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Commercial Sales Job Description

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A commercial sales representative is someone who attempts to sell a product or service for a company. Commercial sales reps are often considered the most important employees in their respective business, as their success determines its profitability. They work in every industry in one form or another, and often work on commission, receiving a base salary along with a percentage of what is sold.


Commercial sales representatives are typically assigned territories by a supervisor and almost always have pitches or angles when meeting with a client. Some sales reps work in the office via phones, while others make sales calls on foot. Either way, their job is to convince clients that their product or service is better than that of the competition. Sometimes, they even offer a demonstration of what they are selling. Commercial sales reps can work long and odd hours, including evenings and weekends, connecting with clients when its convenient for the client.


Commercial sales representatives should be organized, presentable, professional, flexible, driven and energetic. They should be friendly at all times, helping a customer feel at ease. And regardless of industry, salespeople typically need to possess basic computer skills, as many of their accounts are tracked and filed via sales-related software. Also, because their job revolves around numbers, commercial sales reps almost always need to be decent mathematicians. Mostly, they need to be expert communicators who have a firm grasp of their products, along with an understanding of what the competition is doing.


Requirements to become a commercial sales representative vary greatly by industry. Most possess at least a high school diploma or the equivalent. Others will need to have obtained an associate’s or a bachelor’s degree with a focus on courses in marketing, advertising, business and communications. Those seeking advancement, however, typically only need to prove themselves by having success and generating income for the company.


It’s difficult to pinpoint what opportunities will be like for commercial sales representatives simply because the industry is so wide ranging. But as long as companies continue to manufacture products and services, they will continue to need someone to sell them. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), jobs for sales reps in the wholesale and manufacturing industries are expected to increase by 7 percent from 2008 to 2018, with those in retail likely growing slightly more than that at 8 percent.


Because commercial sales representatives normally work on commission, how much they earn is often mostly up to them. According to PayScale, sales reps earned anywhere from $27,000 to nearly $64,000 in 2010. Also, the BLS reported that sales reps in the computer systems design industry made a median annual salary of $80,060 in 2008.

Commercial Sales Representatives Employment and Labor Information 2023

Commercial Sales Representatives Employment Brief:

Sell goods for wholesalers or manufacturers where technical or scientific knowledge is required in such areas as biology, engineering, chemistry, and electronics, normally obtained from at least 2 years of postsecondary education.

Commercial Sales Representatives Job Description

Here is a Job Description an employer might post for potential Commercial Sales Representatives.

Commercial Sales Representatives Responsibilities and Duties:

  • Quote prices, credit terms, or other bid specifications.
  • Negotiate prices or terms of sales or service agreements.
  • Collaborate with colleagues to exchange information, such as selling strategies or marketing information.
  • Emphasize product features, based on analyses of customers' needs and on technical knowledge of product capabilities and limitations.
  • Visit establishments, such as pharmacies, to determine product sales.
  • Select or assist customers in selecting products based on customer needs, product specifications, and applicable regulations.
  • Compute customer's installation or production costs and estimate savings from new services, products, or equipment.
  • Arrange for installation and testing of products or machinery.
  • Appraise equipment to determine contract terms or trade-in values.
  • Complete expense reports, sales reports, or other paperwork.

Typical Daily Tasks of Commercial Sales Representatives:

  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships.
  • Getting Information: Gather customer or product information to determine customer needs.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates: Discuss design or technical features of products or services with technical personnel. Share sales-related or market information with colleagues.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work.
  • Communicating with People Outside the Organization.
  • Selling or Influencing Others: Contact current or potential customers to promote products or services. Deliver promotional presentations to current or prospective customers. Demonstrate products to consumers. Distribute promotional literature or samples to customers. Sell products or services.
  • Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others: Negotiate prices or other sales terms.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems: Estimate costs or terms of sales.
  • Working with Computers.

Commercial Sales Representatives Skills and Requirements:

  • Repairing Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.
  • Management of Personnel Resources Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.
  • Management of Financial Resources Determining how money will be spent to get the work done, and accounting for these expenditures.
  • Systems Evaluation Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
  • Complex Problem Solving Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Mathematics Using mathematics to solve problems.
  • Operations Monitoring Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Quality Control Analysis Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
  • DatabasesUsing a computer application to manage large amounts of information, including creating and editing simple databases, inputting data, retrieving specific records, and creating reports to communicate the information.
  • NavigationUsing scroll bars, a mouse, and dialog boxes to work within the computer's operating system. Being able to access and switch between applications and files of interest.

Commercial Sales Representatives Salary and Wages:

Average Salary: 58,450. Education: typical education requirements include High school diploma or equivalent.

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United States Advertising Sales Agents data

Data from May 2023 courtesy of U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) program.


Sam Amico is a reporter for and worked as a writer and editor at daily newspapers for more than a decade, covering everything from rock concerts to college football to courts and crime. He attended Kent State University and is the author of the book, "A Basketball Summer." He also is the co-host of a nationally-syndicated television show, "The Wine & Gold Zone."

Photo Credits

Mongkol Chuewong/Moment/GettyImages