Industrial sales is an occupation that involves selling industrial products to businesses or individuals in a specific territory or region. Some employers refer to these professionals as sales engineers or industrial sales representatives. This occupation can be found in industries such as manufacturing, distribution and industrial supply organizations.
Educational requirements vary depending on how technical the industrial products are. Some employers require a bachelor's degree in a technical discipline such as engineering, and some may only require a high school diploma or GED. Those who have no technical education may require additional time to learn products or services. Employer may require personality and technical assessments to ensure candidates can perform the responsibilities of the job.
These professionals are required to have a technical aptitude to successfully sell industrial products and services. Employers seek individuals with excellent interpersonal skills and those who are self-motivated. An industrial sales professional should be goal-oriented, competitive, persuasive and have the ability to work individually and in a team environment.
Responsibilities include soliciting potential customers and traveling to customer locations to sell an organization's products or services. This requires finding sales opportunities, contacting many potential customers, demonstrating the industrial product or service and closing the sale with the customer. After the sale has been made, these professionals create a purchase order or receive payment from the customer and arrange for the customer to receive the products or services in a timely fashion. Many of these professionals continue to assist the customer with any questions or concerns after the sale as well. Along with sales responsibilities, the industrial sales professional is responsible for creating sales reports, maintaining files and reviewing competitor's products and the employer's new products to stay competitive.
Many professionals in industrial sales are required to travel frequently and maintain a large territory, sometimes in several states or nationally. In many cases, this occupation also requires long hours because most sales are done during regular business hours. Other responsibilities, such as sales reporting and maintaining files, are completed during non-working hours.
Salary can range extensively for this type of occupation. Some employers pay only commission while others offer a base salary, as well as bonus and commission based on sales revenues. In June 2010, CBSalary lists a national average salary of $63,415 per year for this occupation.