Commercial sales representative

A commercial sales representative


Commercial sales representatives represent a company in selling and providing information on goods and services to businesses and organisations.

The duties of a commercial sales representative include, but are not limited to:

  • Maintaining customer relationships by following up with clients after an initial sale has been made, offering advice about new products or services that may be of interest
  • Establishing rapport with potential clients through phone calls and face-to-face meetings to identify needs and determine solutions
  • Creating and maintaining relationships with current clients and contacts within the industry to increase business opportunities
  • Presenting proposals to prospective clients in an effort to secure new business
  • Performing administrative tasks such as ordering supplies and preparing invoices
  • Developing and presenting new product lines or services to existing clients
  • Negotiating prices and terms of sale with clients in order to close deals
  • Selling products or services to businesses or individuals through in-person presentations or over the phone
  • Creating proposals for new products or services based on client needs and desires

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to commercial sales representative:

technical and commercial sales executive
territory manager
sales and marketing consultant
sales executive
field sales consultant
business development representative
commercial sales consultant
sales and marketing executive
field sales executive
commercial saleswoman
technical and commercial sales consultant
commercial sales executive
commercial salesperson
field sales representative
commercial salesman
technical and commercial sales representative
sales consultant
sales representative

Working conditions

Commercial sales representatives work in a variety of settings, including office buildings, factories, and retail establishments. They may travel to visit clients or attend sales meetings, conventions, and trade shows. They usually work a standard 40-hour week, but may work longer hours to meet deadlines or quotas.

Some sales representatives work on commission, which gives them the opportunity to earn more money if they sell more products. However, this arrangement also means that they may earn less money during slow periods. Sales representatives may experience a great deal of stress when trying to meet quotas or deadlines.

Minimum qualifications

Most commercial sales representative positions require a minimum of a high school diploma or equivalent. Some companies may prefer a candidate who has a bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as business or marketing. Relevant coursework includes sales, marketing, business and finance.

Commercial sales representatives typically receive on-the-job training from their new employer. This training may include learning about the company’s products and services, the company’s sales process and the company’s computer systems. The training may also include instruction on how to interact with clients and how to handle customer complaints.

ISCO skill level

ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:

  • the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
  • the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
  • the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.

Commercial sales representative is a Skill level 3 occupation.

Commercial sales representative career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to commercial sales representative.

advertising sales agent
sales account manager
electricity sales representative
aeronautical information specialist
domestic energy assessor

Long term prospects

These occupations require some skills and knowledge of commercial sales representative. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of commercial sales representative with a significant experience and/or extensive training.

technical sales representative in chemical products
technical sales representative in electronic and telecommunications equipment
technical sales representative in office machinery and equipment
technical sales representative in agricultural machinery and equipment
technical sales representative in hardware, plumbing and heating equipment

Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of commercial sales representative.

  • Characteristics of products: The tangible characteristics of a product such as its materials, properties and functions, as well as its different applications, features, use and support requirements.
  • Sales promotion techniques: The techniques used to persuade customers to purchase a product or a service.
  • Product comprehension: The offered products, their functionalities, properties and legal and regulatory requirements.
  • Customer relationship management: The customer-oriented management approach and basic principles of successful customer relations that focus on interactions with customers such as technical support, customer services, after-sales support and direct communication with the customer.
  • Sales strategies: The principles concerning customer behaviour and target markets with the aim of promotion and sales of a product or a service.
  • Characteristics of services: The characteristics of a service that might include having acquired information about its application, function, features, use and support requirements.

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of commercial sales representative.

  • Guarantee customer satisfaction: Handle customer expectations in a professional manner, anticipating and addressing their needs and desires. Provide flexible customer service to ensure customer satisfaction and loyalty.
  • Communicate with customers: Respond to and communicate with customers in the most efficient and appropriate manner to enable them to access the desired products or services, or any other help they may require.
  • Ensure customer focus: Attitude that puts customers at the centre of the business in all cases.
  • Ensure compliance with legal requirements: Guarantee compliance with established and applicable standards and legal requirements such as specifications, policies, standards or law for the goal that organisations aspire to achieve in their efforts.
  • Answer requests for quotation: Make up prices and documents for the products that customers may purchase.
  • Carry out sales analysis: Examine sales reports to see what goods and services have and have not sold well.
  • Maintain relationship with suppliers: Build a lasting and meaningful relationship with suppliers and service providers in order to establish a positive, profitable and enduring collaboration, co-operation and contract negotiation.
  • Implement customer follow-up: Implement strategies that ensures post-sale follow up of customer satisfaction or loyalty regarding one’s product or service.
  • Prospect new customers: Initiate activities in order to attract new and interesting customers. Ask for recommendations and references, find places where potential customers can be located.
  • Record customers’ personal data: Gather and record customers’ personal data into the system; obtain all signatures and documents required for rental.
  • Contact customers: Contact customers by telephone in order to respond to inquiries or to notify them of claim investigation results or any planned adjustments.
  • Keep records of customer interaction: Recording details of inquiries, comments and complaints received from customers, as well as actions to be taken.
  • Demonstrate motivation for sales: Show incentives that drive someone to reach sales goals and business targets.
  • Use customer relationship management software: Use specialised software to manage company’s interactions with current and future customers. Organise, automate and synchronise sales, marketing, customer service, and technical support, to increase targeted sales.
  • Ensure compliance with purchasing and contracting regulations: Implement and monitor company activities in compliance with legal contracting and purchasing legislations.
  • Produce sales reports: Maintain records of calls made and products sold over a given time frame, including data regarding sales volumes, number of new accounts contacted and the costs involved.
  • Implement sales strategies: Carry out the plan to gain competitive advantage on the market by positioning the company’s brand or product and by targeting the right audience to sell this brand or product to.
  • Apply technical communication skills: Explain technical details to non-technical customers, stakeholders, or any other interested parties in a clear and concise manner.
  • Respond to customers’ inquiries: Answer customers’ questions about itineraries, rates and reservations in person, by mail, by e-mail and on the phone.
  • Have computer literacy: Utilise computers, IT equipment and modern day technology in an efficient way.
  • Advise on merchandise features: Provide counsel on the buying of merchandise such as goods, vehicles or other objects, as well as providing information on their features and attributes to clients or customers.
  • Demonstrate products’ features: Demonstrate how to use a product in a correct and safe manner, provide customers with information on the product’s main features and benefits, explain operation, correct use and maintenance. Persuade potential customers to purchase items.
  • Prospect new regional contracts: Identify and win regional contracts/tenders for expanding stores.
  • Keep records on sales: Keep records of the activities of the sales of products and services, tracking which products and services were sold when and maintaining customer records, in order to facilitate improvements in the sales department.

Optional knowledge and skills

Optional knowledge

This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of commercial sales representative. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Production processes: Materials and techniques required in the production and distribution processes.
  • Chemical products: The offered chemical products, their functionalities, properties and legal and regulatory requirements.
  • E-procurement: The functioning and methods used to manage electronic purchases.
  • Credit card payments: The methods involving payment done through credit cards.
  • Clothing and footwear products: The offered clothing and footwear products, their functionalities, properties and legal and regulatory requirements.
  • Electronic and telecommunication equipment: The offered electronic and telecommunication equipment and products, their functionalities, properties and legal and regulatory requirements.
  • Types of aircraft: The various types of aircraft, their functionalities, properties and legal and regulatory requirements.
  • Office equipment: The offered office machinery and equipment products, its functionalities, properties and legal and regulatory requirements.
  • Types of maritime vessels: Know a large variety of maritime vessels and their characteristics and specifications. Use that knowledge to ensure that all security, technical, and maintenance measures are taken into account in their supply.
  • Dairy and edible oil products: The offered dairy products and edible oil products, their functionalities, properties and legal and regulatory requirements.
  • International commercial transactions rules: Pre-defined commercial terms used in international commercial transactions which stipulate clear tasks, costs and risks associated with the delivery of goods and services.
  • Consumer protection: The current legislation applicable in relation to the rights of consumers in the marketplace.
  • Types of media: The means of mass communication, such as internet, television, journals, and radio, that reach and influence the majority of the public.
  • Beverage products: The offered beverage products, their functionalities, properties and legal and regulatory requirements.
  • ICT software specifications: The characteristics, use and operations of various software products such as computer programmes and application software.
  • Media formats: The various formats in which media can be made available to the audience, such as paper books, e-books, tapes, and analogue signal.
  • Outdoor advertising: Types and characteristics of advertising performed in the public domain such as on street furniture, public transportation vehicles, stations and airports and on billboards.
  • Advertising techniques: The communication strategies intended to persuade or encourage an audience, and the different media which are used to achieve this goal.
  • E-commerce systems: Basic digital architecture and commercial transactions for trading products or services conducted via Internet, e-mail, mobile devices, social media, etc.
  • Hardware industry: Different tools and brands in the hardware industry such as power tools.
  • Perfume and cosmetic products: The offered perfume and cosmetic products, their functionalities, properties and legal and regulatory requirements.
  • Market pricing: Price volatility according to market and price elasticity, and the factors which influence pricing trends and changes in the market in the long and short term.
  • Electronic communication: Data communication performed through digital means such as computers, telephone or e-mail.
  • Household products: The offered household products or goods, their functionalities, properties and legal and regulatory requirements.
  • Media planning: The process of selecting the best media to reach marketing and advertising strategy objectives in order to promote a client’s product or service. This process encompasses research on target audiences, frequency of advertisements, budgets and media platforms.
  • Glassware products: The offered china glassware and other glassware products such as cups and vases, their functionalities, properties and legal and regulatory requirements.

Optional skills and competences

These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of commercial sales representative. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Implement marketing strategies: Implement strategies which aim to promote a specific product or service, using the developed marketing strategies.
  • Speak different languages: Master foreign languages to be able to communicate in one or more foreign languages.
  • Deliver a sales pitch: Prepare and deliver an understandably constructed sales talk for a product or a service, identifying and using persuasive argumentation.
  • Monitor media industry research figures: Keep up to date with distribution figures of the various printed media outlets such as newspapers and journals; with the audience figures of radio and television or of specific broadcast programs; and of those of online outlets such as search engine optimisation and pay-per-click results.
  • Work with advertising professionals: Cooperate with professionals in the advertising field as to ensure a smooth development of the advertising projects. Work together with researchers, creative teams, publishers, and copywriters.
  • Apply social media marketing: Employ website traffic of social media such as Facebook and Twitter to generate attention and participation of existing and potential customers through discussion forums, web logs, microblogging and social communities for gaining a quick overview or insight into topics and opinions in the social web and handle inbound leads or inquiries.
  • Develop promotional tools: Generate promotional material and collaborate in the production of promotional text, videos, photos, etc. Keep previous promotional material organised.
  • Stay up to date with social media: Keep up with the trends and people on social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
  • Analyse consumer buying trends: Analyse buying habits or currently prevalent customer behaviour.
  • Perform media outlets research: Research what will be the best and most effective way to reach the majority of consumers by defining the target audience and the type of media outlet that better fit with the purpose.
  • Process payments: Accept payments such as cash, credit cards and debit cards. Handle reimbursement in case of returns or administer vouchers and marketing instruments such as bonus cards or membership cards. Pay attention to safety and the protection of personal data.
  • Provide advertisement samples: Show clients a preview of the advertising format and features.
  • Develop media strategy: Create the strategy on the type of content to be delivered to the target groups and which media to be used, taking into account the characteristics of the target audience and the media that will be used for content delivery.
  • Monitor after sales records: Keep an eye on the after sales feedback and monitor customer satisfaction or complaints; record after sales calls for thorough data analysis.
  • Issue sales invoices: Prepare the invoice of goods sold or services provided, containing individual prices, the total charge, and the terms. Complete order processing for orders received via telephone, fax and internet and calculate the customer’s final bill.
  • Show diplomacy: Deal with people in a sensitive and tactful way.
  • Handle financial transactions: Administer currencies, financial exchange activities, deposits as well as company and voucher payments. Prepare and manage guest accounts and take payments by cash, credit card and debit card.

ISCO group and title

3322 – Commercial sales representatives

  1. Commercial sales representative – ESCO
  2. Wholesale and Manufacturing Sales Representatives : Occupational Outlook Handbook – U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
  3. Commercial Sales Representative Job Description: Salary, Duties, & More – Climb the Ladder
  4. Featured image: Photo by cottonbro studio from Pexels
Last updated on December 25, 2022

What do you want to do with this job?

You will be brought to the forum page

Requires a business account

Requires a business account

Thinking about your next career move?

Answer a few questions about your jobs and education, and we’ll give you suggestions about your best possible career move. It’s completely free!