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


If you're selling specialist products or services, like pharmaceuticals, employers may want you to have a degree in a relevant subject.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 to 3 A levels to do a degree or higher national diploma

More information


You could do an intermediate or advanced apprenticeship in:

  • sales and telesales
  • vehicle sales

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • functional skills qualifications in English and maths at level 1
  • 2 or more GCSEs at grade 4 (C) or above

More information


You could start out 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 may also help if you have experience or a background in what you're selling.

Further information

The Institute of Sales Management (ISM) has more information on careers in sales.

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
  • Being able to use a computer terminal or hand-held device may be beneficial for this job.

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.

Training opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Sales Administrator Apprentice

  • Wage : £175.00 - £250.00 Weekly
  • Location: Ilford IG6 3HQ

Sales and Events Apprentice

  • Wage : £216.00 Weekly
  • Location: Horsham RH13 6PG

Courses In England

Estate Agency, Sale of Residential Property

  • Start date: 09 September 2019
  • Location: Eastbourne

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

  • Provider: Heston Community School
  • Start date: 02 September 2019
  • Location: Hounslow

Get help using this service

Call 08000 150 950

8am to 10pm, 7 days a week

More ways to contact us

Is this page useful?

Yes No