Job search FAQs
Frequently asked questions about Sales Representative jobs
In summary, the main duty of a sales representative is selling products or services to different types of customers on behalf of the business. These consumers can be other businesses, government institutions, or individuals.
Depending on the type of business, the frequency of performing actual sales may differ. In most cases, a sales representative spends time analyzing product or service performance in the market, managing existing clients, and identifying new ones.
Otherwise, sales representatives' core responsibilities include pitching new products and services to new clients and new markets and maintaining current clients to meet or exceed sales goals. Other duties may include:
Monitoring competition through analyzing marketplace information, such as alternative products, prices, market gaps, and more.
Resolving customer complaints through problem investigation, developing solutions, and reporting to supervisors for possible changes.
Performing product demonstrations during pitching and onsite visits.
Participating in sales team training.
And much more.
Most employers prefer candidates with at least a high school diploma for a sales representative job. However, candidates with prior experience in sales have better chances of getting such jobs.
Other than experience, you can acquire sales representative certification from accredited institutions across the country. These institutions offer professional training in sales-related courses, such as customer service and marketing, a vital component for a successful sales representative career.
Additionally, some training institutions offer sales representative licenses to qualified candidates, but it's usually not required when applying for a job in this field. However, the license may rank you higher in the profession, giving you more opportunities.
A sales representative's job is one of the few careers that allow you to advance to a higher-ranking position through experience in the sales industry and a few other qualifications. However, depending on the policies of the hiring company, they may require the candidate to have at least a high school diploma to be considered for a role.
More demanding positions may require a bachelor's degree in business management and related fields or certificates in sales and marketing, consumer behavior, and related courses. Additionally, knowing the company's products or services may be an added advantage.
However, many successful sales representatives have grown up to the ranks through experience and on-the-job training. In fact, some employers prefer to hire an experienced sales representative to propel their business forward.
On average, a sales representative can make around $54,940 per year, depending on education level, experience, and work location. More experienced professionals can expect to take home about $61,000 per year, while entry-level sales representatives can make at least $42,000 per year.
Sales representative's interview questions vary depending on what the employer is looking for in an ideal candidate. However, many questions focus on a candidate's experience, skills, and in-depth understanding of their roles.
Some common questions you can expect from your sales representative interview include:
Please tell us a bit about yourself.
What makes you a good sales representative?
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
To what extent would you benefit our company?
What are your weaknesses and strengths?
How did you close your best sale?
Assuming I am a potential customer, how would you sell me this pen?
What are your expectations for this position?
An ideal sales representative has several qualities, mostly related to people skills, decision making, creativity, and more. Here are some excellent examples of the qualities of a good sales representative.
While experience can be a desirable factor in selecting a sales representative, some skills can make you a desirable candidate for the job. Here are some of the skills to guarantee a successful sales representative career:
Networking and rapport building
Objection handling skills
Yes, a sales representative job is a good job choice. It is one of the few jobs that allow you to learn and progress while working at the same time. It also has a lucrative salary with many benefits, such as sales commissions.
You can bank on the fact that the sales representative career is vital for many businesses. Besides, the demand for sales representatives is expected to grow in the coming years, considering the emerging technological advancements, product developments, and markets.
Additionally, sales representatives can work in different environments and travel to other places for business reasons, such as pitching. Therefore, you do not have to worry about being stuck in one office all year round with such opportunities the sales career presents.
Typically, a sales representative career is a 9 to 5 kind of job from Monday to Friday. However, different companies may have other arrangements depending on the company's policies.
For example, a sales representative may be required to pitch and perform a new product demonstration in an IT event, attracting many potential clients. Suppose the event is held over the weekend. In that case, the sales representative will have to work on those days, which is why flexibility is one of the desirable qualities of a sales representative.
The workplace of a sales representative varies depending on the type of company and the roles they play. For example, outside sales representatives may be assigned to head company territories where they will be required to travel from one place to another. On the other hand, inside sales representatives are often in the office to hold meetings with different departments or clients who visit the company.
In general, the sales representative's work environment is interactive, innovative, fun, and above all, rewarding. It provides an opportunity to meet new people, creating long-lasting relationships from these interactions.