The World’s Most Complete List Of Job Titles For Salespeople

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Lots of companies seem to struggle with job titles for their salespeople.

For some reason, many seem leery of our favored, simple descriptor: “sales professional.” In a few circles people go to even greater lengths to hide their real function behind an innocuous name (think “real estate agent.”)

So I set out to create a list of every euphemism I could think of.

If you’ve got one of these titles, there’s a pretty good chance you’re a sales professional…

• Consultant
• Producer
• Account Manager
• Account Representative
• Account Executive
• Account Associate
• Account Specialist
• Estimator
• Telemarketer
• Business Developer
• Rep

Here are a few I’ve heard but wish I 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]
• Hustler

[c'mon]

• Salesman [it's sexist]

It’s tough for salespeople to take the profession they’re in seriously if they’re afraid of the job 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.

“No, really. I’m not here to sell you anything. Can’t you tell by my business card.”

There’s really only one reason a prospective buyer meets with a salesperson (regardless of their title). It’s to exchange value. Embrace it. Stop with the clever names!

Further, in the prospect’s eyes, “Sales Executive” is the same as “Sales Consultant” which is the same as “Account Manager” which is the same as “Account Executive” which is the same as “Senior Sales Advisor”…it all means Salesperson. A business card or email signature does not sell – a person’s actions sell.  Here’s another way to think about it:

“I can’t hear your title because your actions are speaking too loudly.” 

However, in cases where the salesperson is delivering a professional service and selling to senior executives, it can be beneficial to provide a title that the senior executives would respect as an equal – in terms of management level. Senior Executives want to feel that they are dealing with someone who can ‘make things happen’ within their organization. We call this ‘Peerage’. This is not critical if the sales person has access to their own Senior Executive team to accompany them on C-level appointments. If not, the rep’s title for positioning purposes…but actions and persona will always be the trump card.

If you’re really interested in improving those actions, consider implementing a consistent, customer-focused sales process rather than just a new job title.

What do you think?

-@JebBrooks

About Jeb Brooks

Jeb Brooks is President & CEO of the The Brooks Group, one of the world’s Top Ten Sales Training Firms as ranked by Selling Power Magazine. He is a sought-after commentator on topics related to sales, sales management, and adult learning, having appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Money, Fortune, and CNN. Jeb is the author of four books and numerous articles.

  • Shon Messer

    What title do you recommend using if you are in the insurance business? 

  • Scott Sklare

    Chief Sales Guy

  • Jeb Brooks

    Shon: A lot of people who sell insurance are “Insurance Agents” and some are “Producers.”

    Scott: I really like Chief Salesperson. That’s great!

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  • Lydia Woodruff

    what about “marketing” or “marketing specialist?”

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  • Kevin Reinert

    How about ‘recruiter’? Military recruiters are professional salespeople too!

  • http://www.brooksgroup.com Jeb Brooks

    Great point, Kevin: Yes they are!

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  • Sandra Maldonado

    What title do you recommend using if your main function was to sell training for a software organization?

  • http://www.brooksgroup.com Jeb Brooks

    Sandra, thanks for your comment! I must confess that my favorite title, regardless of product offering, is simply “salesperson.” The key to success is how you do your job…not what it’s called.

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  • Michael Dugas

    What is the title of a person who displays or sales things at an exhibition? Typically this person is an attractive female selling new products or display models or floor models.

  • http://www.brooksgroup.com Jeb Brooks

    Michael,

    We often hear of trade show salespeople being called, “Exhibitors.”

    - Jeb Brooks

  • tinsol town

    How about “Liar”

  • http://www.brooksgroup.com Jeb Brooks

    Tinsol,

    That’s an unfortunate name that some salespeople have rightfully earned. However, I’ve found that MOST people who occupy our profession don’t fall into the category.

    - Jeb Brooks

  • http://www.sweetheartplanners.com Jess

    My husband and I own a small event planning business. I need a title for him, he’s the sales/vendor relations end of our team.

  • http://www.brooksgroup.com Jeb Brooks

    Jess, how about Chief Sales Officer?

  • Gill

    The worst I’ve heard to date is “Founder”? Pretty bad – sounds like something that happens to horses when they get too fat.

    Unfortunately it does matter what a sales person call themselves for the first contact otherwise they may not get the meeting or the client may not think that you are empowered to make decisions After that they are absolutely irrelevant except to fuel ego.

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  • Troy Salyers

    Tinsol
    A salesperson provides goods or serices for which he is compensated in agreement with the terms of the sale. A liar doen’t. He’s a con artist. If anyone tells you to lie in order to sell you are not selling. They are asking you to be a liar and a con.

  • http://getonerewards.com Jay

    Gill,

    What is wrong with Founder? …unless you aren’t the founder. I am the best salesperson at my company.

  • http://www.brooksgroup.com Jeb Brooks

    I agree with you, Jay. I think something like “Founder & CEO” can get you in doors. Further, the founder usually has more passion for his or her company’s offering than anyone else.

    - Jeb

  • Al

    Relationship Manager
    Business Development Manager
    Purchase Adviser
    VP of Sales
    There are probably another 20 titles that I just cant think of right now.

  • Al

    Change Manager :)

  • http://www.brooksgroup.com Jeb Brooks

    Thanks, Al! I especially like the last one…

  • Justin

    We recently hired someone and named them Director of Franchise Development…at the end of the day…SALES

  • Anuraag pruthi

    I am into insurance business and i use “Insurance associate”

  • Simone

    What would you call an person who organises, chases, co-ordinates, assists two Sales Depts and reports back to MD. is the buffer between MD and Sales dept.

  • http://www.brooksgroup.com Jeb Brooks

    Simone,

    I would say that person is in a “Sales Operations” role.

    Any other thoughts?

    Jeb Brooks

  • Mary

    Here is a somewhat tricky one…
    I manage three, soon to be four, places.
    One is an ice cream parlor.
    One is a convenience store.
    One is a coffee shop.
    One is yet to be determined (but it may be another small coffee shop).
    I also am the marketing person for all of those, plus an on-campus bookstore.

    My boss wants a “jazzy” sounding job title that is still somewhat professional. I want to make sure the word “marketing” is in there somewhere.

  • Ed

    Interesting but in many cases ‘Sales Professional’ does not convey the value you are offering a prospective buyer of a companies goods or services.
    As an Account Manager your ultimate goal is to bring in revenue, but so is the customer service team, the presales or technical, consulting team, and many other roles in a business. It is, in fact, the primary aim of the business.
    An Account Manager manages the relationship. This involves building a relationship which could be an 8 hour discussion on stationary or solving a critical outstanding issue between the 2 companies.
    ‘Sales professional’ sounds like someone who is trying to give you something you don’t need in a transactional fashion (to me).

  • Tamoor Bukhari

    What is the alternate designation name for Marketing Executive???

  • http://www.bobadilla.co Miguel Bobadilla

    Is sales Manager an appropriate title for a person selling Accounting Solutions?

    Individual Tax Preparation Business Tax Preparation Payroll and Tax Filings New Corporation Filings Workers Compensation
    Business Consulting
    Bookkeeping
    Sales Tax & Meals Tax Calculations and Filings
    Budgeting and Profit Projections Financial Services

    Thank you,

    Miguel Bobadilla

  • Ehtesham

    what is the alternative designation for retail shop salesman?

  • https://www.idrive.com/idrive/sh/sh?k=j1r7j8m2k9 homepage

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on tax. Regards

  • Lauren

    I am expanding my job duties as Operations Coordinator that will include overseeing all sales representatives with our surgical supply company. Do you have any ideas for a new title?