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Summary Report for:
41-4012.00 - Sales Representatives, Wholesale and Manufacturing, Except Technical and Scientific Products

Sell goods for wholesalers or manufacturers to businesses or groups of individuals. Work requires substantial knowledge of items sold.

Sample of reported job titles: Account Executive, Account Manager, Outside Sales, Outside Sales Representative, Sales, Sales Consultant, Sales Director, Sales Rep, Sales Representative, Salesman

View report: Summary  Details  Custom

Tasks  |  Tools & Technology  |  Knowledge  |  Skills  |  Abilities  |  Work Activities  |  Detailed Work Activities  |  Work Context  |  Job Zone  |  Education  |  Credentials  |  Interests  |  Work Styles  |  Work Values  |  Related Occupations  |  Wages & Employment  |  Job Openings  |  Additional Information

Tasks

  • Contact regular and prospective customers to demonstrate products, explain product features, and solicit orders. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Recommend products to customers, based on customers' needs and interests. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Answer customers' questions about products, prices, availability, product uses, and credit terms. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Estimate or quote prices, credit or contract terms, warranties, and delivery dates. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Consult with clients after sales or contract signings to resolve problems and to provide ongoing support. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Provide customers with product samples and catalogs. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Identify prospective customers by using business directories, following leads from existing clients, participating in organizations and clubs, and attending trade shows and conferences. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Prepare drawings, estimates, and bids that meet specific customer needs. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Monitor market conditions, product innovations, and competitors' products, prices, and sales. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Perform administrative duties, such as preparing sales budgets and reports, keeping sales records, and filing expense account reports. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Obtain credit information about prospective customers. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Train customers' employees to operate and maintain new equipment. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Prepare sales contracts and order forms. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Negotiate details of contracts and payments. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Forward orders to manufacturers. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Negotiate with retail merchants to improve product exposure, such as shelf positioning and advertising. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Plan, assemble, and stock product displays in retail stores, or make recommendations to retailers regarding product displays, promotional programs, and advertising. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Check stock levels and reorder merchandise as necessary. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Arrange and direct delivery and installation of products and equipment. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Buy products from manufacturers or brokerage firms and distribute them to wholesale and retail clients. See more occupations related to this task.

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Tools & Technology

Tools used in this occupation:

  • Desktop computers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Laser printers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Liquid crystal display projector — Light-emitting diode LED projectors See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Mobile phones — Mobile telephones See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Notebook computers — Laptop computers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Personal computers See more occupations related to this tool.

Technology used in this occupation:

  • Accounting software — Intuit QuickBooks software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Calendar and scheduling software — Computerized call calendars; Computerized time management systems See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Customer relationship management CRM software — FrontRange Solutions Goldmine software; NetSuite NetCRM; Soffront CRM Portal; Tigerpaw software (see all 24 examples) See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Data base reporting software — SalesInSync software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Data base user interface and query software — Database software; Microsoft Access; Oracle software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Desktop publishing software — Contract Central software; Microsoft Publisher See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Electronic mail software — IBM Lotus Notes; Microsoft Exchange; Microsoft Outlook; Mozilla Thunderbird * See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Enterprise resource planning ERP software — SAP software; SSA Global BPCS See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Expert system software — Mastermind software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Internet browser software — Microsoft Internet Explorer *; Mozilla Firefox *; SeaMonkey * See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Office suite software — Microsoft Office software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Operating system software — Apple Macintosh OS/X See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Word processing software — Microsoft Word See more occupations related to this technology.

* Software developed by a government agency and/or distributed as freeware or shareware.

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Knowledge

  • Sales and Marketing — Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources. See more occupations related to this knowledge.

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Skills

  • Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Persuasion — Persuading others to change their minds or behavior. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Negotiation — Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action. See more occupations related to this skill.

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Abilities

  • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Originality — The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem. See more occupations related to this ability.

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Work Activities

  • Selling or Influencing Others — Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Performing Administrative Activities — Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems. See more occupations related to this activity.

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Detailed Work Activities

  • Negotiate prices or other sales terms. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Identify potential customers. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Monitor market conditions or trends. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Maintain records of sales or other business transactions. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Develop proposals for current or prospective customers. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Prepare sales or other contracts. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Explain technical product or service information to customers. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Answer customer questions about goods or services. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Advise customers on the use of products or services. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Prepare financial documents, reports, or budgets. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Contact current or potential customers to promote products or services. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Recommend products or services to customers. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Arrange delivery of goods or services. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Estimate costs or terms of sales. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Purchase stocks of merchandise or supplies. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Demonstrate products to consumers. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Distribute promotional literature or samples to customers. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Verify customer credit information. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Monitor inventories of products or materials. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Coordinate sales campaigns. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Set up merchandise displays. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Stock products or parts. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Study product information to acquire professional knowledge. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Prepare drawings or diagrams of products or services. See more occupations related to this activity.

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Work Context

  • Telephone — 98% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Electronic Mail — 90% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Contact With Others — 79% responded “Constant contact with others.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Duration of Typical Work Week — 80% responded “More than 40 hours.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 67% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 50% responded “A lot of freedom.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Deal With External Customers — 69% responded “Extremely important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • In an Enclosed Vehicle or Equipment — 55% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Level of Competition — 52% responded “Highly competitive.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 37% responded “A lot of freedom.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 44% responded “Very important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 35% responded “Important results.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Coordinate or Lead Others — 50% responded “Very important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Frequency of Decision Making — 35% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Frequency of Conflict Situations — 71% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Letters and Memos — 36% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Sitting — 35% responded “More than half the time.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 48% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 45% responded “Very important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 36% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Time Pressure — 44% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Physical Proximity — 41% responded “Moderately close (at arm's length).” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 39% responded “Limited responsibility.” See more occupations related to this work context.

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Job Zone

Title Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed
Education Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.
Related Experience A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.
Job Training Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.
Job Zone Examples Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include accountants, sales managers, database administrators, teachers, chemists, art directors, and cost estimators.
SVP Range (7.0 to < 8.0)

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Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
77   Bachelor's degree
22   High school diploma or equivalent Help

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Credentials

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Interests

Interest code: CE

  • Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow. See more occupations related to this interest.
  • Enterprising — Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business. See more occupations related to this interest.

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Work Styles

  • Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job. See more occupations related to this work style.

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Work Values

  • Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service. See more occupations related to this work value.
  • Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement. See more occupations related to this work value.
  • Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy. See more occupations related to this work value.

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Related Occupations

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Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2014) $26.45 hourly, $55,020 annual
State wages Local Salary Info
 
Employment (2012) 1,481,000 employees
Projected growth (2012-2022) Average (8% to 14%) Average (8% to 14%)
Projected job openings (2012-2022) 420,700
State trends Employment Trends
 
Top industries (2012)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014 wage data external site and 2012-2022 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2012-2022). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

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Sources of Additional Information

Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.

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