Some of the duties that are typical for a person employed as an online sales representative include interacting with customers over the Internet or phone, assisting customers in purchasing items from a Web site, and answering general questions about products. The primary goal of the sales representative is to sell products to new or current customers. Often, he uses e-mail, instant messaging, or other forms of online communication. An online sales representative will generally be trained by the organization by which he is employed, learning sales techniques and how to use software for communication, scheduling, or record-keeping.
An online sales representative almost always interacts with customers over the Internet, but face to face meetings are possible in some positions. This kind of sales representative may also be required to help customers navigate a company Web site for information or to select the product that will best serve the customer. The representative also answers questions and offers advice to the customer, with the ultimate goal of making a sale. He may be paid at an hourly rate or receive a commission on each item that he sells.
It is not uncommon for a large amount of the communication an online sales representative has with customers to be conducted by e-mail. Some organizations may have an instant messaging system built into a Web site, which can allow real time communication between the sales representative and the customer. In some cases, an online sales representative may use a phone to speak with customers, either answering a call or making calls to potential buyers. This may be a way for the sales representative to keep up with customers who haven't yet bought a product or to offer services or products to repeat customers.
Training an online sales representative may involve teaching specific sales techniques that are used by the company or organization providing the training or instruction in how to successfully up-sell products to interested buyers. The sales representative is usually also trained to use any specialized or proprietary software that he might need for communication or other purposes. While in training, an online sales representative may be assisted by another sales representative who coaches the trainee over the Internet.