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What does a Sales Person do?

Learn all about Sales Person duties, skills and much more. Get expert advice on how to become a Sales Person.

Photo of Brenna Goyette
Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 4 min read

A sales person is responsible for generating revenue for a company by selling products or services. They work with customers to identify their needs and then match those needs with the products or services that the company offers. Sales people typically work on commission, so their income is directly related to their ability to sell.

Sales Person job duties include:

  • Meeting or exceeding sales targets
  • Developing and maintaining strong relationships with customers
  • Negotiating contracts and closing deals
  • Identifying and developing new business opportunities
  • Planning and executing sales strategies
  • Conducting market research and analysis
  • Preparing sales reports
  • Monitoring competitor activity
  • Attending trade shows, conferences, and other networking events

Sales Person Job Requirements

A Sales Person is typically required to have a high school diploma, although some jobs may require postsecondary education, and most jobs will require some on-the-job training. Certification is not typically required, but may be beneficial. Experience is typically required for most Sales Person positions.

Sales Person Skills

  • Communication
  • Listening
  • Persuasion
  • Negotiation
  • Closing
  • Prospecting
  • Time Management
  • Organization
  • Territory Management
  • Product Knowledge
  • Industry Knowledge
  • Competitive Knowledge

Related: Top Sales Person Skills: Definition and Examples

How to become a Sales Person

Sales people are the backbone of any company that relies on customer acquisition and revenue growth. They are the ones responsible for generating new leads, developing relationships with customers, and closing deals. If you’re looking to start a career in sales, or are already working in sales but want to improve your skills, here are a few things you can do to become a top-performing sales person:

1. Understand your product or service inside and out.

This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s important to be able to articulate the features and benefits of what you’re selling in a way that resonates with your customer. Take the time to really get to know your product or service so that you can speak confidently about it and address any objections that may come up.

2. Build a strong network of contacts.

A large part of being successful in sales is having a strong network of contacts that you can rely on for referrals and introductions. Get involved in your industry or trade association, attend networking events, and make an effort to keep in touch with your past clients and colleagues. The more people you know, the more likely you are to find someone who’s interested in what you’re selling.

3. Stay organized and keep track of your progress.

As a sales person, it’s important to stay organized and keep track of your progress so that you can see what’s working and what isn’t. There are a number of CRM (customer relationship management) software programs available that can help with this, or you can simply use a spreadsheet to track your leads and customers. Either way, make sure you have some system in place so that you can easily reference past conversations, follow up on outstanding items, and set future goals.

4. Be persistent (but not pushy).

One of the most important qualities of successful sales people is persistence. It takes an average of 8 “no”s before getting a “yes”, so don’t give up after the first few rejections. That said, it’s also important to know when to back off – if someone isn’t interested, there’s no point in continuing to try to sell them on something they don’t want. Learn how to read people and gauge their level of interest so that you can adjust your approach accordingly.

5. Always be learning.

The best salespeople are always learning – whether it’s reading books or articles on selling techniques, taking courses on product knowledge or customer service, or attending workshops on presentation skills. The more you learn, the better equipped you’ll be to close deals and exceed your quotas.

Related: Sales Person Resume Example

Related: Sales Person Interview Questions (With Example Answers)