What Are the Different Types of Sales Jobs?

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  • Written By: K. Kinsella
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 24 November 2019
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People who are employed in sales jobs are responsible for increasing a particular company's market share. Sales employees proactively seek out new clients and use marketing tools and advertising to promote particular products and services. Some sales jobs involve sales people having face-to-face customer interactions in retail stores or making sales calls to people's homes or the offices of business clients. Many sales people make sales remotely by soliciting new business over the telephone, via the mail, or over the Internet.

Sales people employed by retail stores are often trained to talk about particular products or to speak to customers about certain departments of a store. These employees normally receive a base salary but can earn commissions based upon sales. In some stores, the individual customer interactions of sales people are tracked and bonuses are paid for each product that the sales person sells. Department sales managers oversee the sales staff and receive a base salary plus bonuses that are based upon the department's total sales over the course of a month, quarter, or year.


Financial companies employ many people in sales jobs, and these employees must proactively market insurance products, loans, and other financial services. Most sales people are based in office locations, but many are required to make tele-consulting sales calls. In some markets, financial sales people make door-to-door sales calls in neighborhoods and at small businesses. Many other types of companies employ sales people who make door-to-door visits to sell different types of products and services, ranging from food deliveries to security system installations. Most of these sales people do not earn base salaries and rely entirely on sales commissions.

Telephone sales clerks make cold calls to prospective clients. These sales people target both consumers and businesses. Laws in many countries enable consumers to block telemarketing sales calls by applying to be on "do not call" registries. Telephone sales people must ensure that they do not call people who are listed on these registries by cross-referencing their sales leads with do not call lists. Generally, telephone sales people earn a small base salary but mainly make money by selling products over the telephone.

Internet based retailers and service providers employ many people in sales jobs. These employees develop web-advertising campaigns to target prospective customers based upon areas of interest and geographic locations. Internet based sales people do not usually have any direct interaction with clients, and mostly rely on developing successful marketing strategies to generate sales. Most Internet based sales people receive salaries but can earn commissions based on sales volume.


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