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Sales representative

Alternative titles for this job include Salesperson, sales rep, sales executive, field sales executive

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

Average salary (a year)

£15,000 Starter


£50,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

38 to 40 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays away from home

How to become a sales representative

You can get into this job through:

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


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

More Information


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

More Information


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.

More Information

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

Apprentice National Account Executive

  • Wage: £22,000.00 Annually
  • Location:

Courses In England

Business, Sales and Marketing Level 3

  • Start date: 07 September 2021
  • Location: Bournemouth

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

  • Start date: 01 September 2021
  • Location: Hounslow

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