Sales Representative

How a sales rep can keep business booming

Independent Sales Representatives

A good product combined with a good selling strategy is the most promising course to profit, success and growth in business. A sales representative is the key to that selling strategy—they're the face of a company, representing its principles, ideas and intentions. In turn, an effective and professional sales rep should have a wide range of skills, from solid product knowledge to business training to outstanding communication techniques. Of course, different types of sales representatives are suited to different industries—learn how to find a sales rep who will be a good fit for your company.

Duties of an Outside and Inside Sales Representative

Regardless of the particular industry, lead generation and maintaining client relationships are included in the sales rep job description; the experience, effort and traveling required to initiate those relationships will vary widely. One way to categorize sales rep positions is according to where the job takes place—inside or outside of the office.

An inside sales representative works from within a sales office, and they conduct most or all of their business over the phone. Whether a pre-written script is used to call existing and potential customers or there is some leeway in sales pitch, an inside sales rep must be a persuasive and emotive speaker to make a good impression without face-to-face communication. In contrast, an outside sales representative works in the field, drawing in new customers and maintaining good relationships with current clients. This can be more effective for businesses that depend on large accounts and repeat customers, as quality of sales is often more important than quantity.

When to Hire a Sales Representative

Although a good sales rep can help extend your clientele base, you'll want to consider your options carefully before proceeding. If you're interested in a quick increase in sales, be sure to iron out what exactly you wish to achieve and the sales strategy that will get you there—a sales rep likely won't be able to magically turn around a floundering business. This may lead you to hire a consultant to help build a strategy for sales, which can lead to a more clear, thoughtful and enticing pitch for your sales rep to use.

Once you've found an experienced sales representative to sell your product, consider some helpful tools that will help them do the best job possible. Sales rep software is a great way for sales reps to manage leads and keep track of sales targets. Also known as customer relationship management or CRM software, you can find desktop or mobile versions; for outside sales representatives, a Blackberry or PDA-compatible software solution will be the best choice.

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