Sales & Business Development
There are many types of maritime sales or business development jobs. Our areas of expertise are sales roles for product and service providers within the shipping industry. Many jobs nowadays involve some form of selling – please see our job guides on shipbroking and chartering for those specific roles.
Maritime sales jobs can be office-based and/or out ‘in the field’ visiting client offices or ships. These roles can involve building industry contacts by attending conferences and networking events and by organising and manning exhibition stands. Sales teams usually work closely with internal marketing teams and external PR teams.
Vetting inspectors carry out internal audits and pre-vetting inspections to ensure their vessels and operations are up to standard.
Example Job Titles
Business Development Director, Business Development Executive, Business Development Manager, Global Head of Sales, Key Account Manager, Regional Head of Sales, Sales Executive, Sales Manager, Sales Director.
Example job descriptions
Business Development Manager
Business development managers tend to focus on growing and generating revenue from products or services by finding and expanding into new market segments and establishing relationships for future business.
Sales managers tend to focus on closing deals within existing market segments and maintaining relationships with existing customers.
Where can I work in a maritime sales or business development role?
Software providers, technical hardware providers, chemicals and lubricants companies, provisions and stores companies, spare parts suppliers, shipmanagement companies, ship agency groups, ship survey companies, training providers, navigation products, maritime data companies, satellite communications, payment solutions providers, charities … pretty much every service or product that can be sold to a shipowner, a shipyard or a trading company (mining groups, oil and commodity companies).
Sales and business development roles are available globally.
Key skills and experience
There is no barrier to entry or specific qualification required. So much of what a successful salesperson does is down to their personality and style of working. You have to be willing to pick up the phone and not believe that sending an email means you’ve been in touch. You have to be proactive, which means spotting opportunities and pouncing on them straight away – if you leave it until tomorrow, it’s too late. And it’s extremely important to be resilient and able to take rejection and disappointment – you won’t always clinch a sale and while you have to take personal responsibility for your results, you can’t take things personally.
As you progress in sales, employers will be looking for specific sector knowledge, who your key connections are, and quite possibly knowledge of particular types of products.
You should always bear in mind that the best salespeople don’t always make the best managers. In contrast, some of the best strategic thinkers and managers are awful at sales!