Do you have good customer service skills and business sense? Then, consider becoming a Sales Representative.
Sales Representatives represent a company and sell its goods and services to retail establishments and wholesale traders. They build relationships with customers and prospects.
You can become a sales rep without formal qualifications. However, gaining a VET or a university education like a Certificate IV in Business Sales, Certificate III in Business, and Certificate IV in Customer Engagement can ease your entry into this profession.
This blog explains what a sales representative does, the education, training, skills to succeed, and the steps to pursue this career.
1. Who Is A Sales Representative?
Sales representatives are the first point of contact for customers and prospects with the brand.
They represent the company by advertising and selling its goods and services to other businesses, professional establishments, industry professionals, wholesale traders, or retail outlets.
They usually work in an office or retail environment in various sectors, including retail, real estate, technology, telecommunications, pharma, insurance, and automotive.
2. Sales Representative Job Description
Sales reps sell goods, products, and services to consumers, wholesalers, and retail clients. Their duties vary based on their industry and employer and may include the following:
Understand customers' needs and liaise to provide sales-based solutions that meet their needs.
Promote the goods and services of a business and encourages customers to make purchases
Visit clients to explain the technical description of products and services and demonstrate their practical benefits.
Answer client's queries
Schedule regular appointments and visits with clients
Network and cold-call customers to discover new clients and expand their client base
Set, quote, and negotiate prices and terms.
Prepare buy contracts, record client orders, and arrange deliveries.
Attend trade shows and client meetings, give live demonstrations, hand out samples, and coordinate product displays.
Maintain a CRM database
Schedule appointments and meet with prospective and existing clients
Train sales consultants on how to effectively sell business services and products
Draft sales reports
Obtain knowledge of competitors' market conditions
Use directories to prepare lists of potential business clients.
Visit retail outlets and clients to establish selling opportunities.
Follow up with clients after purchase, resolve any issues, and ensure satisfaction with goods and services.
Supervise changing customer requirements and competitor activity and report the same to sales and marketing management
Maintain and submit records of business expenditures incurred
Consult with other sales and marketing personnel to determine the ideal strategy to promote products
Use e-business technology and develop telemarketing campaigns.
Process payments and issue receipts
Ensure exceptional customer service
Try to achieve or exceed sales targets.
3. Sales Representative Skills For Success
The job of a Sales Representative is best suited for those who exhibit the following skillset:
Able to confidently use CRM software to track customer interactions and Email and video conference programs to communicate remotely with existing and potential customers.
Good understanding of Industry and Retail Sales
Strong mathematics skills to negotiate prices, create precise sales reports, calculate percentages to offer discounts to buyers, and track their progress toward sales targets.
Enjoy connecting and communicating with people daily
High level of social and emotional intelligence
Excellent communication and negotiation skills
Good time management
Strong customer service skills
Friendly and pleasant personality
Able to work unsupervised
Able to clearly and effectively present product and service information
Good personal presentation
Great listening abilities
High persuasive abilities
Able to work under pressure and achieve sales targets
Exceptional networking skills
Able to develop a strong rapport with existing and potential clients
4. Sales Representative Qualifications In Australia
Companies prefer sales representatives skilled and experienced in sales and customer service. Though formal qualifications aren't necessary to become a sales representative, they can distinguish you from your competitors.
VET and university are the most common learning routes to pursue this role. The following requirements qualify you to work in this profession:
Gain your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education
Complete a relevant sales representative course such as Certificate III in Business, Certificate IV in Business Sales, or Certificate IV in Customer Engagement through a TAFE or an RTO. If you want to work in retail, consider getting a Certificate III or IV.
Identify options for specialisation to become a Technical Sales Representative, a Real Estate Salesperson, or a Marketing Executive.
In addition to the qualification, a driver's licence is usually needed.
5. Steps To Become A Sales Representative In Australia
Here are the steps to prepare for a sales representative role:
Step 1: Complete Year 12 Education
Complete Year 12 education will improve your options for further study. Choose mathematics, business studies, and subjects relevant to your preferred industry. Study enough credits for an ATAR to become eligible for a university degree.
Step 2: Obtain A Valid Full Driver's Licence
A sales representative often requires visiting different locations to attend trade shows and sales meetings. Having a full driver's licence to work in this job is beneficial.
Step 3: Consider A Relevant Qualification
A formal qualification is not mandatory but can enhance your chances of becoming a sales representative. It is vital for specialised industries that require a high level of technical knowledge. Similarly, developing sales skills can make you more employable for the job.
A one-year full-time Vocational qualification, a three-year bachelor's degree in business or sales, or any other relevant major will make you qualified and competent. It will also enhance employment options and the chances of promotions and higher salaries.
For example, a Certificate in Automotive Sales is desirable to work in the automobile sector. As a chemical sales representative, a Bachelor of Engineering or Science may be helpful.
Step 4: Look For Entry-Level Roles In Sales
Find opportunities to work in an entry-level sales position like a junior sales representative or sales consultant. It can help you gain industrial exposure, understand how the sales industry functions, and build sales and customer service skills.
Step 5: Receive On-The-Job Sales Representative Training
Many employers provide specialised on-the-job training for sales representatives. The aim is to educate them about business practices, preferred selling strategies, and the unique selling points of products and services.
The training prepares new employees to approach clients confidently, explain the company's offerings, and make sales.
Step 6: Get Certified
Certification is a great way to become an expert in your craft, effectively apply sales strategies, and advance in sales. Big firms have certification programs that help sales reps sell their products to international standards.
Completing certification programs for a specific product or brand can help access several work opportunities with those brands. Moreover, becoming a certified sales representative may lead you to a sales management role.
6. Sales Courses In Australia
Do you enjoy developing and maintaining high-quality sales interactions with customers or considering ways to study sales?
Then, the below sales courses are for you. They will improve your marketing skills, widen your knowledge in business sales, retail management, and customer engagement, and prepare you to step into the industry.
Sales Certificate Course
These short courses give basic sales knowledge in specialised areas such as B-2-B sales, customer engagement, digital marketing, or sales psychology.
After completing them, you can qualify for entry-level positions in just 6-12 months. Furthermore, certification courses can also be a pathway to further studies.
Some of the recommended sales certificate courses are:
Cert III in Business – CQ University, Australian Pacific College, North Metro, and TAFE WA
Certificate IV in Business– TAFE NSW, TAFE SA, Training, South Metro TAFE
Certificate IV in Business Sales - My Skills and Training
Certificate IV in Customer Engagement – Smart and Skilled NSW
Certificate III in Retail – TAFE QLD, TAFE NSW, TAFE SA, Jobs and Skills WA
Certificate IV in Retail – TAFE NSW, TAFE SA
Whether looking for a career change or advancing your learning, the degree course is ideal. It is for prospective sales professionals who want to master the skills needed for the upper stages of a sales career.
You will learn about creating and implementing sales strategies, team management, and customer relationship management.
The sales degree will teach you advanced knowledge of the sales industry and refine your communication, analytical, problem-solving, and decision-making skills. You gain a good understanding of finance, personal branding, and how the internet impacts business sales.
Moreover, this three-to-four-year course will train you in using data mining, The Internet of Things, and cloud computing to help you accomplish your sales goals effectively.
Here are a few recommendations:
Bachelor of Business (Marketing) – University of South Australia, Torrens University, QUT, and MIT
Bachelor of Business (Management) – QUT, Melbourne Institute of Technology, University of South Australia, and University of Western Australia
Bachelor of Commerce - The University of Western Australia, The University of New Castle, and The University of Sydney
7. How To Find The Right Sales Job?
Sales jobs are incredibly varied and abundant. Your chosen job should match your personality, skills, and career goals.
Here are the five factors that will help you analyse a sales job to find the right one:
The job you choose should interest you. You should like the main activities and tasks of the role. Only then can you make a long-term career in that field.
Thus, before committing to one, analyse the required skill set and explore the activities to decide whether it fits your personality and interests. If yes, you can continue and test it on the other parameters.
The type of sales opportunities you get depends on your industry. Before deciding on a specific sector, ensure that the position matches your preferences and objectives.
Long-Term Job Outlook
Avoid getting tempted to choose jobs (like outside sales) whose demand may decline. Instead, go for evergreen sales roles (business development representatives) whose demand will remain in the next ten years.
Type of Compensation
Choose between "no-commission" sales jobs like retail salespeople or "pure commission-based" sales jobs where your salary is solely determined based on your performance. Where the former gives you greater financial security, the latter can earn you huge profits.
Type of Leads
The next thing is to decide between working on inbound and outbound leads. Outbound leads depend on organic channels and take time to materialise. Such jobs require an employee to search for sales opportunities.
Due to this, they may not be the best fit. On the other hand, you can convert Inbound leads faster, making it a relatively better option.
8. Work Conditions For A Sales Representative
Sales representatives spend most of their time selling products and services to consumers or other businesses. They usually work in an office environment compiling sales contracts or reports and communicating with clients over the phone, by video conferencing, or by email.
In some companies, sales reps work in a call centre calling prospective customers or receiving calls from interested customers. They often travel from one location to another to meet clients or attend trade shows.
Based on their role, sales representatives may need to work outside regular work hours, including weekends, public holidays, and evenings. Working to meet sales targets and budgets can get stressful.
9. What Sectors Employ Sales Representatives In Australia?
Sales Representatives work in larger organisations related to retail trade, insurance, manufacturing, and wholesale trade sectors. They may have to cover the city, country areas, suburban, interstate, or overseas territories.
10. What Jobs Involve Sales Reps?
According to Seek, a qualified sales representative can work in the following sales jobs in Australia:
Junior Sales Representative
Business Development Representative
Associate Territory Manager - Medical Devices
Technical Sales Representative
Business Development Executive
Sales Support Representative
Inbound Sales Representative
Commercial Sales Executive
Sales Representative Allied Health Supplies
Field Sales Representative
Sales Development Representative
Enterprise Sales Development Representative
11. What Are The Areas Of Specialisation For Sales Representatives?
A sales rep may consider specialising in the following areas such as:
Plumbing and Building Supplies Representative
Business Services Representative
Chemical Sales Representative
Motor Vehicle Accessories and Parts Representative
Personal and Household Goods Representative
Pharmaceutical/Medical Device Representative
Educational Sales Representative
12. Job Prospects Of A Sales Representative In Australia
Sales is an exciting, dynamic, and broad industry that comes in many forms, with prospects in real estate sales, B2B sales, and consumer sales.
It is a progressive career where sales reps regularly work with communication and marketing departments and sell various things, from cars and retail products to business services.
There will always be things to sell, so the demand for talented sales reps will stay. The Australian sales industry expects a robust growth of salespeople in the next couple of years.
85% of sales reps work full-time for around 44 hours per week. 36% of workers are female, and the average age of workers in this profession is 42 years.
13. How Much Does A Sales Representative Earn In Australia?
Sales Representatives usually work on a commission basis. In addition to an annual income, they also earn bonuses and commissions for exceeding their sales targets. Thus, the more sales they achieve, the higher their chances to draw large salaries.
In addition to the number of sales, the sales representative's salary depends on their experience, role, location, employer, and industry. According to PayScale, the sales representative's salary in Australia is AU$60,420 per year.
Salary Based on Experience
Entry-level Sales Representatives (<1-year experience) earn AU$50,381 per year
Early career Sales Representatives (1 to 4 years of experience) earn AU$54,934 per year
Mid-career Sales Representatives (5 to 9 years of experience) earn AU$66,232 per year
Experienced Sales Representatives (10 to 19 years of experience) earn AU$67,692 per year
Salary Based on Location
Top paying Australian cities for Sales Representatives:
Richmond VIC: $104,218 per year
Milton QLD: $78,798 per year
Sydney Central Business District NSW: $71,440 per year
Canberra ACT: $70,111 per year
Sydney NSW: $69,546 per year
Brisbane QLD: $67,413 per year
Perth WA: $67,154 per year
Melbourne VIC: $67,026 per year
14. How To Be A Good Sales Rep Over The Phone?
Here are a few helpful phone sales skills you can use right now to reach out to prospects/customers effectively:
Limit the background noise
Don't get distracted by email or other notifications on your computer while on the call.
Don't make a sales call from an unstable cell phone with the poor network coverage.
Maintain a friendly and enthusiastic tone to avoid potential opportunities going cold on you
Maintain a proper pace (words per minute) while talking to the client
You can use your hands while talking to infuse more energy into your voice.
Use the person's name.
Ask discovery questions to gauge interest signals among customers.
Ask open-ended questions to build a dialogue to learn their needs and address them effectively.
Actively listen to the prospects and work out an actionable plan for them.
Present all relevant product specs, features, and details honestly. Tell them upfront if the product you are trying to sell doesn't fulfil their needs. Being straightforward will help you gain their trust and respect.
Have an open conversation about their budget early in your conversation so that you can present them with a reasonable offer
Use pauses and maintain the same tone when negotiating a price with the prospect.
Never hang up the phone first.
A career as a sales representative promises challenges, growth, and a high earning potential boosting great rewards.
A sales course will expand your sales skills and teach you how to implement them in varied business settings. If you want to unlock your true potential and open a world of exciting opportunities, consider enrolling for a course today.
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