Sales Associate Job Description: Top Duties and Requirements

A Sales Associate, or Shop Assistant, promotes the company’s products and services and helps to answer questions customers may have about the company’s activities. Their duties include helping customers make buying decisions, servicing existing customers, and overseeing purchase agreements.


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What does a Sales Associate do?

Sales Associates are part of the sales team. They are usually front-liners, meaning that they represent the voice of the business and are the first to interact with the customers. They help customers meet their buying needs. Sales Associates are also responsible for drafting and submitting periodical reports based on sales and other occurrences in the company.


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Sales Associate Job Description Examples:


Example 1

"Description The role of the Selling Associate supports and contributes to store productivity and profitability through customer service excellence, a consistent brand experience and the ability to build emotional connection, and loyalty, with the customer. Key business metrics the Selling Associate should influence: Sales percent achievement to Target and LY Conversion ADS (average dollar sale) Consistent personal SPH above store average (specific SPH target to be determined) Role and Models the Total Customer Experience in all customer interactions Consistently offers a Product Demo and shares a personal testimony as well as name exchange while building emotional connection Exhibits a high level of activity, passion and energy, while providing an expert level of product knowledge Able to transition customers to alternative fragrances and categories in order to build her personal and home fragrance wardrobe Demonstrates the ability to assist multiple customers through breakaways & audience selling during peak times Takes initiative to elevate personal knowledge of all product categories in current and future merchandise and maintains awareness of store promotions, pricing and special events Actively utilizes all available selling tools including Product Guides, SWAT tools, Theme Materials and Associate basics Demonstrates knowledge and insight regarding inventory levels, customer feedback and product requests and can suggest alternate options (SWAT) Considering the confidential and sensitive nature of every element of this position, it is imperative that confidentiality is maintained at all times, and that company information not be discussed outside of the store Qualifications Meets defined availability criteria Driven to exceed personal and store results through selling and service Demonstrates the ability to build relationships though listening, asking questions and relating to the customer Strong communication, organization and multi-tasking abilities Proven track record of sales and service from previous experience An equal opportunity employer, we do not discriminate in hiring or terms and conditions of employment because of an individual’s race, ancestry, colour, place of origin, religion, gender, gender identity, national origin, citizenship, age, disability, sexual orientation, family status or marital status, or any other protected category recognized by provincial or federal laws. We only hire individuals authorized for employment in Canada."

Example 2

"About Gap Gap has always been about optimistic American style. Starting with our very first store on Ocean Avenue in San Francisco, opened almost 50 years ago by Doris and Don Fisher. The thread that’s run through those five decades is the phenomenal people that make up our brand – our employees and our customers. People who are rooted in the legacy that makes Gap what it is, but who are also focused on the future. People who want to leave the world better than they found it. We’ve built our brand on staying true to our roots while always being out in front of what’s next. If you want to be part of an iconic American brand, and help lead the way for where we’re headed, we’d love to have you join us. About the role We’re searching for Sales Associates to join our team – no experience needed – friendly and eager to learn is what we are looking for! As a Sales Associate, you’re an important part of our team and take pride in the brand to deliver a great shopping experience for our customers. You will support your team to drive results, deliver best-in-class service and educate customers on our loyalty programs. You enjoy a fast-paced environment and have a customer-first mindset. Health and safety are our top priority and we are committed to evolving our health and safety practices to keep our teams, customers and communities at the core of every decision we make. We’re taking care by requiring employees to wear masks in our stores and asking our customers to do the same. In addition, our stores have health guards at checkout, increased cleaning and sanitation efforts and physical distancing guides. We’ve also implemented associate health screenings and require all employees to do a health check at the start of each shift. Consistently treat all customers and employees with respect and contribute to a positive work environment. Support sales floor, fitting room, cash wrap, back of house, as required. Handle all customer interactions including potential issues and returns courteously and professionally. Who you are You’re able to work shifts that meet the needs of the business; flexible and/or consistent scheduling may be available. You act in line with our values and guiding principles. You are open to feedback, communicate well and take action as required. You’re able to learn and utilize technology. You’re able to maneuver around sales floor, stockroom, office and lift up to 30 lbs., with or without a reasonable accommodation. In Quebec: Must be able to speak French. Benefits at Gap Merchandise discount for our brands: 50% off regular-priced merchandise at Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy, 30% off at Outlet, and 10% off markdowns at Gap, Banana Republic and Outlet. One of the most competitive Paid Time Off plans in the industry.* Employees can take up to five “on the clock” hours each month to volunteer at a charity of their choice.* Employee stock purchase plan.* Medical, dental, vision and life insurance.* See more of the benefits we offer. *For eligible employees Gap Inc. is an employer and is committed to providing a workplace free from harassment and discrimination. We are committed to recruiting, hiring, training and promoting qualified people of all backgrounds, and make all employment decisions without regard to any protected status. We have received numerous awards for our long-held commitment to equality and will continue to foster a diverse and inclusive environment of belonging. This year, we’ve been named as one of the Best Places to Work by the Humans Rights Campaign for the fourteenth consecutive year and have been included in the 2019 Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index for the second year in a row."

Sales Associate duties and responsibilities

The duties of a Sales Associate may vary depending on the size of the company and the type of products or services they sell. Their main responsibility is to sell the company’s products and services and increase sales. They are also required to work with customer support and the operation teams to ensure customer satisfaction. Their other duties include:

  • Performing various administrative duties, such as preparing commission and expense reports, and conducting post-sale followups with the customers
  • Working with other employees to develop effective strategies to meet sales targets
  • Managing inventory by keeping records of available products
  • Processing sales transactions and sales contracts and receiving payments
  • Creating awareness and promoting special offers and loyalty programs
  • Managing client relationships through all the stages of the sales cycle
  • Ensuring that customers are fully satisfied with the services offered


Sales Associate skills and qualifications

Sales Associates represent the company and are required to promote the company’s products and services through excellent customer service. As an active advertiser of different merchandise, they should be good communicators. Top Sales Associates also have excellent relationship building skills, which are needed to interact with customers. Other skills also include:

  • Critical and analytical thinking to provide logical answers to customers’ questions
  • Empathy to understand customers’ needs
  • Knowledge of the current trends in the consumer goods sector
  • Understanding of basic mathematics to measure products, prepare invoices, and analyze sales data
  • Familiarity with digital technology and its applications in sales
  • Knowledge of management, finance, and business
  • Experience working under pressure


Sales Associates experience requirements

Sales Associate jobs are mostly entry-level, so a qualified candidate is required to have between one to three years of experience in sales or customer service. Since they act as a promoter of the company’s products and brand, one to two years of experience as a Marketer is often preferred. They should also be familiar with products and services in the industry they are interested in.

Depending on the job and the company, the Sales Associatess may also need more specialized knowledge and experience to help customers navigate the buyer’s journey. For more complex or expensive merchandise, some employers require candidates to have relevant experience in a similar industry or position.  They may also be required to demonstrate their sales ability and knowledge of the product.


Sales Associate education and training requirements

As an entry-level position, a minimum of a high school diploma, GED, or its equivalent may be required. Some employers, however, ask that candidates have a bachelor’s degree in marketing, business management, or any other related field.

Because of the complexity of some merchandise, candidates may also be required to have professional certifications in the required field. To be a vehicle salesperson in British Columbia, for example, candidates are required to be certified by the Vehicle Sales Authority of British Columbia.


Sales Associate salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for a Sales Associate is $15.01 per hour. However, salary may vary because of the location, experience, and the company.


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Sales Associate job description FAQs


How can you make your Sales Associate job description stand out?

To make a job description stand out, start by summarizing the company’s mission and goals. List the specific duties and responsibilities required of the position, and include the benefits of working with the company.


What are the day-to-day duties of a Sales Associate?

A Sales Associate sells products and services in a retail environment. Their duties also include providing product information and ensuring a high level of customer satisfaction in the store. As the principal point of contact between the business and the customers, they are required to maintain a positive business relationship with the customers. 


What should you look for on a Sales Associate's resume?

A well-written resume should list the skills, requirements, and experience relating to the job. A Sales Associate resume should describe the candidate’s ability to demonstrate product features, negotiate, and close sales. The resume should also highlight the candidate’s ability to follow up with customers. For prospective employees to qualify for a Sales Associate’s job, Employers should ensure that they demonstrate a higher understanding of consumer behavior and how trends affect customers’ buying decisions. 

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