Demystifying the Role of a Sales Representative in 2021: What You Need to Know

Sales Representative

A common misconception is that engineers are the only people involved in the technology business. Despite sales’ prominence as an essential skill, hiring managers have sometimes needed help finding qualified candidates to fill sales positions. Business owners and technology groups have accepted that even if you create world-class software, you still need a seasoned sales professional to make a profit.

Meanwhile, sales have been through a period of rapid change. There are new types of jobs, and software is no longer optional. This piece explains what a sales representative does and how you might start a successful career in this field.

Definition of a sales representative

An organization’s sales team is its first point of contact with potential customers. Sales representatives pursue sales by researching, generating leads, and establishing rapport with potential clients.

How a Sales Rep makes those things happen differs dramatically from one product or service to another. A salesperson’s approach and strategy will vary depending on several factors, including the company’s structure, the product or service being sold, the target market and the industry in which the firm operates. A salesperson’s job is to raise brand recognition and ultimately drive sales of the company’s goods and services.

A sales representative’s duties

Sales agents in contemporary businesses often are responsible for the following tasks:

  • Researching one’s intended customer base and then developing strategies to increase the flow of potential customers.
  • They build a prospective customer database and contact them through phone calls, emails and social media.
  • Customer service includes teaching them why and how to use the offered product or service.
  •  They talk with potential customers, negotiate rates, and seal the transaction.
  • They keep tabs on the sales pipeline and your various contacts.
  • They incorporate attendance at sales manager meetings into your routine to stay current on sales team structure changes and new targets.

Sales representative types

Different types of sales agents exist, each with its own set of priorities and methods.

Outside Sales

A traditional salesperson works as an outside sales rep, leaving the office to go out and meet with customers in person. Most of your time will be spent away from the office, and you need to be self-motivated to get things done.

Inside Sales

Representatives working within the business are responsible for maintaining the firm’s established rapport with its customers. This kind of sales is a little more up-to-date and focuses on retaining existing customers and expanding their lifetime worth to your firm.

 Sales Engineer

A sales engineer’s job bridges the gap between the technical and business worlds. A sales engineer’s primary role is to learn about customers’ needs and provide product recommendations in technology. The primary difference between this role and a typical outside salesperson is the need to be familiar with technology and how it may be adapted to meet the needs of different customers.

Business development

Instead of focusing on making sales, a business developer looks for ways to expand the firm via strategic alliances and other means. Sometimes this requires interacting with potential new customers and closing deals with them. It may also need strategic partnerships with complementary enterprises to pursue growth opportunities jointly.

Sales manager

Customer service representatives, known as “account managers,” work to maintain and grow connections with a certain set of customers. An account manager’s job is to increase the company’s income from each current customer by renewing contracts and expanding individual client accounts.

What are the steps to getting a job as a sales rep?

A career in sales has modest entrance requirements and offers significant opportunities for advancement via on-the-job training.



The typical sales representative position does not often need any specific level of schooling. A high school diploma is usually the minimum educational requirement for entry-level positions. However, working in tech sales or a specialist area like pharmaceuticals may need further education.


There is no required educational level or work experience for a sales position. Even if you’re brand new to the workforce, all you need to do to prove your worth is to show that you know something about the field in which your organization works. Experience in customer service or marketing would be beneficial if you’re looking to transition into a sales role.


The following are some of the most important qualities a salesperson should possess:

  • Communication
  • Prospecting
  •  Establishing Connections
  • Negotiation
  • Studying the Market and Products
  • Presentation
  • Effective territory administration


  • Spotting a Market

As a sales professional, you may specialize in any field that piques your interest or where you have the most experience. Without prior work experience or sector expertise, you should target sales positions in consumer packaged goods or insurance, both of which offer very easy entry points. For example, companies in the IT and finance sectors often look for candidates with relevant work experience or academic credentials.

  • Training

You may expect to learn most on the job as a sales representative. Your new employer will train you in prospecting, proposal writing, CRM use and other sales processes. Beyond that, it is reasonable to assume that you will be expected to dig headfirst into your work and use the constructive criticism you get to make substantive improvements.

  • Networking

Networking is a must to be successful in sales. It would help if you were an expert at finding new leads and developing rapport with them. Networking with other salespeople and industry professionals is also beneficial.

The role of a Sales Representative is to act as the face of a company and build relationships with customers while selling products and services. With the right skills and attitude, you can become a successful Sales Representative and significantly impact the industry. The above overviews what it takes to become a successful Sales Representative and how to excel in the role.

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About the Author: Elena

Elena Tsai is an Online Marketing Expert, Premier Google Partner. In addition to being the founder of this website, Elena is also an interactive and SEO Specialist with 5 years of experience who is available for freelance and full-time work.

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