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Become An Outside Sales Representative

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Working As An Outside Sales Representative

  • Selling or Influencing Others
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Getting Information
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • $62,943

    Average Salary

What Does An Outside Sales Representative Do

An Outside Sales Representative is responsible for promoting and selling a firm’s products or services while traveling to businesses or other organizations. They maintain records of customer communications and contact information, identify and resolve client concerns, and make presentations to buyers and management.

How To Become An Outside 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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4,445 Outside Sales Representative jobs More

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Real Outside Sales Representative Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Outside Sales Representative (Engineering) Softchoice Corporation Los Angeles, CA Oct 08, 2016 $120,000
Outside Sales Representative Outokumpu Stainless USA LLC Bannockburn, IL May 29, 2015 $90,000 -
$95,000
BLS Outside Sales Representative DL Flange Corporation Houston, TX Jun 01, 2015 $85,000
BLS Pipes & Fittings Outside Sales Representative DL Flange Corporation Houston, TX Jun 01, 2015 $85,000
BSL Outside Sales Representative DL Flange Corporation Houston, TX Jun 01, 2015 $85,000
BSL Pipes & Fittings Outside Sales Representative DL Flange Corporation Houston, TX Jun 01, 2015 $85,000
Outside Sales Representative Dunn-Edwards Corporation San Rafael, CA Feb 20, 2014 $72,000 -
$95,000
Outside Sales Representative Thyssenkrupp Stainless USA, LLC Bannockburn, IL Oct 01, 2012 $61,435
Outside Sales REP. Yoony Incorporation Madisonville, TN Apr 10, 2015 $59,779
Outside Sales Representative Yamasho, Inc. Elk Grove Village, IL Dec 01, 2016 $52,270
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Top Skills for An Outside Sales Representative

ProductKnowledgeTerritorySalesCustomerServiceNewCustomerBaseColdCallsGeneralContractorsCustomerRelationsTradeShowsProductLinesDoorSalesEnsureCustomerSatisfactionSalesREPSalesQuotaPotentialCustomersMonthlySalesGoalsNewSalesRepeatBusinessNewClientsSalesPresentationsProspectiveCustomers

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Top Outside Sales Representative Skills

  1. Product Knowledge
  2. Territory Sales
  3. Customer Service
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Established relationships with commercial landscaping accounts and built entire customer base by providing excellent communication, customer service and product knowledge.
  • Increased territory sales revenue by 19% in 2004.
  • Provided outstanding customer service to internal and external customers.
  • Increased new customer base by 25%, and increased sales to the existing customer base 40%.
  • Worked on lead generation, conducted cold calls, and met with nurses and staff to set up concierge health services.

Top Outside Sales Representative Employers

What Kind Of Companies Hire an Outside Sales Representative

  1. Fastenal
  2. TruGreen
  3. UniFirst
  4. Terminix
  5. Scotts Lawn
  6. ADT Security Svc Inc
  7. Graybar
  8. The Home Depot
  9. Bath Fitter
  10. Charter Communications Holdings, LLC
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Job Description Video - Outside Sales

Outside Sales Rep