A sales representative is a professional whose role within a company, is to promote, and sell products or services to consumers, businesses, and organizations. A quite large number of sales representatives, work directly for the manufacturers of the products, or services they promote, they sell to other companies who then sell these products, to the final consumer. A sales representative, most times works for business-to-business companies as they sell this product or services from one company to another or from one organization to another.
The responsibilities of a sales representative vary and are largely dependent on the employer and the field involved. The working environment will vary, depending on the working conditions you and your employer agree on.
Why You Should Consider a Career in Sales
A career path in sales has a lot of benefits which includes:
- It offers you endless possibilities for all-around growth—financially, personally, and professionally.
- Your earning potential is limitless as you can receive commissions, bonuses, and a lot more benefits and incentives, in addition to your base salary.
- You will develop a wide variety of skills that can be utilized in other fields, opening the door to a lot of career opportunities, and a more flexible career path.
- The self-confidence, personal satisfaction, and sense of fulfillment you enjoy when you successfully close a deal and surpass your sales target is massive.
- You have the freedom to manage your own time, and schedule as there is more flexibility in your working hours.
- A career in sales broaden your professional network, as it exposes you to meet and interact with different people, and influences from all walks of life which in turn opens the door to a lot of great career opportunities and possible referrals.
- As you continually interact with people daily, you learn, research, and hone your skills. You also meet new clients, foster, and maintain relationships with clients, come up with strategies to increase sales, and beat the fluctuations in the economy, including changes that affect the sales industries.
A sales representative requires a bachelor’s degree in marketing, business, communication, or any other related field. This occupation doesn’t require a formal degree as most employers prefer an experience that involves persuasion and dealing with people to degrees. Some prefer those who have a bachelor’s degree in marketing business communication or a related field, while some employers, out of benevolence provide formal training programs or the required training programs, that will see to it that you get started right away.
Key Skills Required
A sales representative must have certain skills (soft and personal skills), and qualities to function as a sales representative. The skills include;
- Listening skills: A sales representative should be able to listen well, and understand customer needs, wants, or concerns to be able to properly handle each of them, and ensure maximum customer satisfaction, and future patronage.
- Verbal communication skills: A sales rep must be able to provide adequate, and correct information, to inquiries customers make about the products they are selling.
- Interpersonal skills: Negotiation, persuasion skills, are a must-have for a sales representative.
- Customer service: A sales representative’s attitude, response, and disposition to a customer’s questions, concerns, and complaints should be polite and friendly. It should show a willingness to assist, a sales representative should also be open to feedback.
- Ability to meet and exceed sales quota.
- Excellent marketing skills.
- Ability to successfully manage customer relationships.
- Critical thinking skills.
- Self-motivated and target-driven.
- Excellent knowledge of the use and application of MS Office (Excel, Word, Outlook, and access).
How to Become a Sales Representative
Most people have the wrong perception, that a career in sales is difficult, and challenging, a wall you shouldn’t attempt scaling, here is what I want you to do right now… Shut the door to that negativity, and channel the right energy, and positivity into understanding the fundamentals, and psychology behind sales to succeed. Below are tips I’m sure you’ll find useful:
1. Understand that Your Client calls the shot
First impressions matter, but your first customers matters more. You should ensure you please your first customers, as the first thing you are selling is yourself; from the way you answer their inquiries, to the closing of deals, your interactions with them, will form the foundation for whatever conclusions they will draw concerning the company. Their testimonials are also needed, to help you get referred early enough, and quicker. Therefore, should also work on building a strong relationship with your customers.
2. Target Your Buyers
Your target buyers are those who have much use, or a desperate need for your products or services. Every buyer has their specifications and unique needs. Don’t attempt to sell to everyone as your product can’t be for everyone. If your sale target includes everyone you end up selling to none or very few persons.
3. Study Your Target Market
After you must have identified who you are selling to, the next thing you have to pay close attention to is your target audience’s buying habits. Are they going to take a longer time to buy if the price is high…or, are they going to question the quality of the product if it’s less? All this and more are questions you need to ask yourself, before promoting a product.
4. Ask Questions
Never assume you know what customers need, or are willing to pay for. Instead of working with assumptions and speculations, ask and find out what drives them to make a purchasing decision. Making assumptions, without asking questions will sabotage your sales strategy.
5. Don’t Be Afraid to Fail
Be bold to try out new things, even if you fail at your first attempt. The best time to learn from your mistakes is the early years when you have the least responsibility. When you have more responsibilities on your shoulders, your mistakes will likely not be overlooked. Don’t be afraid to be spontaneous in your actions— present that proposal if you feel you have got it all figured out, make that suggestion, close that deal, and get the most out of your first years.
You learn from mistakes, and not from mere speculations, something you have never attempted. Be willing to take risks because when you act, you close deals, sell, and improve on your skills. Follow the processes provided by your employer, and if there is none, a badass genius like you can come up with one that will help you close deals.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, sales representatives earn a global median salary of $63,000. The earning potential varies depending on experience, location or geography, job role, and company.
Are you looking at starting a career in Sales? We have an offer just for you!
The Cedar STEM and Entrepreneurship hub in partnership with Lonadek and Microsoft has just launched an initiative on October 31, 2020, to help 25 million people worldwide acquire the digital skills needed in a COVID-19 economy – to drive Global Skills that will help them thrive in pressing times like this.
This course will expose you to mind-blowing sales secrets no one is talking about, and sales strategies used to increase sales and beat the fluctuations in the economy. You will be taught how to build the key skills, both hard and soft skills that will help your communication with clients.
According to the Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS, 2019), graphic designers earn a median annually salary of $52,110.
The Cedar STEM and Entrepreneurship hub in partnership with Lonadek and Microsoft, has just launched an initiative on October 31, 2020, to help 25 million people worldwide acquire the digital skills needed in a COVID-19 economy – to drive Global Skills that will help them thrive in pressing times like this.
Among the free courses offered is one for IT support / Administrator and it covers the essentials for the field. Get free access to the IT Support course + an International Certification.
Other Courses available are:
- Graphic Designer – (Design systems, layout, color; Adobe InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop)
- Project Manager – (Program management, process improvement, project performance.)
- Customer Service Specialist – (Customer satisfaction & experience, data entry, CRM, admin analysis)
- Data Analyst – (Data analysis, analytics, visualization; Microsoft Excel, SQL, BI, Tableau)
- Digital Marketer – (Social media, content strategy, SEO, marketing channels; Google Analytics, Google Ads)
- Financial Analyst – (Financial analysis, risk management, accounting, analytical skills, data analysis)
- IT Support/ Helpdesk – (Troubleshooting, deployment; Active Directory, computer hardware, Microsoft Windows Server)
Register HERE to access any of these courses