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Technical Products Sales Representatives picture    Technical Products Sales Representatives image

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.

Responsibilities

  • 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

Job Characteristics

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 Outlook

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.

Resources

Major Employers

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.

Technical Products Sales Representatives Skills

Below are the skills needed to be technical products sales representatives according to their importance on the scale of 1 to 5 (1 being lowest and 5 being highest) and competency level on a scale of 1 to 7 (1 being lowest and 7 being highest).

   
Skill NameImportanceCompetence
Persuasion4.254
Speaking4.254
Active Listening4.124.12
Negotiation44
Social Perceptiveness3.883.75

Technical Products Sales Representatives Abilities

Below are the abilities needed to be technical products sales representatives according to their importance on the scale of 1 to 5 (1 being lowest and 5 being highest) and competency level on a scale of 1 to 7 (1 being lowest and 7 being highest).

   
Ability NameImportanceCompetence
Oral Expression4.54.62
Speech Recognition44
Speech Clarity44.12
Oral Comprehension44.5
Written Comprehension3.884

Technical Products Sales Representatives Knowledge

Below are the knowledge areas needed to be technical products sales representatives according to their importance on the scale of 1 to 5 (1 being lowest and 5 being highest) and competency level on a scale of 1 to 7 (1 being lowest and 7 being highest).

   
Knowledge AreaImportanceCompetence
Customer and Personal Service4.424.58
Sales and Marketing4.314.78
English Language3.663.66
Administration and Management3.173.59
Mathematics3.163.69

Technical Products Sales Representatives Work activities

Below are the work activities involved in being technical products sales representatives according to their importance on the scale of 1 to 5 (1 being lowest and 5 being highest) and competency level on a scale of 1 to 7 (1 being lowest and 5 being highest).

   
Work ActivityImportanceCompetence
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships4.425.24
Getting Information3.663.88
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates3.524.17
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work3.514.68
Communicating with Persons Outside Organization3.453.89

Technical Products Sales Representatives Work styles

Below are the work styles involved in being technical products sales representatives according to their importance on the scale of 1 to 5 (1 being lowest and 5 being highest).

   
Work StyleImportance
Integrity4.63
Initiative4.38
Cooperation4.3
Dependability4.29
Persistence4.27

Metro Areas Sorted by Total Employment for
Technical Products Sales Representatives

Listed below are the 10 largest metro areas based on the total number of people employed in Technical Products Sales Representatives jobs , as of 2017

   
Metro AreaTotal EmploymentAnnual Mean Salary
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim17,320$88,980
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington10,870$87,280
Austin-Round Rock10,200$114,110
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward9,340$102,140
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach8,660$91,340
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell8,530$89,210
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land6,780$104,720
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara6,560$116,090
Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale5,910$82,780
Detroit-Warren-Dearborn5,580$95,050

Compare Total Employment & Salaries for Technical Products Sales Reps

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Total employment and salary for professions similar to technical products sales reps

Source : 2016 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2016-26 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; O*NET® 22.1 Database, O*NET OnLine, National Center for O*NET Development, Employment & Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, onetonline.org

Most Popular Industries for
Technical Products Sales Representatives

These industries represent at least 1% of the total number of people employed in this occupation.

IndustryTotal EmploymentPercentAnnual Median Salary
Durable Goods Wholesale122,93030%$64,330
Non-durable Goods Wholesale71,17017%$71,450
Online Wholesale58,69014%$77,190
Professional And Technical Services42,71010%$77,800
Electronics And Computer18,2104%$74,400
Telecommunications12,0502%$75,240
Traditional Publishing10,7502%$75,210
Chemicals9,9002%$72,650
Machinery8,2402%$65,410
Business Management8,0901%$77,860
Office Services And Staffing6,2401%$64,960
Miscellaneous Manufacturing4,4701%$65,050
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We have some additional detailed pages at the state level for Technical Products Sales Representatives.

Numbers in parentheses are counts of relevant campus-based schools in the state; online schools may also be available.

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