This article contains everything you need to know about a Sales Representative job duties and description
In an era where every Tom and Harry has become an entrepreneur having one product and service or the other, making sales becomes the next and only option regardless of how it is achieved. All thanks to technology and social media, selling has been made very easy. Even an uneducated person can market and sell through any means successfully without flinching.
As individuals, it is not everyone with products that has the skills to market products and make sales. For big companies, the services of sales representatives are inevitable. Whether it is a visual or physical company/ business, sales representatives are highly sought.
A Sales representative is sometimes associated with working for B2B(Business to business) companies. This implies that these professionals take the products and services from one company to another.
Sales representatives are agents who are responsible for presenting available products and services to the market. They communicate the benefits of a company’s products to the target audience in order to drive sales. They serve as a point of contact between a business and its prospects.
Sales representatives are employed in various industries, ranging from food, manufacturing to healthcare. This role cannot be handled by just anybody. Hence, it requires a person with certain skills and probably qualification as the case may be.
However, to become a sales representative, you may be required to have a Bachelor’s degree in business, economics, marketing or any related field, with experience in sales process and excellent customer service.
In respect to skills, a sales representative should have the following skills;
- an excellent communication skill in both written and verbal forms,
- great interpersonal skills, which includes ability to relate well with prospects and clients
- Good organizational and operational, skills in a customer service and sales focused environment,
- being proactive and goal-oriented;
- Analytical, problem-solving, and decision-making skills.
This skill is required in the aspect of identifying issues and resolving problems in a timely manner;
- Technically skilled including competence in the use of Microsoft packages such as Ms Word, Excel, etc.
Having these skills and experiences are necessary to be able to discharge the duties easily. With this, we will be taking a look at the duties of a sales representative and if by any means you desire this role, read carefully to have a clear understanding of what the role involves.
As stated above, sales representatives majorly determine whether or not a company will smile to the bank at the end of the day. In no particular order, here are the duties of a sales representative;
SALES REPRESENTATIVE JOB DESCRIPTION
1. Sales representative present, promote and sell products/services
This is the major duty of a sales representative. They present as well as promote the company’s products to the target audience using strong arguments to existing and prospective customers.
In order to effectively promote a product before prospects, the sales representative may be required to have first-hand knowledge of the product or service. Sometimes, they may be required to learn how to operate and demonstrate products or machinery. Regardless of what the product or service is, becoming aware about its benefits and limitations of a product is a crucial aspect of selling.
This is so because one can only teach about what they have knowledge of. Representatives who are very familiar with the products or services they offer are most likely to answer questions authoritatively and stand a greater chance to close sales.
2. Generating Leads
How well a sales representative presents and promotes a company’s product may or may not result in immediate purchase. Sometimes, it just arouses the interest of the prospects. For instance, a sales representative may advertise a particular product and the manner in which this was done may get the attention of prospects who may indicate interest to purchase. Where the advert included links to the company’s page and website, the prospect may just check out the site. This singular act is a simple way to generate leads.
3. Converting the Lead to Purchase
I may not be an experienced sales representative, but from the knowledge I have, I know that generating leads is just one step to making sales. It is one thing to generate lead and another thing to convert the lead to effective purchase. A lot of sales people are good at generating leads and end up wasting the leads.
In order not to waste leads, a sales representative follows up immediately and interacts extensively with these prospective clients. The aim is to eventually get these people to buy. Bear in mind that prospects differ. Some may appear like time wasters. This is where your interpersonal skill comes into play.
4. Negotiate And Use Persuasion Skills To Overcome Objections.
Having generated leads, a sales representative is also saddled with the responsibility of breaking the barriers that may stop the prospect from purchasing. The sales rep therefore negotiates as well as uses persuasion skills to achieve this. This is also an indicator that a sales representative must have an excellent persuasion skill to be able to deal with difficult prospects.
Negotiating contracts with potential clients is also part of the job description.
5. Identifying Prospective Clients
Like I stated earlier, generating leads is just a step to purchasing, and not every lead generated or every person who asks questions about a product is a potential client. Thus, identifying prospects just may be a very crucial task in a sales representative job description. Some people are just time wasters and as such, it is the duty of a sales representative to identify representatives.
Hence, before the representatives make phone calls, send emails or even waste time on time wasters, they research businesses or prospects that might need their products and services.
If a company or an individual expresses interest, it is the duty of the sales representative to schedule an introductory meeting. The first meeting may focus on the benefits of the product or service, pricing and a discussion of the prospect’s needs.
6. Contacting Existing Clients Periodically
There is a saying that a person who buys once is not a client but the person who comes back to purchase over again. The tendency of a first time buyer to come back again depends on the sales representative.
Therefore, a sales agent ensures that clients are happy with the services or products they received. Sometimes, as a sales rep, you may not be able to know how the client feels except you reach out to them and engage them in a conversation.
Contacting them periodically may also present the opportunity to talk to and persuade clients to buy new products or contracts. In other words, selling to clients the first time is not where the duty stops. Following up is your duty to sustain the customer relationship.
7. Report Writing
Selling is one of the crucial duties of a sales representative. However, it is also in their place to write reports about sales and all that is related to it. This is why excellent communication skills in both written and oral form are necessary. So, preparing weekly and monthly reports are mandatory.
8. Organize and Stock Shelves During
Yes. This is a typical duty of a sales representative in a physical company. Ever visited a Mart before? I’m sure you have taken time to notice how nearly arranged and organized the place is, with products arranged in different sessions for or easy access.
In other words, a sales representative ensures that items are well organized for easy access.
9. Meeting or Exceeding Sales Goals
Ideally, sales representatives are expected to meet and even exceed sales goals. In many cases, this is referred to as a target. Hence, sales representatives are expected to apply every sales strategy to enable them meet or even exceed the target
As a sales representative, you’re also saddled with the responsibility of helping to determine pricing for quotes, promotions, and negotiations because as one who is familiar with market trends and dynamics, you will be in the best position to place your products at a very affordable price.
11. Obtaining Payments
There are times some clients may make part payment. This is only peculiar to trust and credit worthy clients. In this case, it is also the sales representative that will obtain both the deposit and balance of payment from clients.
12. Conducting Market Research
In order for a company to make enough sales, market research and surveys must be carried out. This is to better understand what strategies competitors are applying to drive sales in order to know how to match or surpass the existing competition. It is the duty of a sales representative to conduct the market survey for useful information.
13. Coordinating Sales Programs
Selling is a very crucial aspect of every business and as such sales representatives are expected to organize programs that will bring about maximum sales. It may include running ads, in-house trade fairs and all sorts of programs that strategically target sales.
14. Answering Client Questions
As a sales representative you are in close contact with prospects and clients. All questions relating to the company’s products and services such as credit terms, prices, and availability, will be directed to you. This is why having full knowledge of the products is necessary as it will enable you to answer the questions confidently.
15. Ask For Customer Feedback For Analysis
While some sales representatives are after making sales and pocketing the money, others go an extra mile to ask for feedback which is a beautiful thing to do. That being said, asking for customer feedback is basically to attract more customers and above all how effective your products are.
One of the best ways to evaluate whether or not you need to adjust the customer experience is with direct feedback. What you do with these feedbacks shows how willing you are to take your business to the next level.
16. Supply Management with Reports
As a sales representative, you’re the eye of the company and it is your responsibility to report back to the management on customer problems, needs, interests, competitive activities and possible ways of improvement. Thus, the feedback you give to the management is what will be acted upon. For this reason, you must endeavour to give an accurate report.
Other duties include;
- Maintaining client records.
- Performing cost-benefit analysis of existing/potential customers in order to meet their needs
- Being aware of promotional trends and implementing them to achieve great sales.
- overseeing online transactions and sales
- Working closely with other team members for operations and customer support and for an excellent customer satisfaction
- Drafting contracts and overseeing all purchase agreements.
- Conducting post-sale follow ups in order to assess and help customers with any problem or question they may have.
- Following updates on current market changes and trends.
Making sales is a very crucial aspect of business. This is why one of the top criteria for determining a successful company is the amount of sales made. As a result of this, companies go a long way to employ sales professionals in order to record desired sales. As seen, sales representatives are professionals who are responsible for selling a company’s products and services to other companies.
In summary, the sales representative is responsible for overseeing the sale of products or services from beginning to the end. Hence, a sales representative should know their product or service inside and out to be able to support clients with adequate information about the products.
However, their job description includes a lot more than just selling to other companies. They are also involved in administrative jobs which includes, writing periodic reports, preparing sales contracts, etc. Among other duties also includes carrying out market surveys to keep up with market trends, identifying prospects, developing sales strategies and promotion.
Sometimes, the duties of a sales representative may differ depending on the company. This is also applicable to the salary. For some companies, salaries received are dependent on the amount of sales made. Where the sales target is not achieved, the salary equally suffers.
Nevertheless, being a sales representative could also provide one with many opportunities of meeting and interacting with different calibers of individuals. This is the major reason a lot of people go for this position. If you’re good at persuading people, negotiating and also possess excellent communication skills and a host of other requirements, then this profession is worth checking out.
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