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What Does A Direct Sales Representative Do?

As a direct sales representative, you are responsible for creating customer awareness of a company's products and services and closing sales. You will perform varied tasks that include assisting in developing and executing marketing and sales plans, conducting research on competing products, and identifying opportunities to improve sales. Additionally, you are expected to answer inquiries about product features, availability, benefits, and pricing. Other tasks that you are likely to perform include attending trade shows, preparing sales proposals for prospective buyers, and preparing sales reports.

Here are examples of responsibilities from real direct sales representative resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Manage a define territory with an outside sales representative to sell library automation and textbook inventory management software by phone.
  • Process incoming calls and insure the entirety and accuracy of customer orders for as seen on TV products and services.
  • Recognize at regional company-wide quarterly meeting as the top sales rep in the area.
  • Maintain top sales rep status on a monthly basis in order to exceed quarterly and yearly goals.
  • Maintain complete and accurate records of all daily activity and customer contact in company or client CRM systems.
  • Install equipment-digital receiver and internet modems to increase sale with same day installation.
  • Establish rapport with potential/current customers while efficiently and effectively fixing and alleviating cable TV problems.
  • Realize substantial internet online profit potential by marketing popular health products on several web sites.
  • Increase revenue by upgrading current telecommunication subscribers with new products and features that enhance their communication and entertainment experience.
  • Sell reactivation service and upgrade products within assign territory to residential locations that have a previously disconnect ADT system.
Direct Sales Representative Traits
Interpersonal skills involves being able to communicate efficiently with multiple people regarding your thoughts, ideas and feedback.
Physical stamina shows that you are able to exert your energy for long periods of time without tiring.
Self-confidence involves believing in your skills and abilities.

Direct Sales Representative Overview

When it comes to understanding what a direct sales representative does, you may be wondering, "should I become a direct sales representative?" The data included in this section may help you decide. Compared to other jobs, direct sales representatives have a growth rate described as "slower than average" at 2% between the years 2018 - 2028, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In fact, the number of direct sales representative opportunities that are predicted to open up by 2028 is 35,400.

On average, the direct sales representative annual salary is $55,497 per year, which translates to $26.68 an hour. Generally speaking, direct sales representatives earn anywhere from $40,000 to $76,000 a year, which means that the top-earning direct sales representatives make $30,000 more than the ones at the lower end of the spectrum.

As is the case with most jobs, it takes work to become a direct sales representative. Sometimes people change their minds about their career after working in the profession. That's why we looked into some other professions that might help you find your next opportunity. These professions include a sales development representative, sales representative internship, telemarketing sales representative, and sales support representative.

Direct Sales Representative Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 27% of Direct Sales Representatives are proficient in Customer Service, Sales Process, and TV. They’re also known for soft skills such as Interpersonal skills, Physical stamina, and Self-confidence.

We break down the percentage of Direct Sales Representatives that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Customer Service, 27%

    Access electronic and paper cataloging systems to look up product information and Dynamic customer service professional experienced in call-center settings.

  • Sales Process, 15%

    Maintained contact with customers through the sales process including installation to ensure customer satisfaction.

  • TV, 11%

    Established rapport with potential/current customers while efficiently and effectively fixing and alleviating cable TV problems.

  • Sales Activities, 10%

    Worked diligently to meet and exceed sales goals as established by local market and independently established and organized daily sales activities

  • Residential Areas, 5%

    Generated new business by using great communication skills while also using promotional tools to target non-existing customers in residential areas.

  • Communication, 5%

    Collaborated with marketing department maintaining consistency in catalog, and promotional materials resulting in a consistent, professional communication to customers.

Some of the skills we found on direct sales representative resumes included "customer service," "sales process," and "tv." We have detailed the most important direct sales representative responsibilities below.

  • Interpersonal skills can be considered to be the most important personality trait for a direct sales representative to have. According to a direct sales representative resume, "wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives must be able to work well with many types of people" direct sales representatives are able to use interpersonal skills in the following example we gathered from a resume: "learned valuable interpersonal skills, generated new client base"
  • Another commonly found skill for being able to perform direct sales representative duties is the following: physical stamina. According to a direct sales representative resume, "wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives are often on their feet for a long time and may carry heavy sample products." Check out this example of how direct sales representatives use physical stamina: "inventory control / physical inventory. "
  • Another skill that is quite popular among direct sales representatives is self-confidence. This skill is very critical to fulfilling every day responsibilities as is shown in this example from a direct sales representative resume: "wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives must be confident and persuasive when making sales presentations" This example from a resume shows how this skill is used: "develop a relationship on trust and confidence in giving comcast another chance as their cable provider. "
  • A thorough review of lots of resumes revealed to us that "customer-service skills" is important to completing direct sales representative responsibilities. This resume example shows just one way direct sales representatives use this skill: "wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives must be able to listen to the customer’s needs and concerns before and after the sale." Here's an example of how this skill is used from a resume that represents typical direct sales representative tasks: "increase customer understanding of product, pricing and services a well as competitive advantages over satellite or any other competitors. "
  • See the full list of direct sales representative skills.

    Before becoming a direct sales representative, 40.9% earned their bachelor's degree. When it comes down to graduating with a master's degree, 7.0% direct sales representatives went for the extra education. If you're wanting to pursue this career, it may be possible to be successful with a high school degree. In fact, some direct sales representatives have a college degree. But about one out of every five direct sales representatives didn't attend college at all.

    The direct sales representatives who went onto college to earn a more in-depth education generally studied business and marketing, while a small population of direct sales representatives studied communication and psychology.

    Once you've obtained the level of education you're comfortable with, you might start applying to companies to become a direct sales representative. We've found that most direct sales representative resumes include experience from CROSSMARK, Time Warner Cable Enterprises, and Abbott Laboratories. Of recent, CROSSMARK had 166 positions open for direct sales representatives. Meanwhile, there are 166 job openings at Time Warner Cable Enterprises and 75 at Abbott Laboratories.

    If you're interested in companies where direct sales representatives make the most money, you'll want to apply for positions at Grande Communications, Centurum, and RCN. We found that at Grande Communications, the average direct sales representative salary is $61,089. Whereas at Centurum, direct sales representatives earn roughly $60,018. And at RCN, they make an average salary of $59,162.

    View more details on direct sales representative salaries across the United States.

    If you earned a degree from the top 100 educational institutions in the United States, you might want to take a look at Verizon Communications, Dell, and Comcast. These three companies have hired a significant number of direct sales representatives from these institutions.

    In general, direct sales representatives fulfill roles in the telecommunication and retail industries. While employment numbers are high in those industries, the direct sales representative annual salary is the highest in the manufacturing industry with $56,711 as the average salary. Meanwhile, the finance and telecommunication industries pay $54,531 and $50,991 respectively. This means that direct sales representatives who are employed in the manufacturing industry make 17.1% more than direct sales representatives who work in the media Industry.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious direct sales representatives are:

      What Sales Development Representatives Do

      A sales development representative qualifies leads at the sales funnel's initial stages. Sales development representatives need to conduct research for prospective clients and qualify the leads before handing them to the sales team. They develop sales strategies to attract buyers or solicit potential customers. They need to build relationships with their customers to determine their needs and qualify the viability of interests to drive sales. Also, they collaborate with the sales executives making certain that corporate targets and goals are met.

      We looked at the average direct sales representative annual salary and compared it with the average of a sales development representative. Generally speaking, sales development representatives receive $5,442 lower pay than direct sales representatives per year.

      While the salaries between these two careers can be different, they do share some of the same responsibilities. Employees in both direct sales representatives and sales development representatives positions are skilled in customer service, sales process, and sales activities.

      These skill sets are where the common ground ends though. A direct sales representative responsibility is more likely to require skills like "tv," "residential areas," "door-to-door sales," and "company products." Whereas a sales development representative requires skills like "sdr," "account executives," "linkedin," and "business development." Just by understanding these different skills you can see how different these careers are.

      Sales development representatives really shine in the manufacturing industry with an average salary of $64,400. Whereas direct sales representatives tend to make the most money in the manufacturing industry with an average salary of $56,711.

      Sales development representatives tend to reach similar levels of education than direct sales representatives. In fact, sales development representatives are 1.2% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 0.3% less likely to have a Doctoral Degree.

      What Are The Duties Of a Sales Representative Internship?

      In a sales representative internship, an intern's duties depend on the directives of a supervising staff or manager. Typically, they are responsible for gaining industry insights while performing clerical tasks such as preparing and processing documents, greeting visitors, disseminating and organizing files, and running errands as needed. They may also participate in communicating with clients through calls and appointments to offer products and services, ensuring client satisfaction. Furthermore, as an intern, it is essential to familiarize and abide by the company's policies and regulations, including its vision and mission.

      The next role we're going to look at is the sales representative internship profession. Typically, this position earns a lower pay. In fact, they earn a $17,357 lower salary than direct sales representatives per year.

      A similarity between the two careers of direct sales representatives and sales representative interns are a few of the skills associated with both roles. We used resumes from both professions to find that both use skills like "customer service," "sales process," and "communication. "

      But both careers also use different skills, according to real direct sales representative resumes. While direct sales representative responsibilities can utilize skills like "tv," "sales activities," "residential areas," and "door-to-door sales," some sales representative interns use skills like "powerpoint," "high volume," "salesforce," and "legislative process."

      On the topic of education, sales representative interns earn similar levels of education than direct sales representatives. In general, they're 0.7% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 0.3% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      How a Telemarketing Sales Representative Compares

      The telemarketing sales representative profession generally makes a lower amount of money when compared to the average salary of direct sales representatives. The difference in salaries is telemarketing sales representatives making $24,557 lower than direct sales representatives.

      By looking over several direct sales representatives and telemarketing sales representatives resumes, we found that both roles utilize similar skills, such as "customer service," "sales process," and "communication." But beyond that the careers look very different.

      Some important key differences between the two careers are a few of the skills necessary to fulfill responsibilities. Some examples from direct sales representative resumes include skills like "tv," "sales activities," "residential areas," and "door-to-door sales," whereas a telemarketing sales representative might be skilled in "telephone calls," "computer system," "scheduling appointments," and "payment method. "

      Telemarketing sales representatives typically study at similar levels compared with direct sales representatives. For example, they're 4.9% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree, and 0.3% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      Description Of a Sales Support Representative

      A sales support representative is responsible for assisting the complex operations of sales departments, performing administrative duties under the supervision of a direct manager. Sales support representatives' tasks include acknowledging and encoding customers' orders in the system, processing payments, responding to the customers' inquiries and concerns about the products, writing sales reports, and updating the customer of the shipment details. They also support the sales representatives on selling goods and services to potential customers by creating marketing materials and communicating with customers over the phone and e-mail to generate revenues and increase profits.

      The fourth career we look at typically earns lower pay than direct sales representatives. On average, sales support representatives earn a difference of $13,425 lower per year.

      According to resumes from both direct sales representatives and sales support representatives, some of the skills necessary to complete the responsibilities of each role are similar. These skills include "customer service," "sales process," and "communication. "

      Even though a few skill sets overlap, there are some differences that are important to note. For one, a direct sales representative might have more use for skills like "tv," "sales activities," "residential areas," and "door-to-door sales." Meanwhile, some sales support representatives might include skills like "sales support," "phone calls," "pos," and "crm" on their resume.

      In general, sales support representatives make a higher salary in the technology industry with an average of $46,981. The highest direct sales representative annual salary stems from the manufacturing industry.

      Sales support representatives reach similar levels of education when compared to direct sales representatives. The difference is that they're 0.3% more likely to earn a Master's Degree less, and 0.3% less likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.