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Become A Sales Consultant

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Working As A Sales Consultant

  • Selling or Influencing Others
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Getting Information
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • $140,353

    Average Salary

What Does A Sales Consultant 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 Sales Consultant

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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Sales Consultant Jobs

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Sales Consultant Career Paths

Sales Consultant
Territory Manager Sales Manager Branch Manager
Branch Sales Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Wireless Consultant Retail Sales Consultant
Business Account Manager
6 Yearsyrs
District Sales Manager Regional Manager Regional Sales Manager
Channel Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Personal Banker Branch Manager Territory Sales Manager
Commercial Account Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Business Development Manager Director Of Sales
Director Of Sales & Business Development
12 Yearsyrs
Regional Sales Manager National Account Manager
Global Account Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Home Health Aid Service Representative Inside Sales Representative
Inside Sales Account Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Personal Banker Service Representative Inside Sales Representative
Inside Sales Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Territory Manager Account Manager
Major Account Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Specialist Program Manager Product Manager
Market Development Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Sales Specialist Sales Manager Regional Sales Manager
National Sales Director
11 Yearsyrs
Specialist Operations Manager Outside Sales Representative
Outside Sales Manager
6 Yearsyrs
District Sales Manager Regional Sales Manager
Regional Sales And Marketing Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Sales Manager Regional Sales Manager
Regional Sales Director
11 Yearsyrs
Project Coordinator Production Manager Processing Manager
Sales Support Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Sales Manager General Manager Account Executive
Senior Sales Executive
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Sales Representative Account Executive Sales Manager
Senior Sales Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Senior Sales Representative Account Manager
Strategic Accounts Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Regional Sales Manager General Manager Account Manager
Territory Account Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Sales Professional Account Executive Territory Manager
Territory Business Manager
7 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Sales Consultant?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Sales Professional 2.8 years
Sales Specialist 2.5 years
Sales Consultant 2.0 years
Inside Sales Agent 1.9 years
Sales Trainee 1.0 years
Top Employers Before
Cashier 6.5%
Manager 5.0%
Internship 3.8%
Server 3.1%
Teller 2.8%
Owner 2.4%
Supervisor 2.1%
Top Employers After
Manager 4.5%
Owner 3.5%
Consultant 3.0%
Cashier 2.9%
Server 2.8%
Teller 2.7%

Do you work as a Sales Consultant?

Sales Consultant Demographics

Gender

Male

60.8%

Female

37.4%

Unknown

1.8%
Ethnicity

White

61.4%

Hispanic or Latino

16.4%

Black or African American

11.4%

Asian

7.0%

Unknown

3.7%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

60.7%

French

9.1%

Portuguese

3.3%

German

3.2%

Arabic

3.1%

Italian

2.8%

Russian

2.6%

Chinese

2.5%

Mandarin

2.0%

Japanese

1.6%

Korean

1.5%

Vietnamese

1.3%

Hindi

1.2%

Cantonese

1.0%

Urdu

0.8%

Carrier

0.8%

Greek

0.7%

Polish

0.7%

Dutch

0.5%

Tagalog

0.5%
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Sales Consultant Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

21.4%

Liberty University

6.4%

Michigan State University

5.3%

Florida State University

5.1%

Strayer University

4.5%

Southern New Hampshire University

4.3%

West Virginia University

4.3%

Northern Virginia Community College

4.2%

Ashford University

4.1%

University of Central Florida

4.0%

Pennsylvania State University

4.0%

Ball State University

4.0%

Arizona State University

3.7%

Ohio State University

3.7%

University of North Texas

3.6%

Kaplan University

3.6%

Texas State University

3.5%

University of Alabama

3.4%

Middle Tennessee State University

3.4%

University of Arizona

3.4%
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Majors

Business

34.6%

Marketing

8.3%

Communication

6.4%

Psychology

5.5%

Criminal Justice

4.9%

Management

4.9%

Finance

3.7%

Accounting

3.5%

General Studies

3.3%

Computer Science

2.8%

Education

2.7%

Political Science

2.7%

Liberal Arts

2.5%

Kinesiology

2.4%

Nursing

2.1%

English

2.1%

Biology

2.0%

Health Care Administration

1.9%

Graphic Design

1.8%

Information Technology

1.8%
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Degrees

Bachelors

44.4%

Other

29.0%

Associate

11.2%

Masters

9.6%

Certificate

3.4%

Diploma

1.1%

Doctorate

0.7%

License

0.6%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Sales Consultant Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Sales Consultant Google Inc. New York, NY May 19, 2015 $185,333
Sales Consultant Google Inc. New York, NY Jul 15, 2015 $185,333
Sales Consultant, EDS Hp Enterprise Services, LLC Palo Alto, CA Mar 14, 2016 $159,370 -
$206,959
Sales Consultant Google Inc. New York, NY Jan 08, 2015 $148,400
Sales Consultant Oracle America, Inc. CA Feb 10, 2015 $145,933 -
$173,047
Sales Consultant IV Turn, Inc. San Francisco, CA Jul 15, 2016 $145,746 -
$178,090
Sales Consultant Google Inc. Chicago, IL Feb 29, 2016 $142,000
Master Principal Sales Consultant Oracle Financial Services Software, Inc. Waxhaw, NC Mar 15, 2016 $141,835 -
$173,047
Sales Consultant Oracle America, Inc. CA Dec 08, 2016 $138,008 -
$154,592
Master Principal Sales Consultant Oracle America, Inc. Reston, VA Feb 22, 2016 $135,637 -
$173,048
Principal Sales Consultant Oracle America, Inc. Belmont, CA Jan 06, 2016 $134,636 -
$154,592
Master Principal Sales Consultant Oracle America, Inc. Reston, VA Aug 17, 2015 $134,181 -
$173,048
Master Principal Sales Consultant Oracle America, Inc. Reston, VA Jun 15, 2015 $134,181 -
$173,048
Principal Sales Consultant Oracle America, Inc. CA Aug 20, 2016 $133,980 -
$154,592
Principal Sales Consultant Oracle America, Inc. Irvine, CA Aug 26, 2015 $128,073 -
$154,592
Sales Consultant Oracle America, Inc. Irvine, CA Jul 07, 2016 $128,073 -
$154,593
Chief Pre-Sales Consultant Simcorp USA, Inc. New York, NY Sep 01, 2015 $127,920 -
$147,920
Technical Sales Consultant III Landmark Graphics Corporation Houston, TX Nov 19, 2015 $127,504
Principal Sales Consultant Oracle America, Inc. Cambridge, MA Aug 17, 2015 $127,192 -
$154,592
Principal Sales Consultant Oracle America, Inc. Irving, TX Aug 09, 2016 $126,591 -
$154,592
Sales Consultant Oracle America, Inc. Itasca, IL Aug 17, 2016 $126,547 -
$136,853
Principal Sales Consultant Oracle America, Inc. Chicago, IL Aug 09, 2016 $126,547 -
$154,592
Sales Consultant Oracle America, Inc. CA Sep 03, 2016 $114,634 -
$136,852
Sales Consultant Oracle America, Inc. CA Nov 01, 2016 $114,634 -
$136,853
Sales Consultant Pegasystems Inc. Cambridge, MA Sep 01, 2015 $113,838 -
$130,000
Sales Consultant (Principal Sales Consultant) Oracle America, Inc. CA Jul 15, 2016 $111,988 -
$154,592
Sales Consultant Oracle America, Inc. CA Mar 08, 2016 $110,989 -
$136,853
Sales Consultant Oracle America, Inc. CA Aug 22, 2016 $110,989 -
$136,852
Technical Sales Consultant III Landmark Graphics Corporation Houston, TX Sep 05, 2015 $110,941
Nutrition Sales Consultant Standard Nutrition Services, LLC Great Falls, MT Jul 19, 2016 $110,000

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Top Skills for A Sales Consultant

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  1. Product Knowledge
  2. Customer Service
  3. Sales Representatives
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Strengthened brand awareness through product knowledge and consultative selling.
  • Focused on providing customers with product information and high level customer service.
  • Sustained knowledge of inventory and supplies, liaising with sales representatives and inventory specialists
  • Solicited new clients through existing customer relationships.
  • Managed a territory of over 180 targeted customers located in clinics and hospitals using territory analysis techniques.

How Would You Rate Working As a Sales Consultant?

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