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Become An Outbound Sales Representative

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Working As An Outbound Sales Representative

  • Selling or Influencing Others
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Getting Information
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • $42,000

    Average Salary

What Does An Outbound 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 Outbound 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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Outbound Sales Representative Career Paths

Outbound Sales Representative
Inbound Sale Representative Account Executive Sales Manager
Regional Sales Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Inbound Sale Representative Account Executive Regional Sales Manager
National Sales Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Inbound Sale Representative Account Executive Account Manager
Sales Account Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Inside Sales Representative Sales Specialist Account Manager
Regional Accounts Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Inside Sales Representative Sales Specialist Sales Manager
Territory Sales Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Inside Sales Representative Sales Specialist Regional Sales Manager
Regional Sales Director
11 Yearsyrs
Representative Consultant Sales Manager
Director Of Sales And Marketing
9 Yearsyrs
Representative Consultant Account Manager
Key Account Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Representative Consultant Regional Sales Manager
Strategic Accounts Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Certified Nursing Assistant Team Leader Owner
Owner And Sales
7 Yearsyrs
Certified Nursing Assistant Specialist Senior Sales Representative
Senior Sales Executive
8 Yearsyrs
Certified Nursing Assistant Team Leader Customer Service Manager
Inside Sales Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Collections Representative Sales Consultant Territory Sales Representative
Territory Account Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Agent Executive Business Development Executive
Business Development Account Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Agent Benefit Specialist Client Services Manager
Client Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Specialist Senior Sales Representative National Account Manager
Enterprise Account Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Specialist Senior Sales Representative Territory Sales Manager
Commercial Account Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Sales Person Sales Team Leader Inside Sales Manager
Inside Sales Account Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Service Representative Operations Specialist Solution Specialist
Business Account Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Outside Sales Representative Direct Sales Representative Energy Consultant
Lead Generator
5 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as an Outbound Sales Representative?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Sales Consultant 2.2 years
Sales Agent 2.0 years
Top Careers Before Outbound Sales Representative
Cashier 17.9%
Server 4.0%
Manager 2.5%
Internship 1.9%
Top Careers After Outbound Sales Representative
Cashier 12.6%
Server 3.6%
Manager 2.7%

Do you work as an Outbound Sales Representative?

Outbound Sales Representative Demographics

Gender

Female

50.5%

Male

38.7%

Unknown

10.8%
Ethnicity

White

63.8%

Hispanic or Latino

17.0%

Black or African American

9.8%

Asian

5.9%

Unknown

3.5%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

67.4%

French

8.7%

Japanese

3.6%

Arabic

3.6%

Russian

2.9%

German

2.9%

Italian

1.4%

Turkish

0.7%

Mandarin

0.7%

Dutch

0.7%

Hmong

0.7%

Korean

0.7%

Ukrainian

0.7%

Bosnian

0.7%

Vietnamese

0.7%

Filipino

0.7%

Albanian

0.7%

Carrier

0.7%

Serbian

0.7%

Croatian

0.7%
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Outbound Sales Representative Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

18.4%

Florida State College at Jacksonville

7.0%

Mesa Community College - Boswell

6.8%

Arizona State University

6.6%

Metropolitan Community College

5.7%

Valencia College

5.3%

Kaplan University

4.8%

Monroe Community College

4.6%

Strayer University

4.2%

North Carolina Central University

4.2%

Glendale Community College

3.5%

Miami Dade College

3.5%

San Antonio College

3.5%

Pikes Peak Community College

3.5%

Ashford University

3.3%

Hillsborough Community College

3.3%

Kirkwood Community College

3.1%

University of Central Florida

3.1%

Tennessee State University

2.9%

Southern New Hampshire University

2.9%
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Majors

Business

29.5%

Communication

6.2%

Psychology

5.7%

Criminal Justice

5.6%

Health Care Administration

5.4%

General Studies

5.1%

Medical Assisting Services

5.0%

Nursing

4.3%

Marketing

4.3%

Accounting

4.1%

Liberal Arts

3.1%

Education

3.0%

Management

2.8%

Computer Science

2.7%

Graphic Design

2.7%

Cosmetology

2.4%

English

2.3%

Biology

2.0%

Political Science

1.9%

Computer Information Systems

1.9%
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Degrees

Other

39.2%

Bachelors

30.6%

Associate

17.3%

Certificate

4.9%

Masters

4.4%

Diploma

2.5%

License

0.7%

Doctorate

0.4%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$42,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$26,000
Min 10%
$42,000
Median 50%
$42,000
Median 50%
$42,000
Median 50%
$42,000
Median 50%
$42,000
Median 50%
$42,000
Median 50%
$42,000
Median 50%
$70,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Altice USA
Highest Paying City
Colorado Springs, CO
Highest Paying State
California
Avg Experience Level
1.3 years
How much does an Outbound Sales Representative make at top companies?
The national average salary for an Outbound Sales Representative in the United States is $43,018 per year or $21 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $26,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $70,000.

How Would You Rate The Salary Of an Outbound Sales Representative?

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Top Skills for An Outbound Sales Representative

  1. Customer Service
  2. Phone Calls
  3. New Clients
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Provide superior customer service by delivering products and services to meet or exceed customer expectations.
  • Receive inbound/outbound telephone calls and provided professional customer service to help customers in all stages of delinquency.
  • Sell weight loss products and provide superior customer service to new clients, as well as assisting and retaining existing clients.
  • Generated sales appointments and insides sales opportunities through outbound telemarketing campaigns, including manual internet leads.
  • Adjust sales scripts to better target the needs and interests of specific individuals.

How Would You Rate Working As an Outbound Sales Representative?

Are you working as an Outbound Sales Representative? Help us rate Outbound Sales Representative as a Career.

Top Outbound Sales Representative Employers

Jobs From Top Outbound Sales Representative Employers

Outbound Sales Representative Videos

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