Career Development

What Does a Salesperson Do?

Find out what a salesperson does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a salesperson.

Salespeople are the face of many companies. They’re the individuals who interact with customers on a daily basis and help to generate revenue by selling products or services. Salespeople may be tasked with selling a wide variety of products, from cars to computers to clothing.

Sales is an incredibly competitive field—there are always more people looking for jobs as salespeople than there are available positions. As a result, salespeople must be able to stand out from the crowd in order to get hired. This often means having strong interpersonal skills, being able to think on your feet, and knowing how to effectively communicate with others.

Salesperson Job Duties

A salesperson typically has a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Maintaining contact with customers by following up with them after an initial sale, offering additional services that may be needed, and providing support to ensure satisfaction
  • Identifying potential clients’ needs and suggesting products or services that could meet those needs
  • Presenting products or services to potential buyers, answering questions about features, benefits, pricing, terms, and conditions
  • Consulting with customers to determine their needs and preferences and then recommending appropriate products or services
  • Maintaining records of sales, including details about customer preferences and purchase history
  • Explaining product or service features and benefits to potential buyers to help them make informed buying decisions
  • Recruiting new clients through cold calling and networking to develop new business opportunities
  • Showing products to customers in a retail environment or demonstrating services in a consulting business setting
  • Engaging in negotiations with customers to finalize sales

Salesperson Salary & Outlook

Sales salaries vary depending on their level of education, years of experience, and the company size and industry. Salespeople may also earn additional compensation in the form of commissions and bonuses.

  • Median Annual Salary: $52,500 ($25.24/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $122,000 ($58.65/hour)

The employment of salespeople is expected to grow slower than average over the next decade.

Employment growth will be limited by the increasing automation of some tasks previously done by sales representatives, such as product demonstrations and lead generation. However, many companies will continue to rely on their sales forces to introduce new products and services and to maintain customer relationships.

Salesperson Job Requirements

A successful salesperson typically has the following:

Education: Salespeople are typically required to have at least a high school diploma or GED. Some companies prefer candidates who have completed some college coursework or have an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. Relevant coursework includes sales, marketing, business and finance.

Training & Experience: Salespeople typically receive on-the-job training from their employers. This training may include learning the company’s products and services, the company’s sales process, the company’s computer systems and the company’s customer base. Salespeople may also receive training in customer service, communication and persuasion.

Certifications & Licenses: Salespeople can earn certifications to gain more theoretical knowledge of their responsibilities and further their career advancement opportunities.

Salesperson Skills

Sales professionals need the following skills in order to be successful:

Communication skills: Communication skills are the ability to convey information to others in a clear and understandable way. Strong communication skills are essential in sales because they allow you to interact with customers and explain the benefits of your products. They also help you to answer customer questions and address any concerns they may have.

Product knowledge: Product knowledge is the ability to explain the features and benefits of a product. It’s important for salespeople to have a thorough understanding of the products they’re selling. This allows them to answer customer questions and address any concerns they may have. You can develop your product knowledge by reading product manuals, attending training sessions and asking your manager or coworkers for help.

Customer service: Customer service skills can help you provide quality service to your customers. Customer service involves understanding your customer’s needs and providing them with the information they need to make a decision. You can also use customer service skills to help your customers feel valued and appreciated.

Problem-solving: Problem-solving skills allow you to identify issues and find solutions. As a salesperson, you may encounter challenges that require you to think of solutions. For example, if a customer is hesitant to buy a product, you may need to think of ways to persuade them to make a purchase.

Persuasive selling: Persuasive selling is the ability to convince a customer to buy a product. This is a crucial skill for salespeople because it can help you increase your sales and earn a higher salary. You can use persuasive selling when you’re explaining the benefits of a product or service. You can also use it when you’re negotiating with a customer to get them to agree to a lower price.

Salesperson Work Environment

Salespeople work in a variety of settings, including retail stores, offices, and on the road. They may work regular full-time hours, or they may work evenings and weekends to accommodate their customers’ schedules. They may also travel frequently to meet with clients or potential customers. Salespeople often work under pressure to meet quotas or deadlines. They may also experience rejection on a regular basis, which can be frustrating and stressful. However, salespeople who are successful in their jobs find the work to be exciting and rewarding.

Salesperson Trends

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

The Rise of the Digital Sales Rep

The rise of the digital sales rep is a trend that is quickly changing the way businesses sell products and services. With more and more customers shopping online, salespeople need to be able to adapt and find ways to reach them through social media and other channels.

Salespeople who are successful in the digital age will need to be well-versed in marketing and advertising techniques. They will also need to be able to create a strong connection with potential customers through social media and other platforms.

More Focus on Customer Experience

The customer experience is becoming increasingly important for businesses as they strive to keep their customers happy. This means that salespeople will need to focus on providing excellent service and creating a positive atmosphere for their customers.

In order to be successful in this new environment, salespeople will need to be able to understand what makes customers happy and how to create an environment that meets their needs. They will also need to be able to communicate effectively with customers and provide them with the information they need.

Greater Use of Technology

Technology is playing an ever-increasing role in the world of sales. As technology advances, sales professionals are finding new and innovative ways to use it to their advantage.

One example of this is the use of chatbots to automate customer support. Chatbots can help sales professionals to manage their time more efficiently, while also providing customers with a convenient way to get answers to their questions.

How to Become a Salesperson

Sales is a great career choice for people who are outgoing, have a strong work ethic, and enjoy meeting new people. It’s also a field that offers many opportunities for growth. You can move up the ladder to become a sales manager or even start your own business selling products or services.

The best way to get started in sales is to find a company that sells products or services you believe in and want to sell. Then put in the time and effort needed to learn about the company’s products and how to sell them effectively. Network with other salespeople and attend training sessions to improve your skills.

Related: How to Write a Salesperson Resume

Advancement Prospects

Salespeople can advance in their careers by taking on more responsibility, such as managing a team of salespeople, or by increasing their sales volume. Some salespeople move into sales management, where they oversee a team of salespeople and are responsible for meeting sales goals. Others move into marketing, product development, or other areas of the company where they can use their sales skills and knowledge to benefit the company in other ways. The most successful salespeople are usually the ones who are the most adaptable and who are able to learn about new products and industries quickly.

Salesperson Job Description Example

Are you a people person? Do you love the challenge of a good sales pitch? If you’re looking for an opportunity to use your skills to earn a great income, [CompanyX] wants you! We’re looking for an experienced salesperson to join our team and help us continue to grow. The ideal candidate will have a proven track record in sales, with the ability to build relationships, close deals, and meet quotas. He or she will be a self-starter with a positive attitude and a desire to succeed. If you’re looking for an opportunity to grow with a company, this is the job for you!

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Understand the needs of customers and prospects, and identify opportunities to upsell or cross-sell products
  • Build relationships with customers and maintain regular contact to ensure satisfaction and address any concerns
  • Stay up-to-date on product knowledge and features, as well as industry trends, to best serve customer needs
  • Generate leads through market research, networking, and cold-calling
  • Convert leads into sales through effective communication of product benefits and value proposition
  • Negotiate pricing and terms of sale with customers
  • Prepare and deliver presentations to potential customers
  • Manage customer accounts, including processing orders and invoicing
  • Maintain accurate records of all sales activities in CRM system
  • Achieve monthly sales targets set by management
  • Participate in trade shows and other marketing events to promote products
  • Provide feedback to management on market trends and suggestions for new products and services

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • Proven sales experience
  • Track record of achieving targets
  • Excellent communication, negotiation, and presentation skills
  • Self-motivated with a results-driven approach
  • Highly organized and detail oriented
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in business, marketing, or related field
  • 2+ years in a customer service or administrative role
  • Experience working with CRM software
  • Familiarity with MS Office and Google Suite
  • Social media marketing experience

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