FIND PERSONALIZED JOBS
Sign up to Zippia and discover your career options with your personalized career search.

Log In

Log In to Save

Sign Up to Save

Sign Up to Dismiss

or

The email and password you specified are invalid. Please, try again.

Email and password are mandatory

Forgot Password?

Don't have an account? Sign Up

reset password

Enter your email address and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Back to Log In

FIND
PERSONALIZED JOBS

Become A Specialty Sales Representative

Where do you want to work?

To get started, tell us where you'd like to work.
Sorry, we can't find that. Please try a different city or state.

Working As A Specialty Sales Representative

  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Getting Information
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
  • Make Decisions

  • $76,190

    Average Salary

What Does A Specialty 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.

Show More

Show Less

How To Become A Specialty 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.

Show More

Show Less

Specialty Sales Representative jobs

NO RESULTS

Aw snap, no jobs found.

Add To My Jobs

Specialty Sales Representative Career Paths

Specialty Sales Representative
Territory Business Manager Pharmaceutical Sales Specialist Specialty Representative
Area Business Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Territory Manager Account Manager Sales Manager
Director Of Sales
10 Yearsyrs
Regional Manager Sales Consultant Sales Trainer
District Business Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Account Manager District Sales Manager
Division Sales Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Account Manager Account Executive Regional Sales Manager
National Sales Director
10 Yearsyrs
Territory Manager Sales Manager Regional Sales Manager
National Sales Manager
10 Yearsyrs
District Sales Manager Regional Sales Manager
Northeast Regional Sales Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Sales Trainer District Business Manager
Regional Business Director
12 Yearsyrs
District Manager Sales Consultant District Sales Manager
Regional Business Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Sales Representative Sales Manager Regional Sales Manager
Regional Sales Director
10 Yearsyrs
Territory Sales Manager Senior Account Executive Territory Manager
Regional Territory Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Sales Specialist Account Manager District Manager
Senior District Manager
8 Yearsyrs
District Sales Manager Director Of Sales
Senior Sales Director
9 Yearsyrs
Sales Specialist District Sales Manager
Senior Territory Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Sales Manager Territory Sales Manager
Southeast Regional Sales Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Sales Consultant Senior Sales Representative Account Manager
Territory Account Manager
8 Yearsyrs
District Manager Operations Manager Territory Manager
Territory Business Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Senior Sales Representative Account Executive
Territory Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Sales Consultant Business Development Manager Director Of Sales
Vice President Of Sales & Operations
12 Yearsyrs
Territory Sales Manager Regional Sales And Marketing Manager
West Coast Sales Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Show More

Average Length of Employment
Sales Specialist 2.5 years
Top Employers Before
Top Employers After
Specialist 1.9%

Specialty Sales Representative Demographics

Gender

Female

49.6%

Male

49.2%

Unknown

1.2%
Ethnicity

White

83.1%

Hispanic or Latino

8.6%

Asian

6.5%

Unknown

1.4%

Black or African American

0.5%
Show More
Languages Spoken

Spanish

60.4%

French

11.0%

German

3.3%

Russian

3.3%

Italian

3.3%

Portuguese

2.2%

Japanese

2.2%

Greek

2.2%

Arabic

2.2%

Hindi

1.1%

Polish

1.1%

Marathi

1.1%

Georgian

1.1%

Dutch

1.1%

Persian

1.1%

Ukrainian

1.1%

Korean

1.1%

Thai

1.1%
Show More

Specialty Sales Representative Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

12.3%

Michigan State University

7.2%

Florida State University

7.2%

West Virginia University

6.3%

Ball State University

5.4%

Ohio State University

5.2%

Pennsylvania State University

5.2%

University of Pittsburgh -

4.9%

Saint Joseph's University

4.6%

University of Arizona

4.6%

Florida International University

4.3%

Western Michigan University

4.3%

University of Alabama

3.7%

Auburn University

3.7%

Temple University

3.7%

University of Georgia

3.7%

Central Michigan University

3.7%

University of Kentucky

3.4%

University of Delaware

3.4%

East Tennessee State University

3.2%
Show More
Majors

Business

31.0%

Marketing

14.2%

Communication

8.1%

Psychology

6.6%

Management

5.6%

Biology

5.0%

Nursing

3.4%

Finance

2.8%

Kinesiology

2.8%

Political Science

2.7%

Education

2.6%

Public Relations

2.3%

English

1.9%

Health Care Administration

1.8%

Health Education

1.6%

Sociology

1.6%

Journalism

1.6%

Liberal Arts

1.6%

Human Resources Management

1.5%

Economics

1.3%
Show More
Degrees

Bachelors

70.2%

Masters

20.0%

Other

6.2%

Associate

1.7%

Certificate

1.2%

Doctorate

0.7%

Diploma

0.1%

License

0.0%
Show More
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills for A Specialty Sales Representative

TerritoryManagementNewProductLaunchNeurologyMarketShareGrowthSalesGrowthPrimaryCarePhysiciansHospitalsSalesGoalsCardiologyPsychiatryEndocrinologyRheumatologyQuotaOncologyDermatologyPainManagementGastroenterologyAllergyBusinessPlanSalesRepresentatives

Show More

Top Specialty Sales Representative Skills

  1. Territory Management
  2. New Product Launch
  3. Neurology
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Organized and implemented sales strategies, goal setting, territory management and physician educational programs.
  • Top performer out of ten Sales Reps in an aggressive, competitive new product launch.
  • Developed relationships and partnered with specialists including anesthesiology, neurology, pain, and physical medicine as well as retail pharmacists.
  • Achieved highest market share growth for primary and secondary products for Q1 and Q2 FY09-South Central Region.
  • Maximize customer relationships as well as the hospital systems they are associated with to drive sales growth and product advocacy.

Top Specialty Sales Representative Employers