If you like working with the public, have excellent communication skills and have perseverance, consider a career in sales. An indoor sales job, commonly referred to as an inside sales representative, sells goods such as products or services to interested customers. Also, an indoor sales representative works with other sales representatives and acts as the liaison between companies and customers.
An inside sales representative is someone who works for businesses such as wholesale or manufacturing companies to acquire new customers. The representative is responsible for conducting job duties in the office and doesn’t travel to meet with customers in person. He sets up appointments with potential customers for outside sales representatives. An indoor sales representative sells items such as office supplies, apparel and computers.
A representative spends most of his time on the phone performing duties such as answering customers’ questions, resolving problems, informing customers about product availability and product prices. An indoor sales person conducts outbound calls, known as cold calling, to identify prospective customers. Cold calling involves contacting people who may not know about company products to see if they are interested in purchasing the products. He may generate a list of potential customers using leads from existing customers, business directories and trade shows.
Education and Training
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there are no formal educational requirements, but sales representative jobs require some post-secondary education such as a bachelor’s degree. Coursework needed to help an indoor sales representative includes classes in communication, marketing and economics. Employers also offer training programs for a newly hired sales representative. These programs can last two years and include on-the-job training and classroom instruction.
An indoor sales representative works about 40 hours a week. Although an indoor sales job can be rewarding, there are many pressures such as lack of job security that accompanies the job. The representative must meet sales quotas set by the company. Quotas may include 30 new clients a week or a certain number of products which need to be sold. Also, he may encounter upset customers or potential customers who don’t want to be bothered.
Employers do hire applicants with only a high school diploma, but those applicants often need previous sales experience, according to BLS. Certifications such as the certified sales professional and the certified professional manufacturers’ representative are not mandatory, but do offer formal recognition of your sales skills and knowledge. Typically, an indoor sales representative must complete formal sales training and pass an examination to obtain certification. According to BLS, the need for sales representatives was expected to increase 7 percent from 2008 to 2018 which is about as fast as average compared to all occupations. In 2009, the median salary—with commissions—for a sales representative was $70,200 a year.