Technical Products Sales Reps
Technical products sales reps sell products or services that have a higher level of complexity and require more specialized knowledge when compared to most products. They typically have knowledge regarding the functions, components and the scientific processes that make the products work. Technical sales representatives utilize their technical expertise of a given product to explain to the customer the products benefits and why the product is better than the competitors products.
Sometimes a technical product sales representative uses sales strategies that are different from basic salespersons. They sometimes use a consultive style. They focus on how their products can solve or mitigate the customer's problems, whereas the standard sales approach focuses on benefits and features.
Technical products sales reps sell a variety of products including mechanical and agricultural equipment and computer products. Some technical product sales reps work for one company, some sales reps work for independent sales firms, whereas other technical product salespersons represent several businesses and sell an array of products.
Technical product sales representatives typically sell products to businesses, government agencies and organizations and not directly to consumers. Some technical products sales reps are involved with market research. They often serve as a connection between the customer and the company.
- Negotiate prices and terms of sales and service agreements
- Provide prices, credit terms and other bid specifications
- Explain features of products to customers
- Explain to new and existing customers how products can meet their needs
- Answer questions about products
- Finds new customers
- Prepare and delivers time and expense reports to management
- Demonstrate products
- Calculate and quote prices
- Investigate product or service warranty claims and resolve the situation within company policies
Technical products salespersons attend trade shows and conferences and conventions. They sometimes have to deal with stress since their income and job security often depend on their success in selling products and customer service. Many technical salespersons work more than 40 hours per week in order to meet sales goals and customer needs. Some technical sales representatives make their own work schedules. Some sales reps have large sales territories and extensive travel is part of the job.
Technical products sales reps need good communication and interpersonal skills. They also need the desire to sell products and they should be goal oriented. Problem solving skills are also important to technical products sales representatives.
Employment of wholesale and manufacturing technical and scientific products sales representatives is projected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to grow by 10 percent from 2008 to 2018. The median annual wages, including commissions for wholesale and manufacturing technical and scientific products sales representatives in 2008 was $70,200. The highest paid 10 percent earned more than $133,040.
Regarding the industries providing the largest amount of jobs, the computer systems design and related services, and the wholesale electronic markets and agents and brokers are two of the highest paying sectors.
Due to manufacturers increasingly outsourcing their sales activities, there may be a higher demand for the services of independent sales companies and independent sales agents. Earnings and employment opportunities can fluctuate from year to year due to sales being affected by companies preferences and changes to the economy.
Technical sales representatives may advance into supervisory or managerial positions. They may become a company's sales manager or the company's sales training manager. Often a promotion for a sales representative takes the form of being assigned to a larger sales territory or larger accounts.
Education, Certification, and Licensing
Many technical product sales representatives have earned a bachelor's degree or have college training in a technical related area. Employers that sell technical equipment often require sales representatives to have an engineering degree. Pharmaceutical companies typically seek applicants that have a degree in the biological sciences. In addition, many companies have formal sales training programs.
- Manufacturers' Agents National Association
- National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors
- Electronics Representatives Association
The top employment sectors are manufacturing companies, independent sales firms, computer systems design and related services, wholesale electronic markets and agents and brokers, professional and commercial equipment and supplies merchant wholesalers, and electrical and electronic goods merchant wholesalers.
Schools for Technical Products Sales Representatives are listed in the Browse Schools Section.