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Sales Representative

A sales representative’s job is to promote products and services to potential customers, pitch products with a unique selling promotional strategy, and maintain existing customer accounts by ensuring customers' accounts have a proper and smooth sales process.

Who is a sales representative?

A sales representative (sales rep or salesperson) is an individual who is responsible for selling products, services, or solutions on behalf of a company to prospective customers. Their main objective is to build relationships with potential customers, understand their needs and preferences, and then promote and pitch the company’s offerings to meet those needs.

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What does a sales representative do?

The responsibilities of sales representatives are:

  1. Prospecting
  2. Building relationships
  3. Product/service presentation
  4. Needs assessment
  5. Customized solutions
  6. Handling objectives
  7. Negotiations
  8. Closing deals
  9. After-sales support
  10. Sales reporting
  1. Prospecting: Sales representatives spend a significant amount of them identifying potential customers or leads. They use different methods, such as researching online databases, using social media platforms, attending industry events, and networking to find individuals or businesses that might be interested in their company’s products and services.
  2. Building relationships: Sales representatives are relationship builders. They work on establishing trust and rapport with potential customers to create a foundation for future business opportunities.
  3. Product/service presentation: Once they identify potential customers, sales reps need to effectively present the products and services offered by the company. This includes explaining the benefits and unique selling propositions of the product compellingly. Sales reps must be knowledgeable and confident about the products they are selling.
  4. Needs assessment: During the sales process, sales representatives conduct a thorough needs assessment to understand the specific needs of the customer and pain points of the potential customer.
  5. Customized solutions: Based on the needs assessment, sales reps customize their sales pitch and the solutions to suit the individual customer. They emphasize how their offerings can provide value and solve the customer’s challenges.
  6. Handling objectives: Perspective customers may raise objections or concerns during sales. Sales representatives need to be skilled at handling objections diplomatically and providing suitable responses to alleviate customer objections.
  7. Negotiations: Sales reps engage in negotiations to discuss pricing, terms and conditions while keeping the customer’s interest and budget constraints.
  8. Closing deals: A critical part of a sales rep’s role is to close deals successfully, which means encouraging the customer to make a purchase decision throughout the buying journey.
  9. After-sales support: Sales representatives often continue to be involved after the sales is made. They provide post-sales support, and address customer concerns.
  10. Sales reporting: Sales representatives maintain sales activities, leads, and outcomes records. On the basis of the outcomes, reports are prepared and shared with the team and progress is made towards the target.

What are the skills of sales representatives?

The skills of sales representatives are as follows:

  1. Communication skills
  2. Negotiation skills
  3. Know customer needs
  4. Product knowledge
  5. Time management
  6. Problem-solving skills
  7. Emotional intelligence
  1. Communication skills: Sales representatives must be excellent verbal and written communicators. They must articulate product features, benefits, and pricing and listen actively to customers' needs.
  2. Negotiation skills: Sales representatives often negotiate to reach mutually beneficial agreements with customers. Strong negotiation skills help them close deals and achieve favourable terms for both parties.
  3. Know customer needs: Successful sales reps take the time to understand their customer's need and pain points that help identify these; they can tailor their sales pitch to provide relevant information.
  4. Product knowledge: In-depth knowledge of the product or services they sell is essential for sales representatives. They must be able to answer customer questions, address concerns, and position their offerings and solutions to the customer needs.
  5. Time management: Sales representatives handle multiple leads and clients simultaneously. Effective time management helps them prioritize tasks, manage appointments, and focus on results-driven practices.
  6. Problem-solving skills: Sales representatives encounter various challenges during the sales process. Strong problem–solving abilities allow them to find creative solutions to overcome hurdles and meet customer needs.
  7. Emotional intelligence: Understanding and empathizing with customer emotions helps sales representatives build trust and rapport. Emotional intelligence allows them to connect with customers on a deeper level.

What are the best practices for sales representatives?

The best practices for sales representatives:

1. Understand the customer

  • Research thoroughly: Before approaching a potential customer, conduct thorough research to understand their business, needs, pain points, and industry trends.
  • Listen actively: During conversations, practice active listening to truly understand the customer's challenges and requirements. This builds rapport and helps in crafting a tailored solution.

2. Effective communication

  • Clear and concise: Communicate clearly and concisely, ensuring that the value proposition is well-articulated and easy to understand.
  • Tailored messaging: Customize your messaging to align with the specific needs and concerns of the customer. Avoid using generic sales pitches.

3. Leverage sales training

  • Continuous learning: Engage in ongoing sales training to stay updated with the latest sales techniques, product knowledge, and industry trends.
  • Role-playing: Practice sales scenarios through role-playing to improve your pitch, handle objections, and refine your closing techniques.

4. Utilize sales technology

  • CRM systems: Use Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems to track customer interactions, manage the sales pipeline, and follow up effectively.
  • Sales analytics: Leverage sales analytics tools to gain insights into customer behavior, track key metrics, and optimize your sales strategies.

5. Follow a structured sales process

  • Sales pipeline management: Regularly update and manage your sales pipeline to ensure that no opportunities are overlooked and follow-ups are timely.
  • Qualify leads: Qualify leads early in the sales process to focus on prospects that have a higher likelihood of conversion.

6. Build strong relationships

  • Customer-centric approach: Prioritize building strong, long-term relationships with customers by providing exceptional service and support.
  • Follow-up: Regularly follow up with customers after the sale to ensure satisfaction and address any concerns, which can lead to repeat business and referrals.

7. Set and track sales goals

  • SMART goals: Set Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound (SMART) sales goals to maintain focus and motivation.
  • Monitor progress: Regularly track progress against your sales goals and adjust your strategies as needed to stay on target.

8. Effective time management

  • Prioritize tasks: Prioritize high-impact activities that contribute directly to closing deals and achieving sales goals.
  • Avoid distractions: Minimize distractions and time-wasting activities to maximize productivity and efficiency.

9. Master negotiation skills

  • Understand the value proposition: Be clear about the unique value your product or service offers and communicate this effectively during negotiations.
  • Seek win-win outcomes: Aim for negotiations that result in mutually beneficial outcomes, fostering positive relationships and long-term customer loyalty.

10. Collaborate with sales operations and enablement teams

  • Leverage resources: Utilize the tools, training, and resources provided by sales enablement teams to enhance your effectiveness.
  • Data-driven decisions: Work with sales operations to access data and insights that can inform your sales strategies and improve your performance.

11. Stay resilient and adaptable

  • Learn from rejection: View rejection as a learning opportunity and use feedback to improve your approach.
  • Adapt to change: Stay adaptable and be willing to adjust your strategies in response to market changes, customer feedback, and new sales techniques.

Employee pulse surveys:

These are short surveys that can be sent frequently to check what your employees think about an issue quickly. The survey comprises fewer questions (not more than 10) to get the information quickly. These can be administered at regular intervals (monthly/weekly/quarterly).

One-on-one meetings:

Having periodic, hour-long meetings for an informal chat with every team member is an excellent way to get a true sense of what’s happening with them. Since it is a safe and private conversation, it helps you get better details about an issue.


eNPS (employee Net Promoter score) is one of the simplest yet effective ways to assess your employee's opinion of your company. It includes one intriguing question that gauges loyalty. An example of eNPS questions include: How likely are you to recommend our company to others? Employees respond to the eNPS survey on a scale of 1-10, where 10 denotes they are ‘highly likely’ to recommend the company and 1 signifies they are ‘highly unlikely’ to recommend it.

Based on the responses, employees can be placed in three different categories:

  • Promoters
    Employees who have responded positively or agreed.
  • Detractors
    Employees who have reacted negatively or disagreed.
  • Passives
    Employees who have stayed neutral with their responses.

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