automotive industry sales professionals progress their B2B sales careers, I wanted to take the chance to share some thoughts on B2B sales jobs in the automotive industry and the career options you might consider. I’ll look at some of the career options out there and give you my top tips on how to achieve your career ambitions.

Type of B2B sales job

B2B sales jobs in the automotive industry cover a range of functions and skill sets. They range from pure new business or ‘hunter’ roles to pure account management or ‘farmer’ roles. In between there are roles involving a bit of both, sometimes referred to a ‘trapper’ roles. Depending on your skills, personality and inclination you’ll probably know where you sit on the ‘hunter-trapper-farmer’ scale.

Are you a hunter, trapper or farmer?

Your suitability and likelihood of success in these 3 types of sales role will largely depend on your personality and previous experience. It may also be affected by your financial situation and desired earnings. In my experience the type of sales role best fitted to an individual can change over the course of their career. Some people thrive in a hunter role in the early stages of their career but then prefer more of a farmer role later on. There are also many people who enjoy roles offering a combination of hunting and farming. Let’s look a each one:

The Hunter

A hunter will love new business development. They will be confident in approaching brand new (cold) customers either face to face or online. They will be persistent and methodical in their approach. A successful hunter will possess a high level of drive and will have the attitude of ‘leave no stone unturned’. They will probably love attending automotive industry events such as Fleet & Mobility Live, Commercial Vehicle Show or The British Motor Show and be happy approaching people and striking up a conversation. They’ll be happy working independently in a field-based job and will use their personality and charm to win over new customers. They will also be driven by achieving targets and probably be highly motivated by money. Typical farmer job titles would be Business Development Manager, New Business Manager or Field Sales Rep.

The Trapper

Much like the hunter, the trapper will have an outgoing personality and will be happy approaching new customers. They may be focused on using marketing materials and content to draw in new customer enquiries. But once the enquiries come in they will quickly focus on converting these into new customers.

The Farmer

A great farmer will love nurturing customers and building long term relationships. They will be really skilled at servicing customers and have a high attention to detail. Patience and persistence will come naturally to them. They will always be there for their customers and will understand the value of great service in winning incremental business. Typical farmer job titles might be Account Manager, Customer Success Manager or Customer Service Manger.

B2B sales job in the automotive industry

So what options are there for business to business sales jobs in the automotive industry? There are a few types of sales role available in the automotive industry. Your choice of job will probably depend on your areas of interest, experience and abilities. Lets look a some of the main ones:

Vehicle Sales

Whilst many vehicle sales jobs are in retail sales (which I am not covering in this article), there are numerous B2B vehicle sales roles including fleet, corporate sales, local business sales and commercial vehicle sales jobs for vehicle manufacturers, dealers and vehicle convertors.

Financial Services

Financial Services forms a large part of the UK automotive industry and there are many sales career opportunities in this sector. These include jobs working for a vehicle manufacturer, leasing, rental, lender, broker, insurance or warranty business. To succeed in an automotive financial services role you will need a good level of numeracy as well as excellent sales skills. Learn more about automotive financial services jobs we cover.

Solutions and Service Suppliers

By solutions and service suppliers I am referring to any business that supplies a service to the automotive industry. This includes: technology, software, marketing services, data, logistics, repair, accident management or fleet management, to list a few. The type of customer you’ll sell to could be: vehicle manufacturers, dealers, leasing or end user fleets. Learn more about automotive supplier jobs that Copeland specialise in.

Aftermarket & Components

A huge area of the automotive industry is the aftermarket. Products for the aftermarket include parts, accessories, garage equipment, lubricants, tyres, paint and finishing products. Selling into the aftermarket will often include selling to distributors / motor factors as well as end user garages and other businesses. Components sales roles may also involve selling directly to OEMs. Roles in the aftermarket sales often require a level of knowledge and interest in the aftermarket and some level of technical knowledge.

Skills needed for automotive B2B sales jobs

To assess whether a job in automotive industry B2B sales is likely to be right for you, here are some of the skills and attributes our automotive industry clients seek for sales roles include:

  • Excellent relationship building skills
  • Drive, persistence & tenacity
  • Strong communication skills: clear, concise writing and effective speaking.
  • Interpersonal skills: enthusiastic, can-do attitude, cooperative, and motivational.
  • Organisational skills: punctual, attentive, and detail-orientated.
  • Problem analysis skills: understand problems, identify causes, propose solutions.
  • Self-motivated with great time management
  • Confident face to face presentation skills
  • Technical proficiency with Outlook, MS Office.

How to get an automotive B2B sales job

So if you’ve decided you’d like to progress your career in an automotive B2B sales role, here’s my 5 point checklist to securing your dream job:

  1. Decide what type or types or job you want. Having a clear brief and what job you are seeking and being able to say why is the first step to success. Be realistic and make sure your desired job fits your skills and experience. See skills and experience section below.
  2. Get your CV in shape. For help with your CV – including free templates – see our CV advice.
  3. Start applying for jobs. Be focused and specific about what you apply for rather than having a scatter gun approach. Only apply for jobs where you are a strong fit (at least 80%) to the skills and experience being asked for.
  4. Register with a specialist automotive industry recruitment agency, such as Copeland Automotive Recruitment. Learn why employees choose Copeland.
  5. Get yourself interview ready. If you prepare well for any interview you’ll greatly increase your chances of success. We offer all our candidates advice with interview preparation and techniques. Here are a couple of articles to help: Interview Preparation; Interview Presentations.

Next steps

If you’re ready to find your next B2B sales job in the automotive industry, Copeland Automotive Recruitment can help. We have over 20 years’ experience finding automotive industry B2B sales professionals their dream jobs. We specialise in B2B sales jobs coving all the areas mentioned above. Learn more about our specialisms.

Take a look at our Current Vacancies or Register your CV.

Further Reading:

Automotive Salary Guide

Using LinkedIn for Sales

Career Cheklist

Get in touch: E: [email protected]   T: 07973 286342

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