An outside sales representative conducts sales out in the field via face-to-face interactions with both potential and existing customers. They are responsible for offering the best possible customer experience as well as providing hands-on explanations of any new or updated products when necessary. Their excellent social skills allow them to foster strong relationships, to which they can attribute much of their success.
Outside sales representatives should have a Bachelor’s degree in marketing, business, economics, communications, and/or any equivalent education that demonstrates expertise in customer engagement.
Having a well-developed phone presence and high comfort level in initiating conversations is essential to fulfilling the daily duties of an outside sales representative. Aside from a social and positive personality, outside sales representatives must be self-starters and proactive problem solvers, since not every day is the same and the workplace setting is constantly changing.
In addition to the education and experience requirements, employers also look for a few key skills from their outside sales representatives. Here are a few of the top characteristics they are expecting:
The daily routine of an outside sales representative varies from day to day; representatives may not always be meeting with the same client or in the same place or even selling the same product or service. The overarching idea is to build connections and sell the company’s products or services. A typical day could consist of few calls in the morning to either potential customers or repeat customers. Some companies may even have quick training sessions just to get representatives in the zone for the day ahead.
Being organized is the number one rule to being an effective outside sales representative – the day consists of discovery calls, research, product demos, follow-up calls, training, and much more. Although the title entails being in the field most of the time, the best representatives are able to manage both in-house and field work.