Sales representatives present and sell their company’s products and services.
Sales is central to the development and success of any business. It involves attaining new clients by introducing, describing, demonstrating, and/or justifying the necessity of a product. Nearly every business offers some product or service for sale. There are diverse ways in conducting sales. Direct Sales is among the most common method in businesses such as greengrocers’, cinemas, or clothes shops. However, with the emergence of new technologies the use of email, phone and online sales has increased, and the role as representative of the company has shifted a bit from the sales agent to other spheres. As a result, more than ever, the relationship sales-marketing and sales-product/web page design has become tighter. Despite this, sales is still largely a person to person occupation and sales agents often find themselves travelling from and within different countries, in these cases sales agents enjoy various benefits such as company car, access to fancy restaurants, clothes allowance, etc.
Sales jobs are performance based. Therefore, when goals are achieved pays are incremented with bonuses or commissions previously agreed to; as a result, these positions can often be fairly demanding. To achieve their objectives sales agents have to work hard at maintaining and developing relationships with customers, trying to meet their needs, challenge their objections, as well as convince them of necessities to get them to buy.
Sales has often been stereotyped as a career where to succeed one has to be deceitful. Yet, this is not so. What is relevant, however, is to have good argumentative skills, along with extensive knowledge of the product, market competitors and market upcoming trends. Closing a deal with a big company is a significant highlight, but there are hard times too, as rejection is frequent in sales. This can be quite discouraging for some agents, but others actually enjoy the challenge.
Requirements and skills
Although they may vary slightly depending on the specific post and personal qualifications, some skills are common to most roles in this sector. Traditionally sales has been viewed as a post requiring fairly low formation. In recent year, though, the handsome salary packages that sometimes come with these positions have made them into an attractive option for college graduates.
Some common skills and requirements would be:
- Excellent written and oral communication and presentation skills
- Ability to persuade and advice changes in products or services in the lookout for competitive results
- Relationship building
- Negotiating skills both with buyers and managers
- Ability identify potential new customers as well as detect and foresee market trends.
- Benchmarking and staying up to date with the latest novelties in the market
- Keeping records on area and customer sales
- Good presence and self-confidence
We can distinguish between two general types of sales:
B2B (Business to Business): where the focus is on sales from one business to another of either products – for example, parts in the case of the car industry- or services – for example, marketing or advertising expertise.
B2C (Business to Customer): when sales is directed at people (consumers).
In either case there is the traditional rep-manager-director path. However, with the recent outlook on sales, blending marketing in with sales offers a myriad of advancement paths, providing a win-win situation for both employee and employer.
There are plenty of job opportunities for people interested in pursuing a career in sales, some examples of the higher paying ones are: real estate brokers; sales engineers; securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents; sales representatives for wholesalers and manufacturers of technical and scientific products; first-line supervisors of non-retail sales workers, among others. Some examples of the lower paid jobs are: cashiers and retail professionals.
Job titles include but are not limited to the following:
- Sales Executive
- Sales Manager
- Sales Representative
- Sales Assistant
- Retail Sales Advisor
- Retail Sales Personnel
- Business Development Representative
- Sales Demonstrator
- Business Services Representative
Overview According to our data, these are the percent of job offers for Sales.
Last 12 months
Companies According to our data, by number of offers, these are the top companies that are hiring for Sales.
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Job Types According to our data, in percentages, these are the top job types available for Sales.
Latest Job Offers
Western Cape, Cape Town
25 000 ZAR
Western Cape, Strand
Eastern Cape, Alexandria