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Become A Sales Specialist

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Working As A Sales Specialist

  • Selling or Influencing Others
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Getting Information
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • $90,553

    Average Salary

What Does A Sales Specialist Do

A Sales Specialist performs activities related to the selling, ordering, and overall management of a sales area. They plan special promotions and coordinate advertising.

How To Become A Sales Specialist

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.


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.


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.


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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4,408 Sales Specialist jobs More

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Real Sales Specialist Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Equities Sales Specialist Investec USA Holdings Corp. New York, NY Aug 15, 2016 $190,000
Vice President, Solutions Sales Specialist Jpmorgan Chase & Co Los Angeles, CA Feb 04, 2015 $180,000 -
Data Security Solution Sales Specialist IBM Corporation San Francisco, CA May 20, 2016 $160,001
Data Security Solution Sales Specialist IBM Corporation San Francisco, CA Mar 06, 2016 $160,001
Consulting Partner-Sales Management Specialist Amdocs, Inc. Richardson, TX May 04, 2015 $160,000
Derivatives Business and Sales Specialist Bloomberg, LP New York, NY Sep 01, 2014 $157,000
Vice President, Index Sales Specialist, West Coast Asset Management MSCI Inc. San Francisco, CA Oct 07, 2014 $143,562
Data Security Solution Sales Specialist IBM Corporation San Francisco, CA May 26, 2016 $142,336 -
Sales Specialist, Systems Hewlett-Packard Caribe B.V. (Puerto Rico) San Juan, PR Jul 30, 2015 $141,182
Licensing Sales Specialist Microsoft Corporation New York, NY Feb 09, 2016 $135,000
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Top Skills for A Sales Specialist


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Top Sales Specialist Skills

  1. Product Knowledge
  2. Customer Service Skills
  3. Territory
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Attend weekly sales meetings to gather new product knowledge and analyze current buying trends of the public.
  • Provided strong communication, interpersonal and excellent customer service skills.
  • Reversed 3 year history of declining sales through effective territory management.
  • Worked as part of the department team to meet monthly sales goals.
  • Developed strategies with internal corporate departments to expand sales growth.

Top Sales Specialist Employers

What Kind Of Companies Hire a Sales Specialist

  1. Victoria's Secret Stores Ltd
  2. Lowe's Companies
  3. JCPenney
  4. Lowe & Partners Worldwide, Inc.
  5. The Home Depot
  6. Macy's
  7. Dillard's
  8. Best Buy
  9. Office Max Inc
  10. Apple
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