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Sales representative

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

Annual Salary

£20,000 to £52,000

Average UK salary in 2022 was £33,200
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

38 to 40 a week

You could work: evenings / weekends / bank holidays; away from home

Future employment

There will be 2.9% more Sales representative jobs in 2027.

Day to day tasks

You may:

  • contact new and existing customers
  • make presentations to promote new products
  • agree sales, prices and delivery
  • manage customer enquiries and issues
  • record orders
  • go to conferences to understand industry trends
  • meet sales targets

Working environment

You could work in an office, from home, in a contact centre or at a client's business.

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
For more information

The apprenticeship route you take will depend on the kind of products or services you want to sell. You could do a:

  • Level 3 IT technical salesperson higher apprenticeship
  • Level 4 Sales executive higher apprenticeship
  • Level 6 Business to business sales professional degree apprenticeship

Apprenticeships in retail, customer service or marketing may also give you useful experience for getting into this role.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 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
For 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 Professionals.

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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.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

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
  • active listening skills
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
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