What is a sales representative? How much do they make? What does a sales representative do? And how has the role evolved over the years?
Great questions that demand great answers.
Sales representatives play a huge role in modern organizations, as they’re directly involved in the generation of revenue. And when you’re done reading this guide, you’ll have a clear understanding of everything related to this position.
In this article, we will discuss what a sales representative is, how that role has evolved, and how you can become a more efficient sales representative using monday.com.
Let’s start with the basics.
What is a sales representative?
Sales representatives, also known as “sales reps” or “sales agents,” aim to build relationships with people who are interested in your products or services.
A typical sales representative is in charge of guiding prospective customers during the buying process, as well as helping them make an informed decision in an ethical way.
Contrary to popular belief, being a sales rep isn’t about pushing people to buy stuff they don’t need, using shady gimmicks, or never taking a “no” for an answer.
Effective salespeople know that sales is about understanding the customer’s needs and building a bridge between your product and those needs. The more empathy you have toward your prospects, the better sales rep you’ll become.
Other personality traits a sales professional must have include:
- Ability to listen: the ability to clearly understand the other person’s problem is crucial in sales
- Self-confidence: being confident when talking with strangers is a must-have for any effective salesperson
- Communication: you must be able to communicate your value proposition clearly and concisely
- Teamwork: no sales professional will ever achieve their true potential without the help of a cohesive team
- Responsibility: being responsible for your own results and actions is a must, not only in sales but in any profession
We’ll explore the actual job of a sales representative a bit later, but first, let’s answer a major question.
What does a sales representative do?
As you may imagine, sales representatives are responsible for closing deals and bringing new customers or clients to the organization.
But making sales is just one of the duties of a sales rep.
Other important activities a sales rep may be responsible for include:
- Guiding prospects through the entire sales cycle
- Managing existing accounts
- Negotiating contracts
- Reporting to management
- Giving sales presentations
- Preparing quotes for prospective clients
The evolution of the sales representative role
A few decades ago, the sales representative role looked pretty different from what it is now. Being a sales agent was all about talking with prospects on the phone or visiting them in person.
Thanks to the internet and sales platforms, modern sales teams have evolved. For instance, research from Gartner suggests that roughly 90% of companies use 2 or more sources of contact data to fulfill the needs of sales development.
To explore this point a bit further, let’s cover some of the main trends we’re seeing in the industry:
Remote work is here to stay.
Research from Upwork suggests that 26.7% of employees will be working remotely full-time this year. More surprisingly, the same study predicts that 36.2 million U.S.-based employees will be remote by 2025.
Sales isn’t the exception.
To stay competitive, sales representatives must develop skills to perform in a remote environment, including the ability to connect with customers via platforms like Zoom and collaborate with team members online.
A multidisciplinary approach
Sales is a multidimensional practice that involves much more than just selling products and services. To become a great sales agent, you must develop a myriad of skills.
Let’s break some of them down:
- Product knowledge: understanding what you’re selling and how it can help the potential customer
- Rapport-building: being empathetic and understanding the other person’s point of view
- Time-management: meeting deadlines and staying organized during the entire process
- CRM: managing customer touchpoints strategically to build rapport and trust
- Conflict management: manage difficult clients with resilience and respect
- Sales intelligence: developing knowledge on current sales technology to better understand the market
Increased sophistication across markets
In today’s day and age, the “good old” sales practices, like pushing too hard or faking enthusiasm, don’t work anymore. Customers are growing wiser and demand more genuine sales conversations.
As the saying goes, “People want to buy from people they know, like, and trust.”
Thanks to sales intelligence platforms, modern sales representatives have the opportunity to know their customers on a more personal level, build enhanced prospect profiles, and tap into personalization to improve performance.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platforms allow organizations to remove silos between departments and create a more transparent, collaborative environment for sales teams.
By merging data from customer service, marketing, and sales into a single source of truth, modern sales teams can access more information about the people they’re trying to reach.
More controlled sales and qualification processes
Modern pipeline management practices help sales teams forecast revenue with predictability and get more control over the sales cycle.
For example, by categorizing prospects based on their level of engagement and awareness, sales reps can tailor their messaging to specific audiences and improve results.
By understanding their current close ratios, they can predict how many prospects they need to meet their sales quotas.
Besides, strategically designed sales funnels give modern sales teams the ability to target customers at the point of intent. That is when they’re ready to buy.
Essential technology for modern sales representatives
Modern sales representatives rely on a variety of platforms to do their work. Let’s explore some of the main ones.
As we covered a bit earlier, CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. It’s the process of strategically managing customer touchpoints across marketing, customer service, and sales to improve an organization’s bottom line.
Any efficient sales rep must have a moderate to advanced knowledge of CRM systems to manage and optimize sales pipelines.
With monday.com’s fully customizable CRM template, for example, managing your sales pipeline is pretty straightforward.
This template helps you manage leads, organize contacts, and understand the overall progress of your deals in a visual and intuitive way.
The best part?
You don’t need training to get started.
Simply install the template, fill it with your information, and start tracking your deals. It’s that easy.
Roughly 80% of organizations have already tapped into workflow automation to streamline repetitive work.
An even more surprising study reveals that 3 out of 10 activities in 60% of all occupations can be automated, including sales.
What does this mean for you?Automations can turn you into a more competitive and efficient sales representative. By letting the “robots” do the heavy lifting, you can focus on those activities that move the needle.
For example, with monday.com, you can automate more than 250,000 human actions, including:
- Recurring activities
- Status changes
- Item creation
- Plus many others
Thanks to our integrations center, you can also build automation recipes that work in tandem with some of the tools and apps you already use.
For example, in terms of sales, you can integrate Clearbit, a B2B data-enrichment platform, to create more informative lead profiles.
You could create an automation so that every time you add a new lead to a monday.com board, you automatically “pull” information from Clearbit about that specific lead, such as company information.
This would not only save you tons of time but also improve your sales process.
And this is just a small example of what you can do with our automations.
To get a deeper understanding of everything you can do with our automations center, we suggest you watch this short video overview:
Project and team management platforms
Efficient sales representatives understand how projects work, as well as the basic functionality of task management and team collaboration.
By approaching individual deals as projects, you’ll be able to optimize your resources and keep everything organized along the way.
For example, with monday.com, you get access to powerful project management features to organize and keep track of your sales operations.
From the start, you’re able to bring in your entire team, assign responsibilities, and even measure your individual progress.
This makes it easy for you and your team to work efficiently, even in a remote environment.
Finally, modern sales reps need access to advanced reporting dashboards to communicate their progress to team leaders, as well as identifying potential bottlenecks or issues before they start snowballing.
By getting access to the data that’s most important to your organization, you’re able to optimize your strategy and get the most out of every opportunity.
With monday.com, for example, you get access to powerful and fully customizable reporting features to visualize your information in a simple yet informative way.
monday.com dashboards look something like this:
Pretty amazing, huh?
monday.com provides you with dozens of widgets with different functions. That means you can build a reporting dashboard that feels just perfect.
For example, with our “Chart Widget,” you could track your team’s performance and even visualize how many deals you closed last month.
You could also add a “Pie chart” widget to track top lead referrals and an “Updates” widget to keep your team informed on relevant updates.
Getting access to your data in this way helps you keep your team on the same page and optimize your work faster.
How to become a more efficient sales rep with monday.com
At this point, you’re probably wondering whether monday.com is the right solution for your organization.
To help you make a more informed decision, why don’t we quickly cover what monday.com is all about?
Let’s start with a basic question.
What is monday.com?
Even though monday.com offers great sales functionalities, it’s more than just another sales tool. To be precise, monday.com is a true Work Operating System (Work OS).
You see, that’s a crucial distinction.
A Work OS is a platform where you can build custom digital workspaces for different use cases, including marketing, sales, customer service, software development, HR, and many more.
In other words, monday.com isn’t a “fixed” platform where you’re forced to work in a specific way. It’s a “clay-like” system that helps you design a solution that’s perfect for you.
With monday.com, you can streamline, manage, and automate any type of workflow.
But you’re here to learn more about sales, right?
Why monday.com is a great sales solution
In terms of sales, here’s just some of what we bring to the table.
- Selling point: merge sales experience with account and project management to deliver a better service
- Automations: automate up to 250,000 human actions in just a couple of clicks
- Activity recording: get a clear understanding of every touchpoint you’ve had with a specific client or lead.
- Pipeline management: keep a close eye on every deal in your sales pipeline
- Integrations: seamlessly integrate over 40 of the platforms your team already uses
- Reporting: get accurate reports about your sales, leads, performance, and more
- Data visualizations: visualize your data from different angles and perspectives, including Kanban, Map, Calendar, Timeline, Gantt, and more
But, to be honest, that’s barely scratching the surface.
To get a complete overview of what we offer, we suggest you explore our platform.
Also, there are templates
At monday.com, you have access to over 200 fully customizable templates to speed up your work.
In the context of sales, some of our most popular templates are:
Every team can improve their sales process with monday.com
Great salesmanship comes down to understanding your customers’ pains and showing them how your product or service is the solution. This is how you build genuine relationships with your audience.
Without a proper system in place, though, managing those relationships can be pretty chaotic.
With the help of a Work OS like monday.com, you can tap into powerful automations to streamline your processes and get the most out of each interaction.
To start, why don’t you try our fully customizable CRM template? It’ll help you stay organized and productive.