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Working As An Associate Sales Representative

  • Selling or Influencing Others
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Getting Information
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • $48,000

    Average Salary

What Does An Associate Sales 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 Associate Sales 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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Associate Sales Representative Career Paths

Associate Sales Representative
Account Executive Sales Manager Regional Sales Manager
Regional Sales Director
11 Yearsyrs
Account Executive Territory Manager
Senior Territory Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Account Executive Regional Sales Manager
National Sales Director
11 Yearsyrs
Security Officer Officer Owner
Owner And Sales
7 Yearsyrs
Security Officer Officer Account Manager
Major Account Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Security Officer Specialist Senior Sales Representative
Senior Sales Executive
8 Yearsyrs
Representative Consultant Account Manager
Territory Account Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Representative Analyst Account Manager
Corporate Account Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Representative Consultant Sales Manager
Branch Sales Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Office Assistant Consultant Regional Sales Manager
National Accounts Sales Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Office Assistant Specialist Senior Sales Representative
Territory Business Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Sales Consultant Business Developer Vice President, Business Development
Director Of Sales & Business Development
12 Yearsyrs
Sales Consultant Sales Specialist District Sales Manager
Market Development Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Sales Consultant Sales Specialist Territory Manager
Sales Development Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Specialist Senior Sales Representative Senior Account Manager
Manager, Account Executive
5 Yearsyrs
Medical Sales Representative Sales Specialist National Account Manager
Enterprise Account Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Medical Sales Representative Territory Sales Representative Territory Sales Manager
Commercial Account Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Medical Sales Representative Territory Sales Representative Sales/Account Representative
Inside Sales Account Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Outside Sales Representative Business Development Specialist Inside Sales Manager
Outside Sales Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Outside Sales Representative Business Developer Business Development Sales Manager
Consulting Sales Manager
5 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Outside Sales 3.8 years
Sales Specialist 2.5 years
Sales Consultant 2.2 years
Sales Trainee 1.1 years
Top Careers Before Associate Sales Representative
Cashier 12.7%
Internship 6.8%
Server 3.7%
Volunteer 2.4%
Manager 2.1%
Assistant 1.8%
Waitress 1.7%
Hostess 1.7%
Associate 1.7%
Top Careers After Associate Sales Representative
Cashier 6.8%
Server 4.3%
Internship 3.7%
Associate 2.1%

Do you work as an Associate Sales Representative?

Average Yearly Salary
$48,000
Show Salaries
$37,000
Min 10%
$48,000
Median 50%
$48,000
Median 50%
$48,000
Median 50%
$48,000
Median 50%
$48,000
Median 50%
$48,000
Median 50%
$48,000
Median 50%
$63,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Northrop Grumman
Highest Paying City
Seattle, WA
Highest Paying State
Washington
Avg Experience Level
1.8 years
How much does an Associate Sales Representative make at top companies?
The national average salary for an Associate Sales Representative in the United States is $48,596 per year or $23 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $37,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $63,000.

The largest raises come from changing jobs.

See what's out there.

Real Associate Sales Representative Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Associate Sales Representative Stryker Craniomaxillofacial, A Division of Stryker Oct 01, 2011 $75,000
Senior Associate Sales Representative Stryker Medical, A Division of Stryker Corporation Dec 16, 2013 $60,000
Senior Associate Sales Representative Stryker Sales Corporation, A Division of Stryker C Dec 16, 2013 $60,000
Senior Associate Sales Representative Stryker Sales Corporation, A Division of Stryker C Feb 03, 2014 $60,000

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Top Skills for An Associate Sales Representative

  1. Customer Service
  2. Product Knowledge
  3. New Merchandise
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Contributed additional service and expertise presenting training sessions governing the principles of communication, effective customer service, and data analysis.
  • Shared product knowledge with customers while making personal recommendations based on my experience.
  • Negotiated with vendors and suppliers to effectively introduce and promote new merchandise, sales programs, and incentives.
  • Executed sales plan for designated territory promoting office equipment and document management software to businesses to achieve monthly sales goals.
  • Manage front desk and sales floor, by greeting customers, assisting them with purchases, returns and item holdings.

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Top 10 Best States for Associate Sales Representatives

  1. Wyoming
  2. Maine
  3. West Virginia
  4. Minnesota
  5. Michigan
  6. Iowa
  7. Washington
  8. Kansas
  9. New Jersey
  10. South Dakota
  • (282 jobs)
  • (617 jobs)
  • (649 jobs)
  • (2,975 jobs)
  • (3,809 jobs)
  • (1,771 jobs)
  • (2,719 jobs)
  • (1,290 jobs)
  • (4,436 jobs)
  • (416 jobs)

Associate Sales Representative Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 3,511 Associate Sales Representative resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Associate Sales Representative Resume

View Resume Examples

Associate Sales Representative Demographics

Gender

Female

47.7%

Male

47.5%

Unknown

4.8%
Ethnicity

White

59.8%

Hispanic or Latino

18.4%

Black or African American

11.6%

Asian

6.5%

Unknown

3.6%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

55.0%

French

10.1%

Chinese

4.7%

Mandarin

3.6%

Russian

3.6%

Portuguese

3.6%

Italian

3.0%

German

3.0%

Vietnamese

2.4%

Hebrew

1.8%

Cantonese

1.8%

Arabic

1.8%

Hindi

1.2%

Urdu

1.2%

Turkish

0.6%

Korean

0.6%

Bengali

0.6%

Thai

0.6%

Tibetan

0.6%

Filipino

0.6%
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Associate Sales Representative Education

Schools

University of South Florida

8.1%

Arizona State University

7.4%

Florida State University

6.6%

Ohio State University

5.1%

University of Houston

5.1%

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

5.1%

University of North Texas

5.1%

Georgia Southern University

5.1%

Florida Atlantic University

5.1%

Texas A&M University

4.4%

West Virginia University

4.4%

New Jersey Institute of Technology

4.4%

University of Florida

4.4%

Purdue University

4.4%

California State University - Sacramento

4.4%

Liberty University

4.4%

Kaplan University

4.4%

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

4.4%

University of Alabama

3.7%

Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis

3.7%
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Majors

Business

28.4%

Marketing

7.7%

Psychology

7.2%

Communication

6.7%

Criminal Justice

5.3%

Kinesiology

4.1%

Finance

4.1%

General Studies

3.8%

Nursing

3.5%

Accounting

3.5%

Management

3.4%

Medical Assisting Services

3.0%

Liberal Arts

2.9%

Biology

2.9%

Health Care Administration

2.7%

Political Science

2.6%

Economics

2.1%

Graphic Design

2.1%

Sociology

2.1%

Computer Science

2.0%
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Degrees

Bachelors

49.1%

High School Diploma

18.9%

Associate

14.5%

Masters

8.6%

Certificate

4.4%

Diploma

2.8%

Doctorate

1.1%

License

0.6%
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Updated May 18, 2020