Sales representatives are a vital component of any business. While formal education is not required to be an effective sales representative, many positions may require extensive training, so employers usually will focus on hiring candidates who can learn quickly and have good basic skill sets.
One of the most striking trends in sales is an increasing reliance on remote communication. A study published by Forbes revealed that sales achieved via telephone or social media have expanded 7.5% over the past three years. In contrast, in-the-field sales growth has expanded only 0.5%. Current-day sales representatives must be able to form connections using their voice or with written messages, with less emphasis placed on face-to-face communication. When considering prospective employees, hiring managers should assess an individual's acumen for communicating across several platforms. This ability is the driving force behind many of the sales made today.
Salespeople must be able to listen to customers and be responsive to their needs. Criteria Corp's pre-employment testing software can assist hiring managers in selecting applicants who possess the necessary aptitude and skills for success. For measuring critical thinking, attention to detail, and verbal and math skills, employers usually screen prospective sales reps with either the Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test (CCAT) or the Criteria Basic Skills Test (CBST), depending on the specific requirements of the sales role at an organization. Personality is also a key component for sales representatives, and tests like the Sales Achievement Predictor (SalesAP) measure a series of behavioral traits that have been shown to be linked to success in sales. (Read our whitepaper to learn more about how to hire top salespeople.)
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Rank in HireSelect:
2 out of 1,100
Median wage in U.S.:
$69,860/year or $33.59/hr
Expected growth rate 2012-2022:
Number employed (2014): 1,730,180
Education level of Sales Representatives: