what is a sales representative?

You showcase your employer's products and promote sales as a sales representative. You pitch products to potential customers and are directly involved in revenue generation. Aside from pitching to customers, you also sell products to other businesses or government agencies. Sales representatives are important to wholesales and manufacturing companies since they market and promote the products.

Sales representatives work with customers to understand their needs, create solutions and ensure a smooth sales process. As a sales representative, meeting your sales quotas and targets is crucial. Sometimes, your income depends on your work performance. You can find new leads through various channels, from referrals to cold-calling and selling new products to existing customers.

what industries do sales representatives work in?

As a sales representative, you sell various products, from soft drinks to pharmaceutical supplies or office equipment. Each product requires in-depth knowledge of the respective industry's features and dynamics. 

Some sales representatives work for technology companies or manufacturing businesses producing various products. For instance, if you promote jewellery and mining products, knowledge of the mining and manufacturing process is necessary in case a customer asks questions. A sales representative can also promote insurance and financial services for insurance companies and banks.

sales representative jobs

average sales representative salary

As a sales representative, you take home an average remuneration package of $70,000 per year. On the lower side of the scale, sales representatives earn $60,000 annually, while experienced sales reps earn over $80,000 yearly. Some companies also award commissions or bonuses for revenue generated. The commissions could be based on monthly profits or sales, while bonuses are usually paid annually.

what factors affect the salary of a sales representative?

The remuneration package of a sales representative depends on the skills and educational qualifications. For instance, a sales representative with a degree or college qualifications gets a higher salary than someone without any post-secondary education. Experience also influences your remuneration package since employers prefer sales or customer service experience candidates.

The location also impacts the salary structure since different regions have diverse living costs and demand for sales representatives. Metro areas have a high demand for sales reps, and the earnings are always higher due to the increased cost of living.

Want to know what you will earn as a sales representative? Check out what you are worth with our salary checker.

sales representative salary

types of sales representatives

Some of the types of sales representatives include:

  • manufacturer's sales representative: as a manufacturer's sales rep, you work for a product manufacturer to sell their services to wholesalers and stock retailers. Your job is to engage the market, launch new products and stock company outlets. In most cases, these sales reps work on straight commissioning. The companies pay them strictly on commission for each product they sell. Due to this, most manufacturers' sales agents are independent agents.
  • wholesaler's sales representative: as a wholesaler's sales representative, you represent a dealer or wholesaler of durable or non-durable products. Suppose you are a wholesaler's sales rep. In that case, you are responsible for supplying retailers or individual stock buyers with your company's products.
  • retailer's sales representatives: these are the most known sales reps. Besides being the face of a company, they are found at the point of interaction with potential customers. As a retailer's sales representative, you constantly communicate with customers as you sell products and services.
male and female walking and talking outside between office buildings.
male and female walking and talking outside between office buildings.

working as a sales representative

A sales representative promotes sales and introduces new products to the market. Take a closer look at the tasks and work environments in the role.



education and skills

Sales representatives don't need educational qualifications to join the role. However, studying marketing and sales courses improves your competitiveness in the market. Some of the qualifications expected by the employer include:

  • university and vet qualifications: when you complete your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education, join a vocational education and training (VET) college and pursue a Certificate III or IV in business sales, customer engagement or business. If you prefer working in the retail sector, consider taking a Certificate III or IV in retail at a registered training institution. Alternatively, complete a three-year bachelor's degree in commerce, marketing or business management at a university.
  • work experience: as a sales representative, it is crucial to gain work experience in sales or customer service to familiarise yourself with the role. Junior sales roles help you gain industrial exposure to understand how the sales industry functions.

sales representative skills and competencies

Some of the qualities of a sales representative include:

  • written and verbal communication skills: as a sales representative, it is important to be a confident and clear communicator. Strong communication skills help you interact with clients from diverse backgrounds. While you require a strong command of technical terms, you should simplify your language depending on the circumstances.
  • industry knowledge: a successful sales representative understands the products and services of the industry. When you have industry knowledge, you promote relevant business offerings and features. With these insights, you can persuade clients to choose your products over your competitors.
  • customer service skills: your strong customer service skills help keep clients satisfied. You can build a strong rapport with clients when you are friendly and positive. Customer service skills help you resolve problems and promote customer loyalty when a client has an issue.
  • negotiation skills: as a sales representative, you require negotiation skills to sell products and services at variable prices. With your negotiation skills, you can convince clients to settle on prices that satisfy them and benefit their business.

FAQs about working as a sales representative

Here are the most asked questions about working as a sales representative:

thank you for subscribing to your personalised job alerts.