Inside Sales Associate Job Description
As compared to peers involved in what is known as “outside sales” who travel to meet with customers, inside sales associates work at the same location every day. They regularly go to the office for a set amount of part-time or full-time hours to focus on promoting their company’s products and services to customers through remote communication such as phone calls and emails. Any industry which conducts sales can value from their services, which provides a diverse range of employment opportunities.
Inside Sales Associate Duties and Responsibilities
While exact duties are going to vary, several core responsibilities are common to most people with the job title of inside sales associate. Candidates should expect to do the following:
Communicate with Customers
Inside sales associates try to generate new business by contacting people about their company’s products and services. They may make unsolicited “cold calls” or follow up on leads of individuals who express any interest, such as discussing the company’s newest car models with auto show attendees who stated they may be trading in their vehicles soon. Emails and online chat platforms are other common methods of interaction.
Clear, thorough descriptions of what the company is offering are a must when selling isn’t conducted face to face. Whether describing items in detail or outlining service terms, inside sales associates paint a picture of what customers will get for their money. Sometimes sending along promotional material and pictures can be helpful, as can video conferences demonstrating actual use. The ability to respond quickly and intelligently to questions keeps interest alive and promotes sealing the deal.
By keeping track of who has been contacted and the outcome, inside sales associates build a database as a point of reference for the future. For instance, a customer may express interest in notification when a newer model of an appliance gets released.
Making current customers feel valued provides a good foundation for future sales. Inside sales associates may follow up after purchases to inquire about satisfaction or answer questions. They also keep in touch to gauge potential needs.
Inside Sales Associate Skills and Qualifications
Outgoing individuals who are comfortable interacting with a wide range of people make good inside sales associates. Great interpersonal skills promote interest, which can ultimately lead to purchases. It also doesn’t hurt to have a pleasant phone voice. Other essential factors include:
- Salesmanship – understanding the needs of others and presenting your company as capable of meeting their desires leads to buying
- Thick skin – potential customers do not always wish to be contacted and sales efforts fail quite routinely, so the ability to move on from negative situations is imperative
- Multitasking skills – juggling multiple projects and clients is commonplace and requires good time management, attention to detail, and prioritization
- Industry background – experience in the area in which one is selling can be required or at least helpful, such as healthcare knowledge when promoting medical devices
Inside Sales Associate Education and Training
At minimum, inside sales associates hold a high school diploma or the equivalent. Some in the position possess an associate’s or bachelor’s degree, oftentimes in business administration or a similar field. Voluntary certification through the American Association of Inside Sales Professionals also may increase employment prospects. All new hires should expect a significant amount of on-the-job training to get thoroughly familiar with their company’s procedures and offerings. Like most salespeople, workers involved in inside sales may attend various conferences or workshops to hone their skills.
Inside Sales Associate Salary and Outlook
The median yearly salary for an inside sales associate is about $41,000, according to PayScale. Workers on the low end of the pay range earn roughly $29,000, while the highest paid make about $59,000. Overtime and commissions can affect total compensation. Benefits may include medical insurance, paid time off, and retirement plans.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs in sales and related occupations should grow about 3 percent by 2026. As might be expected in this tech-oriented age, though, prospects for inside sales appear brighter than for outside ones.
To learn more about career opportunities as an inside sales associate, check out these informative sources we’ve compiled:
American Association of Inside Sales Professionals – have questions about becoming an inside sales associate? Chances are someone from this organization devoted to advancing the profession can help
National Association of Sales Professionals – learn more about the sales industry through this well-established organization
Smart Selling on the Phone and Online: Inside Sales That Gets Results – time management, the power of sound bites, and asking the right questions to reveal customer needs are just a few of the topics covered in this book written by global thought leader Josiane Feigon
Fanatical Prospecting: The Ultimate Guide to Opening Sales Conversations and Filling the Pipeline by Leveraging Social Selling, Telephone, Email, Text, and Cold Calling – an Amazon best-seller in the telemarketing category, readers praise this comprehensive book as “motivational and actionable” and “simply the best book written on the topic of prospecting”
Inside Sales Pro: Master Your Inside Sales Skills and Boost Your Career – obtain a better feel for what it takes to succeed in the world of remote sales with this e-book that emphasizes implementable strategies
Insidesales.com Blog – with articles on best practices and emerging trends, this blog helps inside sales associates and similar professionals stay fresh
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