An area sales representative promotes a range of products or services to clients and prospects within a specific geographic area. Typically, these individuals spend a large percentage of their time on the road having face-to-face sales meetings with business owners and consumers. Within the sales world, these positions are usually senior roles that are reserved for individuals who have prior experience in junior positions.
In most companies, an area sales representative is responsible for ensuring that annual revenue goals are met or exceeded. These goals are often set at the executive level, although a representative with a support staff may divide the goals between team associates. In many industries, revenue levels fluctuate on a seasonal basis in which case the area sales representative may decide to focus on marketing products and services during peak times of year. Most salespeople attempt to market new products to existing clients but people employed in these roles are also tasked with identifying new or potential clients.
The work schedule of an area sales representative is largely based around outside sales calls. Typically, these individuals attempt to meet their most profitable clients on a weekly, monthly or annual basis. Normally, the representative arranges to meet several clients who live within a certain area on a particular day to reduce travel time. Additionally, people in these roles attempt to visit prospects in and around these business calls to existing clients. Some representatives are responsible for setting their own appointments while individuals employed by major firms often have assistant's who actually schedule these meetings.
Whenever a firm brings out a new product or service, the sales team members have to familiarize themselves with it and prepare themselves to answer the kinds of questions that clients are likely to ask. Some companies provide employees with marketing materials while other people employed in this field are responsible for producing their own product information pamphlets and fact sheets. These materials are used as sales aids, although the sales process is largely based around the representative's oral presentation.
While an area sales representative typically has an assigned territory, most businesses are focused on expanding operations and the sales team members are often expected to grow their markets either through increasing revenues or by acquiring new clients who are located outside the current market boundaries. People employed in these roles often receive some or all of their wages in the form of bonuses or commission. Therefore, those wishing to work in one of these jobs must have a proven record as an outside sales representative. Some employers prefer to hire individuals with college degrees in business or marketing while others are more concerned with hiring people with well-established sales careers.