Sales Representative Job Description: Top Duties and Responsibilities

A Sales Representative, or Salesperson, is a professional who sells, rents, or leases goods and services to customers in a retail or business setting. They may sell products to other businesses or directly to consumers. Their duties include learning the wants and needs of customers, informing customers of proper use and care for products, and negotiating purchasing terms with clients or customers. 

 

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What does a Sales Representative do?

Sales Representatives sell products, goods, and services to new and existing customers. They build relationships with customers, pitch products or services, negotiate sales prices, contact customers throughout the sales process, and answer any questions customers have about the product. Sales Representatives find new sales leads through client referrals or cold calling. A Retail Sales Representative directly assists customers when they enter the store and helps them find a product best suited for them. Sales jobs usually are very competitive and performance-driven, meaning that Sales Representatives will have quotas and targets that they must meet or exceed. 

 

Sales Representative duties and responsibilities

The duties and responsibilities of Sales Representatives typically revolve around networking with potential and current customers and demonstrating the product’s benefits. There duties and responsibilities needed to excel in this position include: 

  • Assisting customers as they shop for new products or services
  • Making product suggestions according to the wants and needs of customers 
  • Locating prospective customers, generating them into leads, and eventually converting them to customers
  • Meeting or exceeding weekly, monthly, and quarterly sales quotas
  • Using strong research skills and deep product or industry knowledge to answer any questions about the product 
  • Preparing and submitting weekly sales or inventory reports to management
  • Keeping contact lists and following up with current customers to continue building relationships

 

Sales Representative skills and qualifications

A successful Sales Representative candidate will have various prerequisite skills and qualifications needed to best complete their duties. These skills and qualifications typically include:

  • Demonstrated product knowledge and sales abilities
  • Customer service skills to listen to customers and professionally answer questions or address concerns
  • Strong public speaking skills to present product or services to customers 
  • Communication skills to confidently make cold calls or negotiate sales terms 
  • Ability to meet deadlines and sales quotas 
  • Familiarity with an office environment, equipment, and software 

 

Sales Representative experience requirements

For a Sales Representative role, the candidate should have at least two or more years in a sales environment. Many Sales Representative positions require experience working with customers since this job usually entails cold calling and addressing customers’ concerns. Experience selling, presenting, and negotiating are typically preferred to complete this role. Familiarity with an office setting and using Microsoft Office or sales software is a typical requirement for Sales Representative roles. 

 

Sales Representative education and training requirements

Sales Representatives typically need a GED or high school diploma to be successful in the role. If they’re selling more advanced products like software, they may need a bachelor’s degree in business, technology, or a related field. There are several certifications Sales Representatives can receive according to their product or industry, including Certified Sales Professional and Certified Sales Executive. 

 

Sales Representative salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for a Sales Representative is $42,621 per year. This salary may depend on the candidate’s experience, location, and company they’re applying to.

 

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Sales Representative job description FAQs

 

What's the difference between a Sales Representative and Sales Manager?

Sales Representatives usually handle direct customer communications like selling a product, processing payments, and answering any customer questions. Sales Managers are typically supervisors who oversee the performance of Sales Representatives to ensure they’re reaching the necessary sales quotas. Other responsibilities of Sales Managers include reviewing inventory and sales reports, collaborating with other departments to create goals for Sales Representatives, and training Sales Representatives on effective sales tactics. 

 

What should you look for in a Sales Representative resume?

Look for experience or skills related to sales or customer service, like negotiation or presentation skills. General skills like time management or organizational abilities also prove the candidate is a hard worker and can meet quotas. Experience or knowledge about the product or industry should also make them a stronger candidate. Their resume may also stand out if they have certifications related to sales or sales software.  

 

Do Sales Representatives have different responsibilities in different industries?

Yes, there are several industries Sales Representatives can work in that require different work duties, knowledge, and skills. They must know everything about the product and industry they’re selling. For instance, if a Sales Representative sells real estate mortgage software, they should have advanced technical skills to demonstrate and answer questions about the product. They should also be knowledgeable about the real estate industry to better understand the wants and needs of customers.

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