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What Are the Duties of a Sales Representative?

A sales representative in a car dealership works to generate revenue by selling cars to interested buyers.
Retail sales representatives are typically in charge of answering questions that customers may have while shopping.
Some representatives spend most of their days on the salesfloor, assisting customers and recommending specific products.
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  • Written By: Angela Farrer
  • Edited By: Rachel Catherine Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 28 October 2014
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Duties of a sales representative include generating and following up on sales leads, making product sales presentations, and marketing additional products or services to interested buyers. Some sales representatives may also negotiate pricing depending on the types of companies that employ them. A sales rep may also be responsible for processing payments, issuing receipts, and assisting customers who experience problems with products they have purchased. The main job duties of a sales representative revolve around converting possible leads into hard revenue numbers, and many sales reps have minimum quotas on the numbers of products they are expected to sell in an assigned time frame.

Some specific duties of a sales representative may vary by company policies and current economic trends. Depending on different industries, sales agents may be responsible for formulating plans of action that will lead to more interest in the company's products or services among greater numbers of potential customers. They also usually need to adjust these plans according to changing market trends. These sales reps often work in teams and may collaborate with other departments such as advertising in larger companies. Senior sales representatives often have additional duties such as leading and motivating their teams as well as training new entry-level salespeople.

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Planning and presenting effective sales pitches are among the most important duties of a sales representative. Most customers make up their minds relatively quickly about whether they will make purchases, and it is up to the sales rep to convince them that the business's products or services are worth the investment. Good sales presentations generally require excellent communication skills, an understanding of the target customer base, and detailed knowledge of the services or products offered for sale. Particularly in fields such as technology or medicine, sales representatives often need to attend continuing education seminars in order to stay current on the latest product trends and features.

Other duties of a sales representative may include customer support for people who have made purchases and encounter problems with a service or product at a later date. This part of the seller's job often entails answering common questions, walking customers through basic troubleshooting steps via telephone or e-mail, and arranging for product repairs when necessary. Effective and prompt customer support measures are also considered vital job duties of a sales representative because they often affect customer retention. Quick resolution of these issues may also increase a sales agent's customer base through word-of-mouth recommendations.

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