The practice of driving customers to purchase goods and services. Sales professionals are sometimes called sales representatives and are responsible for meeting sales or profitability objectives within organizations or businesses. Sales professionals identify opportunities in the marketplace, obtain new clients, create and present proposals, and oversee the contract process. They frequently work alongside various professionals within their organization and are often required to travel.
Special skills necessary to the position of sales professional include excellent business knowledge and negotiation skills, broad contacts within the industry, superior written and oral communication skills, and the ability to travel frequently. A professional appearance is a must as sales professionals play a key role in presenting a positive company image to the public. In general, sales professionals are required to have a bachelor's or advanced degree in business, mathematics or the sciences, along with three to five years of marketing or sales experience. Depending on a salesperson’s standing in a company, an MBA can be required.
The primary tasks of sales professionals include meeting assigned sales targets, searching for and developing new client relationships within targeted markets, consulting with these clients on needs and objectives, creating proposals, giving sales presentations, making recommendations for products or services, managing other sales professionals, and resolving sales issues.
Sales professional must also have the ability to motivate and influence others, which requires excellent interpersonal and communication skills. Applicants for this job must be willing and able to participate in frequent marketing events such as seminars and trade shows and have excellent organizational and management skills for jobs such as coordinating shipping schedules and delivery of merchandise and services. In some cases, sales professionals may also mentor or train new sales employees.