How to become a sales representative

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role

University

You may need to do a degree in a subject related to your area of sales, especially if you're selling specialist products or services, for example pharmaceuticals.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree

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Apprenticeship

You could do an intermediate or advanced apprenticeship in:

  • sales and telesales
  • vehicle sales

You could move onto a sales executive higher apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship
  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship

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Work

You could start as an administrator in a sales office. Experience in a retail or customer service role may help you to become a sales rep. You'll also need a good standard of English and number skills.

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Career tips

It will help if you have experience or a background in what you're selling.

Further information

You can find out more about careers in sales from the Institute of Sales Management.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • the ability to sell products and services
  • customer service skills
  • persistence and determination
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • the ability to work well with others
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

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

Working environment

You could work in an office, from home or in a contact centre.

Career path and progression

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

The Institute of Sales Management (ISM) could help you develop your career.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Product Lifecycle Administration Apprenticeship - Hosokawa Micron

  • Wage: £14,000.00 Annually
  • Location: Runcorn

Sales Executive (apprentice)

  • Wage: Competitive salary Unspecified
  • Location: Chessington

Courses In England

Non Regulated Marketing and Sales

  • Provider: AGILITY PEOPLE SERVICES LIMITED
  • Start date: 09 January 2021
  • Location: Middlesbrough

NCFE Level 2 Diploma in Skills for Business: Sales and Marketing (QCF)

  • Provider: HESTON COMMUNITY SCHOOL
  • Start date: 01 September 2021
  • Location: Hounslow

Jobs In the United Kingdom

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