Salesperson: Salesman definition, job description

A salesperson or salesman is an individual responsible for selling products, services, and subscriptions to buyers. The “customers” of a salesperson can be companies, individuals, or specific groups, depending on the kind of sales they specialize in. Here, we’ll explore what it means to be a salesperson, how much you can make, and what a great salesperson looks like.

Salesman definition

A salesperson or salesman is a representative of a company responsible for generating sales (and profit) for a specific company. Salespeople explain how a product works, what services are available, and what a customer needs to do to leverage the best benefits from the purchase.

Salespeople are more than just individuals responsible for getting buyers to sign on the dotted line. These professionals are ambassadors of their company, responsible for leaving a lasting impression on a specific audience. Whether a door-to-door salesman or online salesperson, the right sales expert will work independently, and in a team to generate results for their company.

Salespeople are experts in building connections, both with their colleagues and potential buyers. Although these individuals can get guidance from business leadership, they frequently act according to their own expertise and knowledge.

Types of Salesmen: From Online to Door-to-Door Salesman

There are different kinds of salespeople in today’s modern world. The most traditional option you may be aware of is the door-to-door salesman. These professionals go from door to door in a specific location, attempting to sell their wares – it’s similar to the cold-calling practice in selling today.

Other common types of salesman include:

  • Pioneer salesman: People with a mission to not only get sales but improve awareness of a new product or service. These creative professionals can help with creating demand and provide useful guidance to marketing and promotional teams.
  • Service salesman: A service salesman sells specific services to customers instead of products. This might include a salesperson who works for a legal agency or someone who sells services to businesses as part of a B2B sales strategy.
  • Industry salesmen: Industry salesmen have specialist knowledge of a specific sector, and they use this to their advantage when making sales. These types of salesmen might be well-versed in certain sectors, like automobiles, or technology.
  • B2B salespeople: A B2B salesman focuses specifically on generating sales by building relationships with other businesses. The B2B sales process is often more long-winded and complex than the art of selling to customers (B2C).
  • Wholesalers: Wholesaler salesmen facilitate relationships between wholesale companies and the people in search of suppliers. They can help to build crucial relationships in the everyday business supply chain.
  • Digital salespeople: Increasingly common in today’s digital world, digital salespeople focus on making sales in the online environment. This could involve sending cold emails, connecting with leads over social media, and using video for product demonstrations.

There are also different levels at which a salesperson can operate. A standard salesman is usually known as a sales rep, while the person responsible for guiding that individual is a sales supervisor or manager. Some professionals in sales can even get roles as “head of sales”.

What Does a Salesman Do?

The exact tasks a salesperson will need to complete each day depend heavily on their exact role. A standard salesman (or sales rep), will:

  • Generate sales: The main responsibility of a salesperson is to pave the way for sales, convincing clients, or consumers to make a purchase. To succeed, a salesperson needs to be able to adequately explain the benefits of their company’s product or service through videos, presentations, and excellent use of language.
  • Build sales leads: Through referrals, cold calling, and business directories, salespeople need to create opportunities for sales for finding leads. The amount of work a salesperson does to generate new leads will depend on the structure of the business.
  • Maintain sales accounts: Customer satisfaction and loyalty are important aspects of a salesperson’s responsibilities. The best salesmen need to follow up with clients regularly to ensure they’re still happy with the product or service they’re getting.

People with more advanced sales positions may have additional responsibilities. For instance, a sales leader may also need to direct the strategy of their sales team. Sales managers may also have to produce reports on sales cycle success.

How Much Does A Car Salesman Make?

The average income of a salesperson will depend on a lot of factors, including the type of salesman, and what they’re selling. In the US, the average car salesman earns around $67,745 per year, with the opportunity for up to $30,000 in commissions. Commissions are the extra cash paid on top of a car salesman’s salary, and they aren’t always applicable to every sales job.

What makes the best salesperson?

The best salesperson is someone who can understand both the product they’re selling and the person they’re selling to. A great salesperson will be a detail-oriented professional, capable of influencing buyer emotions and decision-making. Excellent salespeople commit to constantly improving their skills and working on new advanced techniques, they also know when to take initiative, when to follow best practices, and when to work with a team.

Read also:

Positioning vs Messaging vs Value Proposition

Talk time in sales: Tracking talk time to improve sales performance

The 7 Steps of the Selling Process