Outside sales representatives travel and meet with current and potential clients. When making sales calls, sales reps discuss and evaluate the needs of the client then determine how the sales company can meet those needs. Some outside sales representatives use visual aids such as catalogs and samples. With technological advances, sales reps may also utilize laptops or tablet computers to share their products or services with clients.
Keeping clients informed about new products or services and pricing aren’t the only responsibilities of outside sales representatives. In some cases, they train employees, suggest merchandizing techniques or install new equipment. When a client has a problem or concern, the outside sales representative follows up to insure resolution, hoping to keep the client for future business.
Outside sales representatives perform a variety of tasks including:
Degrees in business, marketing, communication or economics may all benefit candidates who seek to become outside sales representatives. For sales professionals seeking positions in technological, science or medical fields, a degree related to that specific area makes the most sense.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job prospects are best for sales representatives with a degree. For most sales professionals, income is a combination of salary and commission. The median salary for sales professionals in 2008 was $70,200, with those who work in technology industries typically earning more.
*Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics