What Does a Sales Representative Do?
The role of a sales representative revolves around two core concepts. The first is being a product or service expert, and the second is building relationships. They drive revenue growth by being effective in these two areas, demonstrating value to prospects and customers. Acting as the face of the company, they must be skilled communicators, able to articulate how their products or services meet a buyer’s needs.
It is essential for sales representatives to be disciplined, organized, highly motivated, results-driven, and comfortable being held to ambitious sales targets. They must be adaptable and able to work in a fast-paced, dynamic environment while developing a deep understanding of the product or service they sell. Finally, sales representatives tend to have excellent interpersonal skills combined with a strong emphasis on customer service.
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National Average Salary
Sales representative salaries vary by experience, industry, organization size, and geography. To explore salary ranges by local market, please visit our sister site zengig.com.
The average U.S. salary for a Sales Representative is:
Sales Representative Job Descriptions
The first step when hiring a great sales representative is a well-crafted job description. Below are real-world examples to help give you the best chance of success on your recruiting journey.
Without successful sales representatives, we wouldn’t be able to sell our products and services effectively. One of the most important roles a sales rep plays is building trust and loyalty between our customers and business. You do this by being honest, keeping the customers’ wants in mind, and being genuinely passionate about the product or service. [Your Company Name] is hiring experienced sales reps to take our business to new heights. If you have experience in sales, marketing, and are a self-motivated individual, this could be the position for you.
Typical duties and responsibilities
- Learn about new products and their benefits
- Identify potential customers and start on the conversion
- Contact new and existing customers to talk about their ongoing needs
- Answer various questions about the product or service
- Emphasize certain features of products to highlight how they will help satisfy the customers’ wants or needs
- Recommend changes in products, services, or policy to keep up with competitors
- Create and maintain customer records, including purchases and contact information
- Submit sales record to management
- Prepare sales agreements and know the terms of negotiation
- Create and submit customer orders
- Attend different educational workshops and review professional materials to maintain professional and technical knowledge
Education and experience
- High school diploma or GED
- One year of formal sales training
- A bachelor’s degree in chemistry or engineering to sell advanced products like pharmaceuticals or medical equipment
Required skills and qualifications
- Confidence and assertiveness in cold-calling
- Strong interpersonal skills
- “Customer first” attitude
- Attentive listener
- Physical stamina (you may be on your feet for long hours)
- Meet sales objectives
- Passion for the business
- Good presentation and negotiation skills
- Product knowledge
- Basic computer skills to generate sales reports
- Ability to pick out prospective customers
- Experience with marketing or advertising
- Ability to multitask
- Excellent comprehension and retention skills
- Elementary math skills
- Good time management
This position through ABC Company Marketing develops, and maximizes leads with industry professionals, homeowners, architects, designers, and builders to sell reclaimed and wide plank flooring and reclaimed building materials. The position also effectively builds, manages, and strengthens client relationships.
- Maximizes leads through ABC Company Marketing by developing business and servicing current accounts by understanding our products and services; maximizing sales by offering to upsell opportunities; developing and contacting potential customers to offer new or additional products; closing sales; building and expanding sales accounts; maintaining sales databases
- Understands our products and sales goals by studying technical literature, reviewing sales objectives, quotas, and plans, and participating in sales meetings
- Monitors competition by gathering marketplace information on competitors’ current and new products, pricing structures, services, sales campaigns, discounts, etc.
- Tracks industry and market news and trends
- Presents products to clients by providing explanations, demonstrations, literature, estimates, and samples
- Perform customer service for clients; process orders by obtaining account detail, coordinate shipping requirements, manage invoices, respond to customer inquiries and feedback
- Builds and expands accounts by maintaining rapport, answering requests, introducing new products and services, and upgrades, as well as studying account needs
- Keep management informed by submitting activity and results reports, such as daily call reports, weekly work plans, and monthly and annual territory analyses
- Recommends changes in products, services, and pricing by evaluating competitive developments
- Analyzes and discovers potential discrepancies with current products, services, and pricing
- Analyzes a customer’s needs and requests
- Updates job knowledge by participating in educational opportunities, reading professional publications, maintaining personal networks, and participating in professional organizations
- Enhances department and organization reputation by accepting ownership for accomplishing new and different requests, exploring opportunities to add value to job accomplishments
- Any other reasonable task requested by the Corporate Sales Manager
- Other tasks include sample packaging/management
- Computer knowledge, including but not limited to Microsoft Office and Google Suite
- Light cleaning duties
- Lifting 25 lbs. or less
- Self-driven, results-oriented with a positive outlook, and a clear focus on high quality and business profit
- A natural forward planner who critically assesses their own performance
- Mature, credible, and comfortable in dealing with architects, designers, builders, and homeowners
- Reliable, tolerant, and determined
- Empathic communicator, able to see things from the other person’s point of view
- Well-presented and businesslike
- Keen for new experience, responsibility, and accountability
- Able to get on with others and be a team player
- Must be adept in the use of MS Office 2000 or later, particularly Excel and Word, Google Suite, particularly Docs and Sheets, and ideally Access or a similar database to the basic level, Internet, calendar, and email
Business and selling skills:
- Must be an excellent face-to-face and telephone communicator
- Able to demonstrate success and experience managing major accounts customers and large contracts or even a business, particularly achieving genuine sales development
- Ideal background would be in sales of flooring; experience in flooring installation would be particularly helpful
We seek an energetic professional interested in helping our business grow through value-based conversations and remarkable customer experience. If you are a motivated self-starter who thrives in a fast-paced environment, then this is your opportunity for a rewarding career with excellent income and growth potential.
- Develop leads, schedule appointments, identify customer needs, and market appropriate products and services
- Establish customer relationships and follow up with customers, as needed
- Provide prompt, accurate, and friendly customer service. Service can include responding to inquiries regarding insurance availability, eligibility, coverages, policy changes, transfers, claim submissions, and billing clarification
- Sales experience (outside sales or inside sales representative, retail sales associate, or telemarketing) preferred
- Successful track record of meeting sales goals/quotas preferred
- Excellent communication skills – written, verbal, and listening
- Ability to multitask
- Ability to effectively relate to a customer
- Property and Casualty license (must be able to obtain)
- Life & Health license (must be able to obtain)
Who you are…
As a Sales Development Representative, you will be responsible for prospecting, qualifying, and generating opportunities to support the overall growth of the business. This role is permanent, full-time, and involves extensive training with significant advancement opportunities.
Key responsibilities (not limited to)
- Prospect, educate, and qualify leads to create sales-ready opportunities
- Interact with leads from a variety of different channels via phone, email, and chat to follow-up
- Provide regular status reports with the goal of generating leads that result in ABC Company sales
- Independent, self-motivated, and success-oriented
- Keep abreast of the industry and technologies to ensure you are a trusted resource to prospects and customers
- Follow the current ABC Company pre-sales process and consistently use CRM to document prospect interaction, ensuring efficient lead management
- Exceptional interpersonal, verbal, and written communication skills essential
- Confident and polished phone prospecting skills are required, including the ability to adapt communication style and message to the target audience
- Consistently hit qualified opportunity quotas and productivity goals
- Exceptional sense of organization and attention to detail are essential, and impeccable follow-through
- Ability to plan work to meet deadlines, especially when faced with competing priorities
- Securing net-new meetings
- Mastery of the ABC Company value proposition and ideal customer profile
- Demonstrate the capability to grow and take on more responsibility—we’re looking for folks who want to grow into the next role
Need to have…
- Desire to be coached and ready to take your sales skills to the next level
- Experience working in a fast‐paced, results-oriented entrepreneurial environment
- Knowledge of internet marketing a plus
- Fluency in the use of Microsoft Office products, internet research, and email is required
Candidate Certifications to Look For
- Certified Sales Development Representative (CSDR). This comprehensive, 3-module preparatory course helps candidates build a solid basis of sales fundamentals. This course is typically seen to be a beginner-level certification that teaches them strategies and the right communication techniques that lead to sales. The CSDR is taken online with candidates completing it at their own pace over a two to four-week period.
- Certified Professional Sales Person (CPSP). The National Association of Sales Professionals carefully designed this course for candidates who currently work in sales and are looking to become better salesmen. The course teaches candidates to build the most effective sales habits, how to properly negotiate with their customers guide them through the buying process, and implement the updated social and emotional needs of a buyer in their sales pitch.
- Customer Service and Sales Certified Specialist. The Customer Service and Sales Certified Specialist certificate is offered by the National Retail Federation. This course is designed for candidates who already have some experience in sales and are looking to strengthen them by increasing their customer satisfaction. Candidates will learn about the customer life cycle, purchase options and upselling techniques, and customer engagement strategies.
How to Hire a Sales Representative
When hiring a sales representative, first consider the following:
- Recruiting: Do you have the knowledge, tools, and resources to attract and screen candidates?
- Complexity: Do you need a senior professional, or will mid or junior-level skills and experience suffice?
- Duration: Is this a one-time project or an ongoing need?
- Management: Do you have the time and expertise to direct the work effectively?
- Urgency: How soon does the work need to be completed?
- Headcount: Do you have the budget and approval for an internal employee, or should you consider alternate options?
Answering these questions will help determine the best course of action for your current hiring need. Fortunately, great options exist for every scenario. These are our recommendations:
1. Use 4 Corner Resources (or another professional recruiting firm)
The heavy lifting is done for you when working with a top-tier staffing company like 4 Corner Resources. We source, screen, recruit, and deliver only the most qualified candidate(s), saving you significant time and effort throughout the hiring process while you remain focused on your core business. Understanding your needs and ensuring the right candidate for the position is the key to our success.
This is the best route to take when:
- You need to fill the position quickly
- You want access to a vast talent pool of high-quality, prescreened candidates
- Your position is suited for temporary hiring services, contract staffing, or contract-to-hire recruiting, and you intend to direct the work activity.
- You are hiring an employee as a direct placement but aren’t able to recruit effectively or efficiently with your internal staff.
- You aren’t familiar with current salary rates, market trends, and available skill sets
2. Advertise your opening on a top job board
Your best option may be to advertise your opening on a proven job board. There are many widely used job sites out there that draw visits from qualified candidates. If you have someone internally who can dedicate the time and energy to sort through applications and screen individuals effectively, this can be a great choice.
We recommend using a job board when:
- Your internal recruiting team has the knowledge and experience to assess candidate qualifications
- You are hiring a direct employee and have time to manage the entire recruiting effort
- You have a process for receiving, screening, and tracking all resumes and applications
- You are prepared to respond to all applicants
We recommend CareerBuilder for sales representative openings:
CareerBuilder has been a trusted source for hiring since 1995. Reach 80+ million unique, diverse U.S. job seekers annually by posting your jobs through their talent acquisition channels. Through CareerBuilder, you can engage candidates and drive them into your sourcing pipeline. We recommend using CareerBuilder for hiring when you have the internal resources and processes to review, screen, and reply to all applicants.
3. Leverage your internal resources
You can utilize your own website, social media, and employees to assist in your search for top candidates.
A company website posting should be the first step in notifying prospective candidates that you are hiring. Social media can also be a powerful tool for spreading the word about your new opening. As far as exposure is concerned, this option can be as good as some job boards when you have a large enough following across various platforms, like LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Twitter.
Current employees are every organization’s greatest asset. Encourage your internal team to promote job openings to their network by offering cash and other incentives.
We recommend these options when:
- Your brand has great name recognition
- You can consistently monitor and respond to candidate activity through your website and social media accounts
- You have a process in place to quickly and broadly communicate job openings and requirements
- You have an effective employee referral program in place
If you aren’t sure which path is best, schedule a discovery call today with our seasoned recruiting professionals. The 4 Corner team is on standby to help you find the best option for your unique hiring need.
Sample Interview Questions
- What motivates you at work?
- What qualities does a good sales representative have?
- What is your process for identifying and qualifying prospects?
- What makes you believe you will make a good sales representative for our company?
- Do you like cold calling? Why or why not?
- What do you not like about sales?
- What is your greatest sales accomplishment to date?
- What is your most disappointing loss, and what did you learn from the experience?
- What is an inappropriate time to sell to a client?
- How can you establish a long-term relationship with a customer?
- Tell me about a time when your actions didn’t align with your core values.
- How do you handle customer complaints?
- How can learning about marketing be helpful for you to sell a product?
- Tell me about a time you made a mistake. How did you handle it?
- Have you asked a potential client why they didn’t purchase from you? What did you learn?
- Describe a time you received criticism from your supervisor. How did you respond to it?