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Become A Marketing/Sales Representative

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Working As A Marketing/Sales Representative

  • Selling or Influencing Others
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Getting Information
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • $49,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Marketing/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 A Marketing/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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Marketing/Sales Representative Career Paths

Marketing/Sales Representative
Account Executive Account Manager
Director, Inside Sales
6 Yearsyrs
Account Executive Sales Manager Account Manager
Strategic Accounts Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Account Executive Territory Manager
Senior Territory Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Account Manager Regional Sales Manager
National Sales Director
11 Yearsyrs
Sales Manager Regional Sales Manager
National Accounts Sales Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Sales Manager Territory Sales Manager Regional Sales Manager
Business Development Sales Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Manager General Manager Territory Manager
Territory Account Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Manager Store Manager District Sales Manager
Regional Business Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Manager District Manager District Sales Manager
Market Development Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Assistant Manager Store Manager District Sales Manager
Major Account Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Assistant Manager General Manager Territory Manager
Territory Business Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Sales/Marketing Business Developer Senior Account Executive
Senior Sales Executive
8 Yearsyrs
Sales/Marketing Customer Service Manager Inside Sales Manager
Inside Sales Account Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Assistant Manager Project Manager Senior Account Manager
Manager, Account Executive
5 Yearsyrs
Sales Specialist Customer Service Manager Inside Sales Manager
Outside Sales Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Store Manager Regional Manager National Account Manager
Enterprise Account Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Regional Manager Regional Accounts Manager
Corporate Account Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Sales And Marketing Manager General Manager Territory Sales Manager
Sales Development Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Sales/Marketing District Manager Key Account Manager
Account Development Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Sales Specialist Business Developer Business Development Sales Manager
Consulting Sales Manager
5 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Marketing/Sales Representative?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Outside Sales 3.8 years
Sales Consultant 2.2 years
Top Careers Before Marketing/Sales Representative
Cashier 7.7%
Internship 5.9%
Manager 4.3%
Server 3.4%
Volunteer 2.7%
Owner 2.3%
Top Careers After Marketing/Sales Representative
Cashier 4.9%
Manager 3.9%
Server 3.4%
Internship 3.4%
Owner 3.3%
Consultant 2.4%

Do you work as a Marketing/Sales Representative?

Marketing/Sales Representative Demographics

Gender

Male

47.2%

Female

42.9%

Unknown

9.9%
Ethnicity

White

61.3%

Hispanic or Latino

16.1%

Black or African American

11.8%

Asian

6.9%

Unknown

3.9%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

54.6%

French

11.3%

Mandarin

4.4%

Portuguese

4.4%

Chinese

4.1%

Italian

2.9%

Japanese

2.7%

Russian

2.5%

German

2.2%

Arabic

1.7%

Hebrew

1.5%

Cantonese

1.4%

Hindi

1.2%

Vietnamese

1.0%

Thai

1.0%

Korean

0.8%

Tagalog

0.7%

Urdu

0.7%

Swahili

0.5%

Swedish

0.5%
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Marketing/Sales Representative Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

17.7%

Arizona State University

5.8%

Pennsylvania State University

5.4%

University of South Florida

5.3%

University of Central Florida

5.1%

Texas A&M University

4.4%

Temple University

4.3%

Liberty University

4.3%

University of Alabama

4.2%

University of Arizona

4.2%

Ohio State University

4.2%

Texas Tech University

4.1%

University of Houston

4.0%

Towson University

4.0%

University of Georgia

4.0%

Michigan State University

4.0%

Purdue University

3.9%

Florida State University

3.7%

University of South Carolina - Columbia

3.7%

University of Tennessee - Knoxville

3.7%
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Majors

Business

32.3%

Marketing

13.8%

Communication

8.6%

Management

5.7%

Psychology

5.0%

Political Science

2.7%

Kinesiology

2.7%

Accounting

2.7%

Criminal Justice

2.6%

English

2.6%

Finance

2.5%

Liberal Arts

2.5%

Nursing

2.5%

Public Relations

2.4%

Education

2.2%

General Studies

2.1%

Biology

2.0%

Graphic Design

1.9%

Health Care Administration

1.7%

Economics

1.6%
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Degrees

Bachelors

51.7%

Other

23.2%

Masters

10.4%

Associate

9.3%

Certificate

3.0%

Diploma

1.0%

License

0.8%

Doctorate

0.6%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$49,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$31,000
Min 10%
$49,000
Median 50%
$49,000
Median 50%
$49,000
Median 50%
$49,000
Median 50%
$49,000
Median 50%
$49,000
Median 50%
$49,000
Median 50%
$75,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
BELFOR USA Group
Highest Paying City
San Francisco, CA
Highest Paying State
Utah
Avg Experience Level
2.3 years
How much does a Marketing/Sales Representative make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Marketing/Sales Representative in the United States is $49,154 per year or $24 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $31,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $75,000.

Real Marketing/Sales Representative Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Sales and Marketing Representative TEYS USA Inc. Chicago, IL Jul 15, 2016 $83,000 -
$113,000
Sales and Marketing Representative C.H. Robinson Worldwide, Inc. Monterey, CA Oct 01, 2011 $75,000
Sales & Marketing Representative HVP Capital Groups Corp Santa Ana, CA Dec 01, 2011 $64,875
Marketing & Sales Representative Orbis Systems, Inc. Jersey City, NJ Oct 01, 2010 $52,175
Marketing and Sales Representative Orbis Systems, Inc. Jersey City, NJ Jun 08, 2012 $50,000
Marketing and Sales Representative (Europe) Sarkli-Repechage, Ltd. Secaucus, NJ Jun 30, 2012 $50,000
Marketing & Sales Representative Orbis Systems, Inc. Jersey City, NJ Oct 01, 2010 $45,914
Maketing and Sales Representative Mediverse International Inc. Arcadia, CA Oct 01, 2011 $42,370
Marketing and Sales Representative Mediverse International Inc. Arcadia, CA Oct 01, 2011 $42,370
Sales Representative-Marketing Programs J Guide LLC Northfield, IL Jan 01, 2010 $41,974 -
$42,000
Sales/Marketing Representative The Feminist Press, Inc. New York, NY Sep 04, 2015 $40,000
Sales and Marketing Representative Irish Dairy Board Inc. Ontario, CA Oct 01, 2011 $38,000
Marketing and Sales Representative Jim Seilsopour State Farm Insurance Agency Long Beach, CA Oct 15, 2012 $35,479 -
$52,175
Marketing-Sales Representative Central Communications Inc. Philadelphia, PA Oct 01, 2010 $35,040
International Sales and Marketing Representative Newsbank, Inc. Naples, FL Oct 19, 2009 $35,000
International Marketing & Sales Representative Birks & Mayors Inc. Tamarac, FL Apr 15, 2012 $33,392
International Marketing & Sales Representative Mayor's Jeweler Inc. Tamarac, FL May 01, 2012 $33,392
International Marketing & Sales Representative Mayor's Jewelers Inc. Tamarac, FL May 01, 2012 $33,392

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Top Skills for A Marketing/Sales Representative

  1. Product Knowledge
  2. Customer Service
  3. New Clients
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Initiated and provided product knowledge training sessions & demonstrations to educate consumers and coworkers about new and current product information.
  • Communicated and educated consumers about quality, versatility and value of gourmet foods using strong customer service skills.
  • Presented short presentations to new clients to get them to sign up for a 2 year contract with DirecTV.
  • Prepared and submitted approved plans for sales territory management.
  • Recognized by management for acquiring significant new accounts.

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Top 10 Best States for Marketing/Sales Representatives

  1. Rhode Island
  2. South Dakota
  3. Minnesota
  4. Colorado
  5. Michigan
  6. North Dakota
  7. Pennsylvania
  8. Massachusetts
  9. New Jersey
  10. Wisconsin
  • (402 jobs)
  • (426 jobs)
  • (2,373 jobs)
  • (2,462 jobs)
  • (2,084 jobs)
  • (463 jobs)
  • (3,669 jobs)
  • (2,485 jobs)
  • (2,525 jobs)
  • (1,790 jobs)

Top Marketing/Sales Representative Employers

Jobs From Top Marketing/Sales Representative Employers

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