Career Development

What Does an International Sales Representative Do?

Find out what an international sales representative does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as an international sales representative.

International sales representatives are the people who bring new products and services to market. They work with companies that manufacture or sell goods or services, helping them find new markets for their products and build relationships with potential buyers.

International sales representatives commonly specialize in a particular industry or product category. This allows them to develop deep knowledge of the needs of their clients and how they can best meet those needs through their products or services.

International Sales Representative Job Duties

An international sales representative typically has a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Meeting with clients to develop relationships, discuss product details, and provide customer service
  • Identifying potential clients within specific industries, businesses, or organizations that might have a need for products or services offered by the company
  • Presenting sales proposals to clients that include pricing information and terms of agreement, such as contract length and termination clauses
  • Negotiating contracts with clients to ensure mutual satisfaction, and ensuring that agreements are adhered to over time
  • Identifying opportunities for client growth by offering additional products or services that complement existing offerings
  • Coordinating shipping of products from manufacturers to customers’ locations
  • Maintaining clients’ records in a computer database such as or Microsoft Dynamics.
  • Following up with clients after initial meetings to ensure satisfaction with products or services provided
  • Presenting new products or services to existing clients to increase business opportunities

International Sales Representative Salary & Outlook

International sales representatives’ salaries vary depending on their level of education, years of experience, and the company they work for.

  • Median Annual Salary: $66,500 ($31.97/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $132,000 ($63.46/hour)

The employment of international sales representatives is expected to grow at an average rate over the next decade.

Employment growth will be driven by the increasing globalization of business and trade. As companies expand their operations into new markets, they will need to hire more international sales representatives to help sell their products and services in these areas.

Related: International Sales Representative Interview Questions and Answers

International Sales Representative Job Requirements

In order to become an international sales representative, you may need to have the following:

Education: Most international sales representative positions require at least a bachelor’s degree. Some companies may hire candidates with a high school diploma or GED certificate, but these candidates will need to have extensive experience in sales and marketing.

Training & Experience: International sales representatives typically receive on-the-job training from their new employer. This training may include learning about the company’s products and services, the company’s business practices and the company’s sales process. The training may also include instruction on how to use the company’s computer systems and software.

Certifications & Licenses: Although there is no official certification for an international sales representative, many companies offer certifications to help sales professionals understand the needs of international customers.

International Sales Representative Skills

International sales representatives need the following skills in order to be successful:

Communication skills: Communication skills are essential in sales roles, as they allow you to interact with customers and colleagues effectively. Strong communication skills can help you build rapport with customers, answer their questions and address any concerns they may have. They can also help you collaborate with other sales representatives to develop strategies to meet sales goals and improve customer satisfaction.

Product knowledge: Product knowledge is the ability to understand the features and benefits of a product. This is an important skill for sales representatives because it allows them to answer questions about the product and explain why it’s a good choice for a customer. It’s also important because it allows you to make recommendations for products that may be a better fit for a customer’s needs.

Negotiation skills: Negotiation skills are also important for international sales representatives. You may need to negotiate with suppliers to get the best prices for products or negotiate with customers to get them to accept a higher price for a product. You can also use negotiation skills to negotiate your salary or negotiate for time off.

Time management skills: Time management skills allow you to prioritize your tasks and complete them within a certain time frame. As a sales representative, you may have multiple tasks each day, including making calls, sending emails, visiting clients and attending meetings. Having strong time management skills can help you complete all of your tasks and still have time to complete other tasks throughout the day.

Problem-solving skills: Problem-solving skills are essential for sales representatives, as they may encounter challenges that require them to find solutions. For example, if a customer is hesitant to make a purchase, a sales representative may need to think of ways to convince them to buy their product. Similarly, if a customer is unsatisfied with their purchase, a sales representative may need to find a way to make them happy.

International Sales Representative Work Environment

International sales representatives work for companies that export or import goods. They are responsible for finding new customers and maintaining relationships with existing ones in other countries. They work closely with other members of the company’s sales team, as well as with marketing, shipping, and finance staff. International sales representatives typically work Monday through Friday, although they may have to work evenings and weekends to attend trade shows or meet with clients. They also travel frequently, sometimes spending several weeks or months at a time in another country. Because of the time spent away from home and the pressure to make sales, the job can be stressful.

International Sales Representative Trends

Here are three trends influencing how international sales representatives work. International sales representatives will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Growth of the Digital Economy

The digital economy is growing rapidly, and this is having a significant impact on the way that businesses operate. In order to stay competitive, companies need to be able to sell their products and services online.

This trend is creating opportunities for international sales representatives, who can use their language skills and cultural knowledge to connect with potential customers in new markets. By doing so, they can help their company reach new heights of success.

The Emergence of B2B E-Commerce

The emergence of B2B e-commerce is a trend that is quickly changing the way that business is done. As more and more businesses move towards online transactions, sales representatives will need to adapt by developing strong e-commerce skills.

By understanding how to market products online and build relationships with potential customers, sales representatives can position themselves as experts in their field and set themselves up for long-term success.

More Focus on Personalization

As technology advances, businesses are increasingly focusing on personalizing their products and services to meet the needs of individual customers. This trend is especially evident in the world of marketing, where companies are using data to create targeted ads and content.

International sales representatives can capitalize on this trend by becoming familiar with the latest technologies and methods for personalizing products and services. They can also work to develop strong relationships with customers, so that they can provide feedback on what works and what doesn’t.

How to Become an International Sales Representative

A career as an international sales representative can be a great way to see the world and make money. It’s important to consider all aspects of this job before you take the plunge, including the company you work for, the products you sell, and the countries you travel to.

One of the most important things to think about is the company you work for. Do some research on the company and its culture to ensure it’s a good fit for you. Also, find out what type of products they sell and if those products are in demand in the countries you plan to visit.

When it comes to traveling, make sure you have the right insurance coverage to protect yourself in case of an emergency. You should also set up a system for keeping in touch with family and friends while you’re away.

Advancement Prospects

International sales representatives typically advance by taking on larger territories or more responsibility within their company. As they prove themselves capable of handling increased workloads and responsibilities, they may be promoted to positions such as sales manager or director. In some cases, international sales representatives may also advance by starting their own import/export business.

International Sales Representative Job Description Example

At [CompanyX], we’re looking for an experienced sales representative to open up new markets for us internationally. The ideal candidate will have a proven track record in sales, as well as experience living and working in multiple countries. They will be responsible for identifying new business opportunities, developing relationships with potential customers, and closing deals. They will also be responsible for staying up to date on market trends and developments, and providing feedback to the company on ways to improve our products and services for the international market.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Develop and maintain relationships with new and existing customers to increase sales
  • Understand customer needs and requirements to provide solutions that meet their expectations
  • Negotiate pricing and terms of sale with customers
  • Monitor market trends and competitor activity to identify business opportunities
  • Prepare and deliver presentations, proposals, and product demonstrations to potential and existing customers
  • Achieve or exceed assigned sales targets
  • Keep abreast of new products and services to promote to customers
  • Attend trade shows and conferences to generate leads and build relationships
  • Maintain accurate records of customer communications and interactions in the company CRM
  • Provide feedback to management on market trends, competitive activity, and customer needs and requirements
  • Work closely with other departments within the organization to ensure a coordinated effort in meeting customer needs
  • Travel as needed to visit customers and attend industry events

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in business, marketing, or related field
  • 5+ years sales experience, with a proven track record of success
  • Experience working with international clients
  • Fluent in English and at least one other language
  • Excellent communication, negotiation, and presentation skills
  • Strong organizational and time-management skills

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • MBA or other advanced degree
  • 7+ years sales experience
  • Fluency in multiple languages
  • Experience living or working abroad
  • In-depth knowledge of the international market


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