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Technical sales representatives (TSRs) work with customers, prospects and industry business partners to promote and grow sales in their assigned region. As with many other sales jobs, you will have a quota and be assigned clients. It is your job to assess customer needs, help them solve problems, and ultimately sell them your company’s products and services. Following a defined sales process, you will be the first point of contact for customers with the goal of developing long term and lucrative business relationships. What makes this position unique from other sales roles is that it requires more specialized, or technical, knowledge of the products you sell. What this knowledge is will vary based on your company and industry.
Technical sales reps’ job details vary based on a number of factors. Some work in an office setting and primarily contact clients over the phone, while others spend more time in the field, doing product demos, taking a more hands-on approach. Your hours of work will, again, vary based on your clients’ schedules, and where you are selling. Working some evenings and weekends is a possibility. In most cases, you will report to a sales team leader or sales manager who is in charge of your sales function.
The average sales for technical sales professionals in Canada is approximately $54,000 annually. On the low end, you can expect a starting salary of about $38,000 per year. The top end of the salary ranges reaches close to $90,000. One of the unique things about sales roles is you are often compensated based on performance, and you can make more money in addition to your base salary.
How you are paid can vary by organization. Some pay based on salary, others commission, or a combination of a base salary + commission. Performance bonuses and profit sharing may also be included in your compensation structure.
Similar to other sales roles, your job is to be the main point of contact for all your customers, provide them with support as needed, and be available to help them with sales inquiries, while building a long term partnership with them. While your day-to-day duties will vary based on your company and industry, here are some of the responsibilities you can expect to be included in your job:
While technical sales reps can work in any industry, they are most commonly found in industries that sell highly complex and technical solutions such as manufacturing, technology, and engineering. Therefore, most jobs are typically found with companies in the said fields. Many of these companies, and opportunities, reside in regions with a large technology and manufacturing sector. The Greater Toronto Area, Kitchener-Waterloo region, and Edmonton and Calgary and prime examples.
Technical sales professionals need to not only be well versed in sales; they also require strong technical knowledge in the industry in which they work. Here are some of the common skills required by hiring companies:
Hiring companies also seek candidates who have experience with the products and services being sold and are looking for highly motivated individuals.
Training and education requirements vary based on the industry. Sales experience is required, and an educational background in technology, engineering, business, and sales is preferred. Specific types of certification may also be required based on the company. Expect additional training to be part of the onboarding process. Once in the job, ongoing education and staying up to date with industry trends and news is a key part of your role.
Since technical sales is a specialized field, many sales reps tend to specialize in a particular industry or product/service type. With experience, you may move up to work with more senior clients or move into a management role.