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Jobs - Sales Representative Job Description

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Many people contemplate getting a sales job at one time or another whether for a permanent career or a job change. While the work responsibilities and opportunities for jobs sales can often be rewarding through employer discounts, high commission structures, and flex-schedules, this type of job does not simply lend itself to anyone. First, experience is often required in the specific industry to which you're applying. Second, not everyone has the personal characteristics to be an effective marketer or seller. Third, some companies may require travel in and around a certain geographic region.

Retail Sales People

Several different types of jobs sales exist for those who may be interested in this type of career. Retail sales representatives, pharmaceutical sales representatives, as well as wholesale and manufacturing sales jobs are all possibilities for a career in this industry. Retail sales representatives typically work for consumer- or business-retail product or service companies. For example, cable and internet sales people, automobile sales people, and cell phone sales representatives all fall under this category as their main goal is to solicit sales from either consumers or businesses.

Insurance sales representative, though working in a slightly different sales environment, is another type of retail sales position. Insurance sales agents typically contract with a larger company who performs the actual underwriting and insuring. Many times these sales agents work as self-employed individuals in a private office, but must communicate regularly with clients who buy the insurance products.

Wholesale and Manufacturing Sales Reps

On the other hand, wholesale and manufacturing sales jobs often involve working for a manufacturer or producer of goods. These jobs entail marketing raw materials, equipment, and other supplies to business customers who need these types of products in order to operate or function. For example, a laboratory supplies company hires sales representatives to solicit orders from private laboratories, colleges and universities, and governmental departments. Pharmaceutical jobs sales representatives work directly for a medication manufacturer marketing new medications and soliciting orders from hospitals and medical centers.

Salaries for Different Sales Jobs

When it comes to determining the type of salary you may have working in these types of jobs, sales representatives annual earnings depend on several factors. First, the commission structure of the specific company you work for relates directly to how much you can earn as some commission plans may be capped at a certain amount. Second, a sales rep's base or hourly rate may be determined by how much education or field training he has signing onto the company.

For example, the average annual salary of a pharmaceutical sales representative in the United States as of November 2009 is around $58,000 according to CNN's online Salary Wizard. However, this figure may increase depending on the your commission compensation plan with the company and how well the product speaks for itself. Overall, the average annual salary for all individuals working in wholesale and manufacturing sales jobs in 2008 was around $70,000 according to the United States' Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Training for Sales Representatives

For the actual training required by employers of those working in jobs sales, employer requirements differ wildly depending on the industry and specific company. Many employers, however, require that sales people have some formal college education. Though there is not standardized degree for a sales representative position, classes such as marketing, business, and communication will help your cause to land sales jobs.

In addition to college education, most employers require on-the-job training for their sales representatives. These training programs may include workshops on how to be an effective seller, communicator, and presenter. In addition, all companies expect sales representatives to participate in a training program that details how the company's product works as well as the features and benefits for the end user.

Personal Characteristics of a Sales Rep

Landing a job with a company as a sales representative, however, involves much more than sending in a resume and expecting to get a call back. Since a sales representative's main function is to be aggressive in getting sales while actually out in "the field," employers like to see this aggressiveness and sales attitude during the initial interview. Sales jobs require the representative to be friendly, polite, and outgoing. Personal qualities such as a high self-esteem and confidence are also beneficial to a sales rep's success. Displaying these qualities during your interview and "selling yourself" to your potential employer is crucial to landing sales jobs.

All in all, sales jobs definitely have their advantages and rewards. Working for yourself, lucrative salaries, and other company benefits are only some of these advantages, but getting the right training to land a job in sales is of utmost importance.
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