What does internal sales mean

Sales people: definition, salary, prospects

The sales staff has one of the most important functions in a company: He or she is the link between the company and the customer. Regardless of whether it is about products or services - these must find their way to potential buyers. In between, the aim is to use the appropriate means and ways to make the product known to the end user and, above all, to make it palatable. What is part of a sales representative's area of ​​responsibility, how the job is remunerated and what career opportunities are available ...

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

Definition: what is a sales rep?

The job description of a sales representative is very different. A sales representative - the term sales representative is also used synonymously - has one mission above all: He wants it Products, goods or services sell his company.

There are various areas of application for this:

In the office

Sales employees in the office are responsible for various tasks, for example:

  • Acquisition of customers
  • Telephone calls with customers
  • Order acceptance
  • Scheduling
  • Creation of offers
  • Contract negotiations
  • Processing of orders

In the field

As a sales representative in the field, you are often on business trips and have direct customer contact on site. You work closely together with the back office, pass on information about customer orders for processing.

What is the salary of a sales representative?

First of all: Flat-rate salary information is not possible as it depends on Education and work experience can fluctuate greatly. The salaries of the sales staff in the back office and in administration are the lowest. They also practice Industry and place of residence as well as the size of the company influence the salary.

Salary.de gives with scarce 30,000 to 45,000 euros the annual salary of a sales representative. Other positions are valued significantly higher with tens of thousands of euros more.

In most cases, however, these are management positions and / or jobs from the Consulting area, which are just under 100,000 euros.

This industry, as well as that Chemical and construction industries are particularly lucrative. What should not be forgotten: In sales, it is customary to pay commissions on top of your salary in order to reward your efforts in the event of a successful business deal.

What qualities does a salesperson need?

Several training paths qualify for this activity. A commercial apprenticeship is usually suitable, for example a specialist in sales and retail, but there are a number of industry-specific ones Training and subjectsthat can also lead to sales.

Sales employees work, for example, as advertisers, call center agents, wholesalers and foreign traders, media managers or sales managers. A degree or a long work experience qualify primarily for management positions.

A business or economics degree. The dual study program in particular focuses on sales.

Even career changers can be considered as sales employees - these qualifications are crucial:

  • Communication skills: You enjoy getting in touch with other people and explaining the benefits of your products to them.
  • Customer focus: You are able to take your customer's perspective and consider in advance which aspects are of particular importance to him.
  • Persuasiveness: You will be prepared for different types. You can dispel possible reservations directly with your eloquence.
  • Expertise: You bring product and industry knowledge from popular areas with you. Here it depends on which industry you work for. In the service industry, relevant specialist knowledge can be acquired comparatively quickly. A technical sales representative will need to have a degree in IT or engineering. Also popular: the pharmaceutical industry, where you can score points with a chemistry or medical degree.

The psychology behind the sales pitch

Advertising is manipulation. But it is coming sometimes so subtle hence that we do not even notice it. And schupps - bought something again. These psychological phenomena affect us:

  • generalization

    Behind this is the halo effect: We have a brand that we like because of a certain characteristic (regional / fair trade / environmentally friendly production). Now this property is transferred to all other properties of this brand or this product and is therefore exaggerated overall. It is no longer checked whether this is actually the case.


    Try to be objective and every time to look at the thing or product that is at stake as impartially as possible.

    Read more about this here:

  • sympathy

    We are much more inclined to listen to a friendly, personable person. Perhaps this has already happened to you in the pedestrian zone: A friendly, attractive person came up to you and quite harmlessly asked if you had a little time - who would say no? Sure, the scam can be seen through quickly and may only work once, but the sales representative will have you hooked for a long time. These few seconds can be enough to arouse interest in something.


    The same applies here as above: You should not make a decision out of sheer sympathy (neither for a brand, nor for a person!) And certainly not head over heels. You quickly have an annual subscription to a magazine that you don't even read!

    Read more about this here:

  • comparison

    You have three dresses to choose from that you like immediately - you have set your budget at 150 euros. However, the first costs 200 euros, the second 180 euros and the third 50 euros. Which one do you take? Most people will opt for the second dress, which is 30 euros more than budget but still 20 euros cheaper than the most expensive dress. With the cheapest, however, the quality is automatically doubted. In order not to make a “mistake”, they make a compromise.


    It makes sense to think about a budget in advance. You should only exceed this in exceptional cases. Calculate your fixed costs and what you want to put aside and then decide whether the additional expenditure is still within limits.

    Read more about this here:

  • reciprocity

    With the saying “Like you to me, so I like you” there is something latently spiteful, because it is often used when it comes to a return coach. But the whole thing is also friendly. You know this psychological phenomenon from the sausage counter: You are allowed to try something and because someone has offered you something for free, you automatically feel obliged. The thought of simply accepting what is offered and leaving causes a guilty conscience in most people - and rightly so: If everyone were to accept the gift without buying it, it would be socially harmful in the long run.


    Fortunately, there is a happy medium, you don't have to choose either of these extremes. You can decline such gifts if you already suspect that you will not really be convinced. Or you point out that gifts are free and that you would like to take a closer look another time.

    Read more about this here:

  • print

    Salespeople apply pressure. What sounds so nasty comes across in sales talks like this: Only five more, go for it now! Or: This offer is only valid until Sunday! Or: The first ten will receive tickets for vouchers worth 50 euros! You know this phenomenon from the various sales channels, either winter or summer sales or early bird discounts. The principle is always the same, namely artificial scarcity. It suggests to us that we will miss something if we do not strike in time. And of course nobody wants to miss anything - but this fear leads to a downright tunnel vision.


    Decisions should never be made under pressure, so it's important to turn your clear mind back on and tell yourself: I'll decide later. Offers that include the word “only” should be carefully considered: Do I actually need this product? Is It Really Cheap? If you take your time, you can research and compare prices and quality. By no means every product declared as a bargain is one.

    Read more about this here:

What career prospects do salespeople have?

Success is important for advancement: whoever has a nose for how they feel Develop marketswhat matters to the customer good chances for a promotion. Much of the sales department is training on the job.

Specializations are for example as Key account manager and as a sales manager possible. Without further ado, top salaries of up to 83,000 euros per year are included here, and as a sales manager even 134,000 euros.

If you are interested in making a career as a sales representative, you should deal with pressure to perform can - even overtime is not uncommon in these areas.

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March 22, 2021Author: Anja Rassek

Anja Rassek studied, among other things, German at the WWU in Münster. She worked for community radio and a publisher. Here she devotes herself to topics related to the office, everyday work and studies.

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