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Occupation Information

Sales Representatives, Wholesale and Manufacturing, Except Technical and Scientific Products
SOC Code: 41-4012.00

Sell goods for wholesalers or manufacturers to businesses or groups of individuals. Work requires substantial knowledge of items sold.

Sample of reported job titles: Account Executive, Account Manager, Outside Sales, Outside Sales Representative, Sales, Sales Consultant, Sales Director, Sales Rep, Sales Representative, Salesman

Tasks

  • Contact regular and prospective customers to demonstrate products, explain product features, and solicit orders.
  • Recommend products to customers, based on customers' needs and interests.
  • Answer customers' questions about products, prices, availability, product uses, and credit terms.
  • Estimate or quote prices, credit or contract terms, warranties, and delivery dates.
  • Consult with clients after sales or contract signings to resolve problems and to provide ongoing support.
  • Provide customers with product samples and catalogs.
  • Identify prospective customers by using business directories, following leads from existing clients, participating in organizations and clubs, and attending trade shows and conferences.
  • Prepare drawings, estimates, and bids that meet specific customer needs.
  • Monitor market conditions, product innovations, and competitors' products, prices, and sales.
  • Perform administrative duties, such as preparing sales budgets and reports, keeping sales records, and filing expense account reports.
  • Obtain credit information about prospective customers.
  • Train customers' employees to operate and maintain new equipment.
  • Prepare sales contracts and order forms.
  • Negotiate details of contracts and payments.
  • Forward orders to manufacturers.
  • Negotiate with retail merchants to improve product exposure, such as shelf positioning and advertising.
  • Plan, assemble, and stock product displays in retail stores, or make recommendations to retailers regarding product displays, promotional programs, and advertising.
  • Check stock levels and reorder merchandise as necessary.
  • Arrange and direct delivery and installation of products and equipment.
  • Buy products from manufacturers or brokerage firms and distribute them to wholesale and retail clients.

Technology Skills

  • Access software - Citrix
  • Accounting software - Fund accounting software ; Intuit QuickBooks ; Sage 50 Accounting; Tax software
  • Analytical or scientific software - IBM SPSS Statistics ; SAS
  • Application server software - Oracle WebLogic Server
  • Business intelligence and data analysis software - IBM Cognos Impromptu ; MicroStrategy ; Qlik Tech QlikView ; Tableau (see all 5 examples)
  • Calendar and scheduling software - Computerized call calendars; Computerized time management systems
  • Computer aided design CAD software - Autodesk AutoCAD
  • Customer relationship management CRM software - Oracle Eloqua ; Salesforce software ; Soffront CRM Portal; Tigerpaw (see all 25 examples)
  • Data base management system software - Relational database management software
  • Data base reporting software - SalesInSync
  • Data base user interface and query software - Data entry software ; FileMaker Pro; Microsoft Access ; Yardi (see all 5 examples)
  • Data mining software - Google Analytics
  • Desktop publishing software - Adobe Systems Adobe InDesign ; Contract Central; Microsoft Publisher
  • Development environment software - Eclipse IDE ; Microsoft Visual Basic
  • Document management software - Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat
  • Electronic mail software - IBM Notes ; Microsoft Exchange Server ; Microsoft Outlook ; Mozilla Thunderbird (see all 5 examples)
  • Enterprise application integration software - Extensible markup language XML
  • Enterprise resource planning ERP software - Microsoft Dynamics GP ; NetSuite ERP ; Oracle JD Edwards EnterpriseOne ; SAP (see all 10 examples)
  • Enterprise system management software - IBM Power Systems software
  • Expert system software - MASterMind
  • Financial analysis software - Delphi Technology
  • Graphics or photo imaging software - Adobe Systems Adobe Creative Cloud ; Adobe Systems Adobe Illustrator ; Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop ; Microsoft Visio (see all 5 examples)
  • Information retrieval or search software - LexisNexis
  • Internet browser software - Microsoft Internet Explorer; Mozilla Firefox; SeaMonkey
  • Map creation software - ESRI ArcGIS software
  • Medical software - Healthcare common procedure coding system HCPCS
  • Network security and virtual private network VPN equipment software - Virtual private networking VPN software
  • Object or component oriented development software - Apache Groovy
  • Office suite software - Microsoft Office
  • Operating system software - Apple macOS ; Handheld computer device software ; Microsoft Windows ; UNIX
  • Presentation software - Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Project management software - Microsoft Project ; Microsoft SharePoint ; Oracle Primavera Enterprise Project Portfolio Management
  • Sales and marketing software - Google AdWords ; Marketo Marketing Automation
  • Spreadsheet software - Microsoft Excel
  • Transaction security and virus protection software - McAfee ; Symantec
  • Video creation and editing software - YouTube
  • Web page creation and editing software - Adobe Systems Adobe Dreamweaver ; Facebook ; LinkedIn
  • Web platform development software - Hypertext markup language HTML
  • Word processing software - Microsoft Word

Tools Used

  • Desktop computers
  • Laser printers
  • Liquid crystal display projector - Light-emitting diode LED projectors
  • Mobile phones - Mobile telephones
  • Notebook computers - Laptop computers
  • Personal computers

Knowledge

  • Sales and Marketing - Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.

Skills

  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Persuasion - Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Negotiation - Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Service Orientation - Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Abilities

  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Fluency of Ideas - The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Originality - The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.

Interests

  • Interest code: CE
    • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
    • Enterprising - Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

Work Context

  • Telephone - 98% responded “Every day.”
  • Electronic Mail - 90% responded “Every day.”
  • Contact With Others - 79% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week - 80% responded “More than 40 hours.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions - 67% responded “Every day.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work - 50% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Deal With External Customers - 69% responded “Extremely important.”
  • In an Enclosed Vehicle or Equipment - 55% responded “Every day.”
  • Level of Competition - 52% responded “Highly competitive.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions - 37% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team - 44% responded “Very important.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results - 35% responded “Important results.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others - 50% responded “Very important.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making - 35% responded “Every day.”
  • Frequency of Conflict Situations - 71% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Letters and Memos - 36% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Sitting - 35% responded “More than half the time.”
  • Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People - 48% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate - 45% responded “Very important.”
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled - 36% responded “Every day.”
  • Time Pressure - 44% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Physical Proximity - 41% responded “Moderately close (at arm's length).”
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results - 39% responded “Limited responsibility.”

Education

Percentage of RespondentsEducation Level Required
77%Bachelor's degree
22%High school diploma or equivalent

Work Styles

  • Dependability - Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Integrity - Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility - Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Persistence - Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Cooperation - Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Attention to Detail - Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Initiative - Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Independence - Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Achievement/Effort - Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Self Control - Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Stress Tolerance - Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Analytical Thinking - Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Concern for Others - Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Leadership - Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Innovation - Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
  • Social Orientation - Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.

Work Values

  • Relationships - Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
  • Achievement - Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
  • Independence - Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.

Wages & Trends

  • Median wages (2017)
    • $27.39 hourly, $56,970 annual
  • Employment (2016)
    • 1,470,000 employees
  • Projected growth (2016-2026)
    • Average (5% to 9%)
  • Projected job openings (2016-2026)
    • 158,400

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