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What Are the Responsibilities of a Salesperson?

A retail salesperson is commonly expected to be informed enough about product specifics to answer detailed customer inquiries.
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  • Written By: K. Kinsella
  • Edited By: Shereen Skola
  • Last Modified Date: 16 September 2014
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A salesperson is an individual who is paid for promoting or marketing certain items or services. The responsibilities of a salesperson include identifying prospective buyers, collecting sale proceeds, filing transaction related paperwork and ensuring that revenue goals are met or exceeded. People employed in these kind of roles market retail products, real estate, securities and services such as cell phone plans and internet connections.

The responsibilities of a salesperson employed in a retail store include arranging displays of merchandise in store windows or in other areas of the store. Many firms require retail associates to greet clients when they enter the store and to assist people with quickly finding the products that they wish to buy. An associate may be responsible for processing sales and collecting payments at the cash register. Typically, retail associates receive a flat salary but in many instances, these individuals receive bonuses or commission for cross-selling products; in these cases, people employed in these roles may be responsible for achieving specific sales goals.

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Some companies employ field agents and representatives and the responsibilities of a salesperson working in one of these roles include setting up appointments with businesses and consumers. In many instances, these individuals make unsolicited tele-consulting calls to prospects and conduct sales presentations in people's homes or at work locations. These workers must transport the goods that are used in these demonstrations and many field representatives are also tasked with delivering goods to clients and collecting payments. As with retail store associates, outside sales employees are expected to meet or exceed specified revenue goals and in many instances, these individuals receive all of their wages in the form of commission.

Many people employed in marketing roles have regular face-to-face interactions with clients and prospects while some firms employ workers who attempt to promote goods and service over the telephone or the internet. The responsibilities of a salesperson in one of these roles include making proactive calls to clients and explaining the features and benefits of various products and services to consumers. Typically, these individuals have to reach daily sales calls quotas as well as quarterly or annual revenue goals. Representatives may have to gather billing information from clients and make arrangements for goods to be shipped to buyers via overnight express delivery or the mail.

While the precise duties of sales employees vary between industries, people employed in these roles are normally expected to provide high levels of customer service. These individuals must attend regularly scheduled training sessions during which new products, services and company pricing promotions are explained. Anyone who works in a sales team, must produce activity and revenue reports and on some occasions, these individuals may be asked to temporarily assume the responsibilities of absent coworkers.

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