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What Are the Different Types of Sales Consultant Jobs?

By Erin J. Hill
Updated May 17, 2024
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The most common types of sales consultant jobs include direct sales, management, corporate or business to business sales, and sellers for manufacturers. There are also subcategories for each of these. For instance, direct sales can mean an insurance salesperson, or it can mean someone who gives parties or passes around catalogs. Although each type is different in some ways, the basics of selling are very similar in any circumstance.

Direct sales refers to a situation in a person is hired by a company to deal with customers directly. In some cases, direct sales consultant jobs refer to someone who starts their own business through a parent company. In either case, the salesperson is involves with contacting consumers, giving demonstrations, and closing the sale. Jobs are often commission only, although sometimes an hourly wage is also paid. Telemarketing, car salesmen, door to door sales, and independent sales representatives may all fall under this category.

These individuals are usually lumped into the types of selling they engage in. There are various methods for selling directly, including cold calling, direct mail, social network marketing, going door to door, or a combination of all of these methods. Most consumers don't refer to someone as a "direct seller," but rather name them based on their chosen method of selling, such as "a door to door salesman."

Business to business sales consultant jobs are similar to business to consumer sales, but the process is targeted toward other businesses. For instance, a web designer who markets his services to small businesses would have to engage in business to business sales. Larger firms usually have consultants who make the sales for them. A salesperson in this situation would likely call, email, or otherwise contact decision makers within a particular company to try and make the sale. They are still involved directly with the process, but they don't typically deal with general consumers.

Consultants may also be labeled based on where they sell products or services. For instance, inside sales reps usually rely on phone calls and other methods of selling which can be done directly from their office. Outside salespeople are typically required to travel, and they sell by meeting consumers face to face. Both inside and outside salespeople may sell to consumers or businesses.

Sometimes sales consultant jobs are also classified by the product being sold. For instance, most people who work at a car dealership are simply referred to as "car salespeople." There is also insurance sales, retail sales, medical sales, pharmaceutical sales, and many more.

Sales consultant jobs which involve working for a manufacturer may be a combination of direct and business sales. These people usually sell products made by another company, but they are self employed rather than given a job. Their earnings are typically 100% commission based. Direct sales representatives for home party companies may fall into this category as well. Others include online retailers using a drop shipper. They may sell to consumers, businesses, or both.

Management sales consultant jobs involve training and directing other salespeople. Payment for these jobs may be commission and salary, or either option. Commissions would be taken from their team's earnings. In order to land a sales management position, one usually has to work his way up on the floor as either a business to business or business to consumer sales representative. Those with high sales records may be promoted to manager.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

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