Sales Representative

Job Description:

Sales representatives meet or ring customers to persuade them to buy products or services.

Job Category:
Retail & Consumer

What you will do:

You’ll specialise in a particular industry, like consumer goods, medical supplies, or energy. You may sell directly to consumers, or to other businesses.

Your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • contacting new and existing customers
  • making presentations to promote new products
  • agreeing sales, prices and delivery
  • keeping in contact with customers before and after a sale
    recording orders
  • going to conferences to understand industry trends
  • meeting sales targets


You’ll need:

  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

As well as:

  • the ability to sell & negotiate products and services
  • customer service skills
  • persistence and determination
  • to be flexible and open to change (adaptability skills)
  • the ability to work well with others (teamwork skills)
  • the ability to use your initiative (drive)
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • organisational skills


Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

To become a Sales Representative, there are no specific subject requirements, but having a strong educational background and certain skills can be beneficial for this role. Sales Representatives are responsible for selling products or services to customers. Here are some subjects that can be helpful for preparing for a career as a Sales Representative:

  1. Mathematics (Maths): Proficiency in mathematics is important for tasks like calculating pricing, discounts, and commissions, as well as managing customer orders and sales data.
  2. English Language: Strong written and verbal communication skills are crucial for effectively conveying product information, addressing customer needs, and closing sales.
  3. Business Studies: Business studies can provide foundational knowledge about sales and marketing techniques, customer behaviour, and the principles of commerce.
  4. ICT (Information and Communication Technology): Proficiency in using software applications, including customer relationship management (CRM) tools, can be beneficial for managing customer interactions and sales records.
  5. Economics (if available): While not mandatory, an understanding of economics can help you grasp market dynamics, pricing strategies, and consumer preferences.

Post School

There are no set requirements, but experience of working in an office or call centre could help.

For some sales jobs, such as technical or pharmaceutical sales, you may need to have a relevant qualification like a degree.

You could get into this job through an apprenticeship.

Working Hours and Environment:

You’ll usually work 38 to 40 hours, Monday to Friday, but may need to work evenings or weekends. Occasionally you’ll stay away overnight, or travel abroad to trade fairs and conferences.

You may drive to visit customers. When not on the road, you’ll work from a sales office or call centre. Sometimes you’ll work from home. You’ll usually need a driving licence and may need a passport.

Career Path & Progression:

With experience, you could become a sales team leader or an area sales manager.