What Does a Sales Representative Do? (With Career Advice)

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 7 February 2023

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Most of the firms, regardless of their industry, rely heavily on sales. That is why expert salespeople are highly in demand across industries. If you are looking for a profession that entails a lot of travelling, meeting new people, and strategising and closing transactions to satisfy the company's goals, then a career as a sales representative might be a good fit for you. In this article, we answer, "What does a sales representative do?" and several other frequently asked questions about this profession, plus discuss how you can start your career as one.

Related: How To Write A Sales Representative Resume (With Sample)

What does a sales representative do?

A sales representative has comprehensive product knowledge of whatever they are selling. They use their strong customer service and communication skills to sell goods or services. Some organisations need them to master specific sales techniques and teach staff how to sell their products. Additional responsibilities of a sales representative may include:

  • achieving or surpassing sales targets

  • negotiating and concluding sales agreements

  • understanding and informing customers of a product's features and benefits

  • taking care of payments and completing transactions

  • creating sales reports on a daily, weekly and monthly basis

Roles and responsibilities of a senior sales representative

As sales representatives transition to senior positions, they get the opportunity to make important decisions about the company's sales strategies. They are often also responsible for training new representatives and finding new and innovative ways to maintain and improve customer relationships.

While both retail employees and telemarketers are known as sales representatives, the latter often refers to senior professionals who manage larger-scale accounts, such as those associated with corporations. Here are some other responsibilities of a senior sales representative:

  • using direct appeals (cold calls) and recommendations to market their items to potential customers

  • attending trade fairs to raise awareness of their products and networking with potential clients and industry colleagues

  • following up with potential clients and initiating meetings with them

  • training junior representatives, delegating tasks to them and overseeing their performance

  • doing thorough research and analysis of competitors' products and pricing to understand customer trends

  • assisting clients in determining what they want

  • developing strategies to meet sales goals and ensure a seamless selling process

  • analysing daily, weekly and monthly sales reports and sharing the key takeaways with the management

  • resolving customer complaints and finding the root cause of common complaints and developing permanent solutions for them

Average salary of a sales representative

The average salary of a sales representative is ₹2,41,004 per year. However, your actual salary may vary based on your location, experience and other factors. For instance, the average salary of a senior sales representative is ₹3,72,132 per year.

Related: 30 Common Sales Interview Questions (With Example Answers)

Sales representative requirements

Developing strong communication and sales skills can help sales representatives succeed in their careers. Education, training and certifications can help them develop related skills and provide valuable experience. Here are some common requirements for this profession:


Formal education is not a necessity to become a sales representative, but some employers prefer candidates to have a minimum of a 10+2 certificate. There may be additional educational requirements, depending on the organisation. For example, a pharmaceutical sales representative may require education in biology and pharmaceuticals. Technical sales representatives may benefit from completing a technical programme or a bachelor's degree in a tech-related industry such as information technology.


The specific training required for a sales representative depends on the industry. Most sales representatives receive training by working in a similar sales position. The company you work for may have a formal training programme or may train you during the first few weeks of employment. Specialised training may be needed, depending on your product knowledge. For example, a real estate sales representative may work under a more experienced agent until they learn more about the field. A sales representative in a computer store may be expected to learn about computers and other technologies before selling their products to customers.

Skills required to become a sales representative

In the retail business, sales representatives play an essential role. They interact directly with customers, selling items and assisting in the growth of the company. The following skills are useful as a sales representative:

Customer service

Sales professionals interact with consumers daily. This is why they need excellent customer service abilities. To engage with consumers and close sales, representatives are required to have good interpersonal, listening and problem-solving skills.


When it comes to closing a transaction, persistence is frequently required. Buyers in some industries, such as car and real estate, may be hesitant to purchase. Buyers have to be encouraged and moved through the sales process by sales professionals.


As a sales representative, you need verbal, nonverbal and written communication abilities to perform well in your job. Salespeople frequently connect with potential clients through verbal communication. They also have to practise tricks to detect nonverbal signs that indicate if a transaction is going well or whether a different strategy is required. Written communication is also essential for scheduling meetings, negotiating contracts and sending follow-up notes.


Salespeople may need to multiply, divide or compute the percentage of a transaction. Customers may also have concerns about a product's pricing. Math abilities can also be useful when assessing and working toward sales targets.

Negotiation skills

Negotiation skills are crucial as a sales representative in various sectors. The sales process can include a series of offers before a final agreement is reached. Successful salespeople know how to negotiate a reasonable price with clients.

Related: Negotiation Skills: Definitions, Benefits and Examples

Computer skills

Most salespeople use computers on a regular basis. They require basic computer abilities to accomplish their work successfully. These sales representatives can use word processors to produce contracts and memoranda, use spreadsheet software to manage quotas and progress and use presentation software to build slideshows to report outcomes.

Customer relationship management

It is important for sales representatives to maintain good relationships with customers. Most salespeople utilise specialised computer systems like a customer relationship management (CRM) tool to keep track of their connections, interactions and sales negotiations with customers. Most employers look for salespeople who have expertise in CRM.

Related: Top 25 Sales Skills (With Examples and Tips)

Sales representative work environment

Sales representatives spend most of their workday communicating with potential customers. They may greet and work with customers in a retail setting, or they may visit a potential customer's home or office to show how a product works. Each interaction differs, so it is important to learn to adjust to new environments. Salespersons in a retail setting may also complete stocking and inventory tasks. Some sales representatives may also plan and project sales goals.

How to become a sales representative

Consider the following steps if you are interested in this field:

1. Complete 10+2

Aspiring sales representatives are required to complete 10+2 from any authorised Indian board. Taking business-related subjects like sales, economics or marketing may improve your chances of getting a sales job. Try to secure at least 50% marks in your 10+2 so that you can get admission to a reputable college for your graduation.

2. Earn a bachelor's degree

Many firms require their salespeople to hold a BCom, BBA or a similar degree. You can also get an associate's or bachelor's degree to enhance your qualifications and improve your chances of getting into this field. Math, economics, accounting, marketing and finance are just a few of the subjects that may help you succeed as a sales representative.

3. Look for an entry-level job

Working as an entry-level sales representative may benefit you in various ways. You may develop customer service and communications skills, which are essential to perform well as a sales representative. Use your time in this position by learning about the business and experimenting with new sales tactics.

4 Get on the job training

On-the-job training is available in many sales representative roles. Some companies may offer extensive training sessions depending on the product. Consider pursuing a sales certification if you believe you require further training.

5. Select your desired field

You can also apply for sales representative roles in a specific industry. For this, you have to gain experience in a sales position and develop your abilities. Use your entry-level job to put your abilities to the test and figure out which aspects of sales you prefer the most.

6. Focus on a single industry

After deciding the field you want to specialise in, learn everything there is to know about it. It might be in the realm of consumer electronics, medical gadgets or others. You may also consider becoming a sales manager and managing a team of sales representatives as you progress in your career.

Sales representative job description example

We are looking for an entry-level sales representative. The ideal applicant has outside sales experience and a basic understanding of technology. The sales representative may need to visit consumers in their homes and offices daily, which might mean daily travel for them. A bachelor's degree, excellent customer service and communication abilities are required to excel in this job role.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

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