What Does An Outside Sales Representative Do?
Virtually all companies who are engaged in the business of producing goods or providing services to people have a team of sales representatives whose main responsibility is to sell their offers to prospective customers. Those who do so remotely by calling up clients through phone or corresponding with them through email are called inside sales representatives. Those who meet with clients face to face to do business are called outside sales representatives.
The main responsibility of outside sales representatives is to call and meet with existing and prospective clients to introduce them to a new product or service. Depending on the nature of business of the company, they may transact with individual customers or they may visit institutions like schools, hospitals and other organizations to make their offers. They are typically given a particular territory to cover and a quota to meet. This is the stressful part of the job since outside sales representatives could lose their job if they continue to fail in meeting their quotas.
When sales representatives meet with clients, they explain to them the product’s features as well as its advantages. They answer any questions that the client may have about it. Using their familiarity with the product, they respond to any objections that the clients have about any of its features so they can convince them that the product is good for them. The negotiation process can be very precarious and outside sales representatives may have to bend a little by reducing prices even if it means gaining smaller commissions to be able to close a sale and satisfy a client.
To finalize a sale, outside sales representatives draw up sales agreements and give information to customers about such things as warranties, returns and exchanges and, if the product still needs to be delivered, the projected delivery date. Representatives must also continue to provide excellent customer service to their customers even after the sale has been finalized. This is especially true of technical and electronic products which can be complicated to operate. For large scale orders of equipment, like new computer software, for example, outside sales representatives typically coordinate with their company to provide technical training to the employees of their clients who will be using the equipment.
Outside sales representatives may also be responsible for making bids to a project. Before they can make a convincing project proposal, they must do their research about the company asking for the bid, study the market and the industry and coordinate with other members of their sales team and management to iron out the finer details of the proposal. Outside sales representatives are responsible for presenting their proposals so that they can bag an account. They will have to make visual aids (e.g. PowerPoint and videos) beforehand so they can make a persuasive case.
Outside sales representatives also touch base with their supervisors and other members of the sales team regularly to discuss goals and performance expectations. They also write reports and prepare other documentation for various purposes.