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Become An Account Representative

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Working As An Account Representative

  • Selling or Influencing Others
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Getting Information
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • $60,820

    Average Salary

What Does An Account Representative Do

Wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives sell goods for wholesalers or manufacturers to businesses, government agencies, and other organizations. They contact customers, explain product features, answer any questions that their customers may have, and negotiate prices.

Duties

Wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives typically do the following:

  • Identify prospective customers by using business directories, following leads from existing clients, and attending trade shows and conferences
  • Contact new and existing customers to discuss their needs and explain how specific products and services can meet these needs
  • Help customers select products to meet customers' needs, product specifications, and regulations
  • Emphasize product features that will meet customers' needs and exhibit product capabilities and limitations
  • Answer customers' questions about prices, availability, and product uses
  • Negotiate prices and terms of sale and service agreements
  • Prepare sales contracts and submit orders for processing
  • Collaborate with colleagues to exchange information, such as selling strategies and marketing information
  • Follow up with customers to make sure they are satisfied with their purchases and to answer any questions or concerns

Wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives—sometimes called manufacturers’ representatives or manufacturers’ agents—generally work for manufacturers or wholesalers. Some work for a single organization, while others represent several companies and sell a range of products.

Rather than selling goods directly to consumers, wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives deal with businesses, government agencies, and other organizations. For more information about people who sell directly to consumers, see the profile on retail sales workers.

Some wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives deal with nonscientific products such as food, office supplies, and clothing. Other representatives specialize in technical and scientific products, ranging from agricultural and mechanical equipment to computer and pharmaceutical goods. For more information about people who specialize in sales of technical products and services, see the profile on sales engineers.

Wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives who lack expertise about a given product frequently team with a technical expert. In this arrangement, the technical expert—sometimes a sales engineer—attends the sales presentation to explain the product and answer questions or concerns. The sales representative makes the initial contact with customers, introduces the company's product, and obtains final agreement from the potential buyer.

By working with a technical expert, the representative is able to spend more time maintaining and soliciting accounts and less time needing to gain technical knowledge.

After the sale, representatives may make follow-up visits to ensure that equipment is functioning properly and may even help train customers' employees to operate and maintain new equipment.

Those selling consumer goods often suggest how and where merchandise should be displayed. When working with retailers, they may help arrange promotional programs, store displays, and advertising.

In addition to selling products, wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives analyze sales statistics, prepare reports, and handle administrative duties such as filing expense accounts, scheduling appointments, and making travel plans.

Staying up-to-date on new products and the changing needs of customers is important. Sales representatives accomplish this in a variety of ways, including attending trade shows at which new products and technologies are showcased. They attend conferences and conventions to meet other sales representatives and clients and to discuss new product developments. They also read about new and existing products and monitor the sales, prices, and products of their competitors.

The following are examples of types of wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives:

Inside sales representatives work mostly in offices while making sales. Frequently, they are responsible for getting new clients by “cold calling” various organizations, which means they call potential customers who are not expecting to be contacted in order to establish an initial contact. They also take incoming calls from customers who are interested in their product, and process paperwork to complete the sale.

Outside sales representatives spend much of their time traveling to and visiting with current clients and prospective buyers. During a sales call, they discuss the client's needs and suggest how they can meet those needs with merchandise or services. They may show samples or catalogs that describe items their company provides, and they may inform customers about prices, availability, and ways in which their products can save money and boost productivity. Because many sales representatives sell several complementary products made by different manufacturers, they may take a broad approach to their customers' businesses. For example, sales representatives may help install new equipment and train employees in its use.

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How To Become An Account Representative

Educational requirements vary, depending on the type of product sold. If the products are not scientific or technical, a high school diploma is generally enough for entry into the occupation. If the products are scientific or technical, sales representatives typically need at least a bachelor's degree.

Education

A high school diploma is sufficient for many positions, primarily for selling nontechnical or scientific products. However, those selling scientific and technical products typically must have a bachelor's degree. Scientific and technical products include pharmaceuticals, medical instruments, and industrial equipment. A degree in a field related to the product sold, such as chemistry, biology, or engineering, is often required.

Many sales representatives attend seminars in sales techniques or take courses in marketing, economics, communication, or even a foreign language to improve their ability to make sales.

Training

Many companies have formal training programs for beginning wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives that last up to 1 year. In some programs, trainees rotate among jobs in plants and offices to learn all phases of producing, installing, and distributing the product. In others, trainees receive formal technical instruction at the plant, followed by on-the-job training under the supervision of a field sales manager.

New employees may be trained by going along with experienced workers on their sales calls. As they gain familiarity with the firm's products and clients, the new workers gain more responsibility until they eventually get their own territory.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Many in this occupation have either the Certified Professional Manufacturers' Representative (CPMR) certification or the Certified Sales Professional (CSP) certification, both offered by the Manufacturers' Representatives Educational Research Foundation (MRERF). Certification typically involves completing formal technical training and passing an exam. In addition, the CPMR requires 10 hours of continuing education every year in order to maintain certification.

Other Experience

Although not required, sales experience can be helpful, particularly for nontechnical positions.

Advancement

Frequently, promotion takes the form of an assignment to a larger account or territory, where commissions are likely to be greater. Those who have good sales records and leadership ability may advance to higher level positions, such as sales supervisor, district manager, or vice president of sales. For more information on these positions, see the profile on sales managers.

Important Qualities

Customer-service skills. Sales representatives must be able to listen to the customer’s needs and concerns before and after the sale.

Interpersonal skills. Sales representatives must be able to work well with many types of people. They must be able to build good relationships with clients and with other members of the sales team.

Self-confidence. Sales representatives must be confident and persuasive when making sales presentations. In addition, making a call to a potential customer who is not expecting to be contacted, or “cold calling,” requires confidence and composure.

Stamina. Sales representatives are often on their feet for long periods of time and may carry heavy sample products.

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Account Representative jobs

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Account Representative Career Paths

Account Representative
Sales Manager Operations Manager General Manager
Account Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Senior Account Executive Director Of Sales
Director Of Sales & Business Development
13 Yearsyrs
Operations Manager Regional Sales Manager National Account Manager
Enterprise Account Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Account Executive Sales Manager
General Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Sales Consultant Territory Manager Account Manager
Key Account Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Senior Account Executive Territory Manager Account Manager
Major Account Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Billing Specialist Specialist Account Manager
National Account Manager
8 Yearsyrs
General Manager Account Executive Regional Sales Manager
National Accounts Sales Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Account Manager Sales Manager Regional Sales Manager
National Sales Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Service Representative Operations Manager Outside Sales Representative
Outside Sales Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Billing Specialist Accountant Account Manager
Regional Accounts Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Account Manager Account Executive Sales Manager
Regional Sales Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Project Manager General Manager Account Manager
Sales Account Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Account Executive Sales Consultant
Sales Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Sales Consultant Senior Sales Representative Account Executive
Senior Sales Executive
9 Yearsyrs
Territory Manager Account Manager Sales Manager
Senior Sales Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Business Development Manager Senior Account Manager Account Executive
Strategic Accounts Manager
9 Yearsyrs
General Manager Account Manager
Territory Account Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Sales Manager General Manager Account Executive
Territory Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Territory Manager District Sales Manager Sales Manager
Territory Sales Manager
7 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Outside Sales 3.7 years
Account Executive 2.9 years
Account Specialist 2.7 years
Representative 2.1 years
Top Employers Before
Cashier 4.9%
Internship 3.7%
Manager 3.4%
Server 1.8%
Top Employers After
Manager 3.2%
Owner 2.9%

Account Representative Demographics

Gender

Female

55.9%

Male

42.2%

Unknown

1.9%
Ethnicity

White

80.7%

Hispanic or Latino

10.6%

Asian

6.6%

Unknown

1.5%

Black or African American

0.6%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

65.2%

French

7.7%

German

3.9%

Portuguese

2.8%

Italian

2.3%

Chinese

2.3%

Japanese

2.1%

Mandarin

1.7%

Carrier

1.7%

Arabic

1.4%

Korean

1.2%

Russian

1.2%

Hindi

1.1%

Tagalog

1.1%

Cantonese

1.1%

Vietnamese

0.8%

Urdu

0.8%

Greek

0.6%

Polish

0.6%

Hawaiian

0.4%
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Account Representative Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

25.4%

Strayer University

6.5%

Michigan State University

5.3%

Kaplan University

4.6%

Ashford University

4.5%

Liberty University

4.1%

University of Alabama

4.0%

Southern New Hampshire University

3.9%

University of Houston

3.8%

University of Tennessee - Knoxville

3.8%

Pennsylvania State University

3.8%

University of North Texas

3.7%

Marshall University

3.6%

West Virginia University

3.6%

Arizona State University

3.5%

University of Kansas

3.2%

Auburn University

3.2%

American InterContinental University

3.2%

University of Missouri - Columbia

3.2%

DePaul University

3.1%
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Majors

Business

36.0%

Marketing

8.6%

Communication

6.4%

Accounting

5.6%

Psychology

4.8%

Management

4.7%

Health Care Administration

4.3%

Finance

3.9%

Criminal Justice

3.6%

Political Science

2.5%

General Studies

2.3%

Education

2.3%

Liberal Arts

2.1%

Nursing

2.1%

Human Resources Management

2.0%

English

2.0%

Medical Assisting Services

1.8%

Public Relations

1.8%

Computer Information Systems

1.6%

Sociology

1.5%
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Degrees

Bachelors

45.8%

Other

25.4%

Masters

11.2%

Associate

10.9%

Certificate

4.0%

Diploma

1.3%

Doctorate

0.8%

License

0.6%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Account Representative Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Toms Account Representative Bloomberg, LP New York, NY Jul 06, 2015 $147,000
Toms Account Representative Bloomberg, LP New York, NY Sep 20, 2013 $142,000
Account Representative-Principal Halliburton Energy Services, Inc. Houston, TX Jul 18, 2011 $140,000
Account Representative Siemens Energy, Inc. Houston, TX Dec 01, 2014 $124,754
Account Representative Inkling Systems, Inc. San Francisco, CA May 10, 2016 $123,000 -
$135,000
Account Representative Inkling Systems, Inc. San Francisco, CA Jul 13, 2016 $123,000 -
$135,000
Technical Account Representative Oracle America, Inc. Irvine, CA Mar 21, 2016 $115,751 -
$123,167
Account Representative Siemens Energy, Inc. Houston, TX Jan 04, 2016 $115,116
Account Representative Siemens Energy, Inc. Houston, TX Dec 01, 2014 $108,518
Toms Account Representative Bloomberg L.P. New York, NY Nov 21, 2014 $107,000 -
$130,000
Toms Account Representative Bloomberg L.P. New York, NY Nov 17, 2014 $107,000 -
$130,000
Toms Account Representative Bloomberg LP New York, NY Sep 01, 2015 $102,000
Account Representative National Oilwell Varco, L.P. Houston, TX Sep 21, 2011 $100,000 -
$110,000
Account Representative ISN Software Corporation Dallas, TX Jan 09, 2016 $75,000
Account Representative-Japanese Transplants Whitesell International Corporation Taylor, MI Feb 12, 2008 $74,860
Account Representative Siemens Energy, Inc. Orlando, FL Apr 29, 2010 $72,113
Account REP (Marketing Specialist) PSMJ Resources, Inc. Newton, MA Aug 01, 2014 $72,000
Account Representative ISN Software Corporation Dallas, TX May 15, 2014 $71,000
Account Representative Morethandecor, LLC Miami, FL Oct 19, 2010 $69,500
Account Representative Morethandecor, LLC Miami, FL Oct 20, 2009 $69,500
Account Representative, Partner Relationships, SOU American Cancer Society, Inc. Doral, FL Aug 17, 2013 $56,555
MCS-Account Representative II Compliance Engineering Service, Inc. Fremont, CA Jul 01, 2010 $54,104
Logistics Account Representative Hankyu Hanshin Express (USA) Inc. Carson, CA Sep 23, 2015 $53,123
Account Representative II North American Lighting, Inc. Farmington Hills, MI Jun 15, 2016 $53,000
Assistant Account Representative G&G International Trading Inc. Fort Lee, NJ Jan 15, 2011 $50,651
Assistant Account Representative G&G International Trading Inc. Fort Lee, NJ Sep 14, 2011 $50,651
Assistant Account Representative G&G International Trading Inc. Fort Lee, NJ Sep 21, 2011 $50,482

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Top Skills for An Account Representative

ProductKnowledgeFinancialStatusSalesTerritoryNewAccountsDataEntryDelinquentAccountsOutboundCallsPaymentArrangementsInsuranceCompaniesCreditCardCustomerAccountsInternetCustomerSatisfactionPhoneCallsCustomerBaseSalesGoalsCustomerRelationsMedicalBillingAccountManagementPaymentPlans

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Top Account Representative Skills

  1. Product Knowledge
  2. Financial Status
  3. Sales Territory
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Project merchandising and product knowledge training for Under Armour, Adidas, Nike, Lucky and Puma.
  • Recorded information about financial status of customers and status of collection efforts.
  • Created a highly effective customer database and tracking system to organize viable opportunities within the designated sales territory.
  • Developed new accounts through prospecting, cold calling, warm leads and referrals.
  • Developed procedures and methods of data entry.

Top Account Representative Employers

Account Representative Videos

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Career Advice on becoming a Key Account Manager by Heather F (Full Version)

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