How To Become An Outside Sales Representative
An outside sales representative offers them your company’s products and services to people who are interested in them. You are the opposite of the company’s inside sales representative whose main task is to conduct sales transactions remotely.
When talking with clients, you will highlight the features and convince them of the benefits of your product or service. It’s imperative that you know what you are offering so that you can answer any questions that your customers may have.
Negotiation is an important part of the work so as an outside sales representative, you must employ this skillfully so you can close the deal. Sometimes, you may even need to lower your price a little and even sacrifice a bit of your commission to be able to make a sale.
Your other responsibilities include preparing bids and doing background research on a particular client in order to make a proposal that will most likely win. They may also draft sales contracts and address customer concerns. The latter may include orders that have not arrived or defective goods.
To succeed as an outside sales representative, you need to be very good communicator. You should have the ability to talk with and listen to your customers so you will understand what their needs are. You should also be very flexible so that you will know how to respond to sudden changes like losing a bid or customers not pushing through with a purchase promised to an inside sales representative over the phone. Persistence is another virtue that all outside sales representatives possess. You won’t always close a deal with all your prospects but this does not mean that you should give up. Rather, you should use that as a learning experience to do better next time. Since you will be traveling a lot to meet with clients, good health and physical stamina are also going to be important traits.
Why Become An Outside Sales Representative
A career as an outside sales representative is best suited for those who love the challenge that comes with the sales profession. It is the ideal career for those who love social interaction and look forward to communicating with people. This is also for the individual who is self-driven since the earnings will be based on commissions. As businesses expand and seek to grow their client base, the opportunities for employment are also numerous in this profession in the next few years.
Outside Sales Representative Work Environment
Outside sales representatives can work in virtually any industry that needs sales representatives to market their products. Wholesale and manufacturing firms, for example, hire outside sales representatives, who are responsible for conducting medium to large business-to-business and business-to-consumer transactions. While they may write documents and call clients from the comfort of their offices, outside sales representatives work in the field most of the time. Depending on the area they cover, representatives may travel domestically or they may need to go abroad. The stress from this job comes from the fact that outside sales representatives have a quota to fill. They could potentially lose their job if they don’t meet their assigned quotas.
Outside Sales Representative Salary
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics does not have salary data specifically for outside sales representatives. However, it does have salary information for the general category of sales representatives. According to the Occupational Employment and Wages report of the agency, the mean annual wage for services sales representatives which include advertising and insurance sales agents is $68,680 while for wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives, the mean annual wage is $68,880.
Outside Sales Representative Career Outlook
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected a positive job growth for sales representatives in the coming years. In the decade covering 2012 to 2022, the growth rate of wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives is set at 9 percent, a rate that is about the same as the national average for all job types. The job opportunities are even better for sales representatives working in the wholesale electronic markets. It is projected to increase 30 percent from 2012 to 2022.
Outside Sales Representative Degree
Outside sales representatives who are selling nontechnical products may be able to get an entry-level post with a high school diploma. However, companies that sell medical, scientific and technical products usually require a bachelor’s degree in a science-related course. Training for new employees is typically given on the job. Those who are new in the company are usually paired with experienced sales managers who teach them various techniques and tips before they are left to do their work on their own.