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Become A Territory Sales Representative

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Working As A Territory Sales Representative

  • Selling or Influencing Others
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Getting Information
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • $60,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Territory 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.

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How To Become A Territory 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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Territory Sales Representative jobs

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Territory Sales Representative Career Paths

Territory Sales Representative
Sales Consultant Business Development Manager Director Of Sales
Director Of Sales & Business Development
13 Yearsyrs
Sales Specialist District Sales Manager National Account Manager
Enterprise Account Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Sales Manager Office Manager Account Manager
Key Account Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Territory Sales Manager Regional Sales Manager
National Account Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Sales Consultant Territory Manager Regional Sales Manager
National Accounts Sales Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Account Manager Sales Manager Regional Sales Manager
National Sales Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Sales Representative Operations Manager Outside Sales Representative
Outside Sales Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Regional Sales Manager General Manager Account Manager
Regional Accounts Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Sales Representative Account Executive District Sales Manager
Regional Business Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Sales Specialist Account Manager District Sales Manager
Regional Sales And Marketing Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Territory Manager Regional Sales Manager
Regional Sales Director
10 Yearsyrs
Account Executive Sales Manager
Regional Sales Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Account Executive Sales Consultant
Sales Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Sales Manager General Manager Account Executive
Senior Sales Executive
9 Yearsyrs
Territory Sales Manager District Sales Manager Sales Manager
Senior Sales Manager
7 Yearsyrs
District Sales Manager Operations Manager Territory Manager
Senior Territory Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Regional Sales Manager National Account Manager Account Executive
Strategic Accounts Manager
9 Yearsyrs
District Sales Manager Sales And Marketing Manager Account Manager
Territory Account Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Account Manager Account Executive
Territory Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Territory Manager Account Manager Sales Manager
Territory Sales Manager
7 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Outside Sales 3.7 years
Account Executive 2.9 years
Sales Contractor 2.8 years
Sales Professional 2.8 years
Sales Specialist 2.5 years
Sales Consultant 2.2 years
Sales Trainee 1.0 years
Sales Internship 0.5 years
Top Employers Before
Manager 2.9%
Owner 2.3%
Internship 2.3%
Top Employers After
Owner 3.6%

Territory Sales Representative Demographics

Gender

Male

67.9%

Female

30.8%

Unknown

1.3%
Ethnicity

White

83.6%

Hispanic or Latino

8.4%

Asian

6.1%

Unknown

1.4%

Black or African American

0.5%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

58.6%

Italian

7.5%

German

7.5%

French

3.8%

Portuguese

3.8%

Russian

3.0%

Mandarin

2.3%

Carrier

2.3%

Korean

1.5%

Dakota

1.5%

Japanese

1.5%

Swedish

0.8%

Vietnamese

0.8%

Hawaiian

0.8%

Ukrainian

0.8%

Armenian

0.8%

Thai

0.8%

Cantonese

0.8%

Greek

0.8%

Tagalog

0.8%
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Territory Sales Representative Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

13.2%

Florida State University

6.6%

Auburn University

6.1%

University of Georgia

5.5%

Michigan State University

5.3%

University of Alabama

4.8%

University of South Florida

4.6%

University of Houston

4.4%

Stephen F Austin State University

4.4%

Southeast Missouri State University

4.4%

Weber State University

4.4%

Mississippi State University

4.4%

Kansas State University

4.2%

Southern Illinois University Carbondale

4.2%

Texas Tech University

4.2%

University of Central Florida

4.2%

Murray State University

3.9%

Arizona State University

3.9%

San Diego State University

3.7%

University of Missouri - Columbia

3.7%
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Majors

Business

38.8%

Marketing

13.3%

Communication

7.6%

Management

5.5%

Psychology

4.4%

Biology

2.7%

Education

2.6%

Finance

2.6%

Criminal Justice

2.5%

Political Science

2.4%

General Sales

2.1%

Economics

2.1%

Public Relations

2.0%

Kinesiology

1.9%

Accounting

1.7%

Nursing

1.7%

General Studies

1.6%

Liberal Arts

1.6%

English

1.5%

History

1.5%
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Degrees

Bachelors

62.6%

Other

17.5%

Masters

11.0%

Associate

6.0%

Certificate

1.7%

Doctorate

0.6%

Diploma

0.3%

License

0.3%
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Real Territory Sales Representative Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Senior Territory Sales REP IBM Corporation El Segundo, CA Dec 26, 2013 $107,411
Territory Sales Representative Nobel Biocare USA LLC San Francisco, CA Sep 15, 2015 $79,872 -
$92,717
Senior Territory Sales Representative Qiagen, Inc. Ann Arbor, MI May 01, 2011 $72,404
Territory Sales Representative Qiagen, Inc. San Francisco, CA Mar 25, 2013 $66,960
Territory Sales Representative Qiagen, Inc. San Francisco, CA Jun 09, 2011 $65,000
Territory Sales Representative J.R. Simplot Company Monrovia, CA Sep 05, 2015 $57,500

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Top Skills for A Territory Sales Representative

ProductKnowledgeSalesGrowthCustomerServiceNewAccountsMonthlySalesGoalsSalesQuotasMarketShareProductLinesHospitalsTerritorySalesPlanTradeShowsCustomerBaseNewCustomersNewSalesRepresentativesKeyDecisionMakersPrimaryCarePhysiciansAnnualSalesSalesVolumeCardiologyColdCalls

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Top Territory Sales Representative Skills

  1. Product Knowledge
  2. Sales Growth
  3. Customer Service
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Participated in extensive training to enhance product knowledge and sharpen sales skills.
  • Executed strategic sales plans that lead to an overall sales growth for the year of 35%.
  • Earned Largest Total Dollars Award by having best performance in sales, customer service and shortage (FY-01 and FY-03).
  • Used flex time to cold call and acquire over 20 new accounts in 2011 with revenue totaling over $80,000.
  • Exceeded monthly sales goals 95% of months by 10% through effective territory management, planning, and execution.

Top Territory Sales Representative Employers

Territory Sales Representative Videos

A Day in the Life of a Sales Rep

Unleash Your Potential As A Softchoice Territory Sales Rep

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