A sales secretary is someone who provides clerical duties for a sales team. Sales secretaries file reports, type invoices, forward phone calls, reply to emails and handle customer inquiries. Occasionally, they will assist in making a sale, or follow up with clients to make sure the product or service sold has been delivered as promised.
Sales secretaries work on duties that some might consider mundane, but are critical to the sales department’s success and, ultimately, their company’s profitability. A sales secretary must be able to handle a wide variety of tasks, often performing them at the same time. She must also be versatile in that her responsibilities are likely to change on a daily, perhaps even hourly, basis. Oftentimes, she is the link between the salesperson and potential client.
A sales secretary must possess strong written and verbal communication skills. He needs to be professional, motivated, highly organized and able to work well alone or with a team. He should be able to follow instructions and be adept at general office skills such as typing and filing. Most sales secretaries also need to have a basic understanding of math, considering they are occasionally responsible for bookkeeping.
Most companies seek secretaries who have a high school diploma or the equivalent. Some prefer sales secretaries who have a certificate or license (which vary by state), while others look for those with a college degree. In the event a degree is required, aspiring sales secretaries tend to focus on courses in administration, business, communications and marketing as well as sales.
Jobs for secretaries are expected to increase by 11 percent from 2008 to 2018, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That is about as fast as the average for all occupations. More than 2 million workers were employed as secretaries in May 2008, the BLS reported. While the BLS provided no firm data specific to secretaries in sales, their jobs are expected to increase along with the rest of the industry.
Secretaries not employed in the legal, medical or executive fields, such as those in sales, earned a wage of anywhere from $8 to $17.35 per hour in February 2010, according to PayScale.com. The secretary's experience and the industry in which she was employed influenced salary. Meanwhile, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the median annual salary of secretaries was $29,050 in May 2008.