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Become A Product Manager/Sales

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Working As A Product Manager/Sales

  • Selling or Influencing Others
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Getting Information
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • $55,730

    Average Salary

What Does A Product Manager/Sales 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 Product Manager/Sales

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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Product Manager/Sales jobs

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Product Manager/Sales Career Paths

Product Manager/Sales
Territory Sales Manager Sales Account Manager
Business Development Sales Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Sales Manager Regional Sales Manager
Director Of Sales
10 Yearsyrs
Marketing Manager Business Developer
Director Of Sales & Business Development
13 Yearsyrs
Account Executive Director Of Sales
Director Of Sales And Marketing
9 Yearsyrs
Sales Manager Operations Manager
General Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Product Marketing Manager National Sales Manager
International Sales Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Regional Sales Manager Regional Accounts Manager
National Account Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Territory Manager National Account Manager
National Accounts Sales Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Business Development Manager
National Sales Director
10 Yearsyrs
Account Executive Regional Sales Manager
National Sales Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Business Development Manager Marketing Consultant
Product Marketing Manager
7 Yearsyrs
General Manager Territory Manager
Regional Business Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Territory Sales Manager District Sales Manager
Regional Sales And Marketing Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Business Development Manager Regional Director
Regional Sales Director
10 Yearsyrs
Account Manager Sales Manager
Regional Sales Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Account Manager Account Executive
Sales Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Marketing Manager National Sales Manager
Senior Sales Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Regional Sales Manager Director Of Sales
Senior Vice President, Sales
14 Yearsyrs
Territory Manager Account Manager
Strategic Accounts Manager
9 Yearsyrs
General Manager Account Manager
Territory Account Manager
8 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Owner And Sales 5.4 years
OEM Sales Manager 3.7 years
Sales/Marketing 3.6 years
Sales Manager 3.6 years
Director Of Sales 3.6 years
Product Manager 3.4 years
Product Lead 2.9 years
Product Specialist 2.6 years
Top Employers Before
Manager 5.6%
Internship 3.8%
Cashier 3.5%
Consultant 3.1%
Top Employers After
Manager 4.2%
Consultant 2.9%

Product Manager/Sales Demographics

Gender

Male

61.2%

Female

37.1%

Unknown

1.7%
Ethnicity

White

79.1%

Hispanic or Latino

10.8%

Asian

7.8%

Unknown

1.8%

Black or African American

0.6%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

45.1%

German

7.7%

French

7.7%

Japanese

6.6%

Portuguese

5.5%

Chinese

4.4%

Russian

3.3%

Italian

3.3%

Mandarin

2.2%

Ukrainian

2.2%

Bosnian

2.2%

Carrier

2.2%

Polish

2.2%

Czech

1.1%

Cantonese

1.1%

Romanian

1.1%

Urdu

1.1%

Korean

1.1%
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Product Manager/Sales Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

16.0%

Texas A&M University

6.9%

San Diego State University

6.1%

Illinois State University

5.3%

University of Florida

5.3%

Carnegie Mellon University

4.6%

University of Texas at Austin

4.6%

Southern Methodist University

4.6%

Northern Illinois University

4.6%

University of Northern Colorado

3.8%

University of South Florida

3.8%

Brigham Young University

3.8%

North Central College

3.8%

University of Cincinnati

3.8%

Pennsylvania State University

3.8%

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

3.8%

Marshall University

3.8%

San Jose State University

3.8%

Oregon State University

3.8%

Western Michigan University

3.8%
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Majors

Business

35.7%

Marketing

11.5%

Management

6.8%

Finance

6.5%

Communication

3.8%

Criminal Justice

3.8%

Computer Science

3.5%

Electrical Engineering

3.3%

Psychology

3.3%

Accounting

2.7%

Education

2.5%

Economics

2.5%

Political Science

2.1%

Health Care Administration

2.1%

Biology

1.8%

General Studies

1.7%

Nursing

1.7%

Mechanical Engineering

1.7%

English

1.6%

General Sales

1.6%
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Degrees

Bachelors

43.8%

Other

23.8%

Masters

19.8%

Associate

6.6%

Certificate

3.9%

Diploma

1.1%

Doctorate

0.8%

License

0.2%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Product Manager/Sales Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Srmgr for Trade Finance Sales&Products-NA Global Transactnl Bnking Head Lloyds Bank Plc New York, NY Aug 01, 2016 $250,000
Product Sales Manager Aja Video Systems, Inc. Grass Valley, CA Dec 09, 2015 $142,855
Product Sales Manager Aja Video Systems, Inc. Grass Valley, CA Dec 10, 2014 $142,855
Sales and Product Manager Rosler Metal Finishing USA, LLC Battle Creek, MI Jul 20, 2013 $140,000
Sales Reporting Product Manager (Technical PM) Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Jun 09, 2015 $133,500 -
$138,500
Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Drill Product Sales Manager Kyocera Preceision Tools, Inc. Costa Mesa, CA Jul 11, 2016 $120,886
Applications Sales Manager/Axle Product Manager Comer Industries Inc. Charlotte, NC Jan 20, 2016 $120,000 -
$130,000
IIS Product Sales Manager General Electric Company-Healthcare Miramar, FL Sep 18, 2012 $115,000 -
$125,000
Product Manager, Sales Salesforce.Com, Inc. San Francisco, CA Sep 19, 2014 $110,000
Product Manager, Sales Salesforce.Com, Inc. San Francisco, CA Sep 15, 2014 $110,000
Product Manager, Sales Salesforce.Com, Inc. San Francisco, CA Aug 15, 2015 $110,000
Ebusiness Product Manager, Digital Sales Ricoh USA, Inc. Chicago, IL Jan 05, 2015 $105,000
Product Sales Manager Metso Paper USA, Inc. Norcross, GA May 01, 2015 $97,406
Product Sales Manager-High Flex Couplings Voith Turbo Inc. York, PA Jan 26, 2016 $96,000 -
$100,000
Product Sales Manager General Electric Company-Healthcare Miramar, FL Aug 02, 2010 $96,000 -
$107,000
Sales Manager, Tpms Aftermarket Products ATEQ Corporation Livonia, MI Sep 26, 2013 $95,000
Sales Manager, Tpms Aftermarket Products ATEQ Corporation Livonia, MI Sep 28, 2013 $95,000
Sales Manager, Industrial Products ELOF Hansson Us Inc. Norcross, GA Sep 25, 2012 $95,000
Sales Manager, Tpms Aftermarket Products ATEQ Corporation Livonia, MI Sep 18, 2013 $95,000
Product Manager Sales Force Automation Cummins Inc. Brooklyn Center, MN May 02, 2011 $81,400 -
$100,400
Product Sales Manager Parker Hannifin Corporation Houston, TX Oct 12, 2016 $80,538 -
$90,538
Sales Manager/Product Specialist Bioss Inc. Woburn, MA Oct 01, 2011 $78,000
Sales Manager, Seafood Products Tai Foong USA, Inc. Seattle, WA Jan 27, 2011 $76,000
Product Sales Manager Global Paper Solutions, Inc. Atlanta, GA Sep 25, 2013 $71,000
Product Sales Manager Parker Hannifin Corporation Houston, TX Oct 01, 2014 $70,990 -
$80,990
Product Sales Manager Netpoint International, Inc. Miami, FL Sep 29, 2011 $70,000
Sales Manager Agricultural Products Fresh Quesdt Produce, Inc. Plantation, FL Sep 18, 2013 $70,000
Product Sales Manager Metso Paper USA, Inc. Suwanee, GA Sep 11, 2013 $69,410 -
$100,500

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Top Skills for A Product Manager/Sales

ProductSalesCustomerServiceNewProductLineSalesGrowthNewProductDevelopmentTerritoryProceduresTradeShowsProductManagementWebFinancialSalesGoalsMarketShareLogisticsSalesRepsPurchaseCustomerRelationsCustomerBaseCustomerSatisfactionSalesSupport

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Top Product Manager/Sales Skills

  1. Product Sales
  2. Customer Service
  3. New Product Line
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Provided product sales support for the western United States with an annual goal of $700m.
  • Enlisted to teach Customer Service Policies and Procedures, and Statistical Analysis to current and future employees at the Learning Center.
  • Created targeted marketing campaign and all related collateral to support the launch of a new product line.
  • Increased sales growth 700% and improved net department gross profit of 26%.
  • Promoted to lead innovation, new product development and sales channel platform using participant centric design.

Top Product Manager/Sales Employers

Product Manager/Sales Videos

Meet a Google Associate Product Manager Program Alumna, feat. Laura

Getting to the Top in Product Marketing and Product Management

The Product Manager" explains her role"

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