Outbound Sales Representative Job Description
Outbound sales representatives contact prospects and customers to sell products and services. They work in call centers making cold calls to leads and generating sales and revenue for organizations across all industries. Additionally, outbound sales representatives are responsible for meeting daily, weekly, monthly, or annual key performance indicators (KPIs). They report directly to sales managers.
Outbound Sales Representative Duties and Responsibilities
An outbound sales representative has a simple goal: convert leads into sales. To accomplish this feat, an outbound sales representative performs the following tasks:
Outbound sales representatives simultaneously provide prospects and customers with information about a business’ products and services without sounding “robotic” or “rehearsed.” As such, top outbound sales representatives often possess a strong customer service background.
Retrieve Customer Information
One of the most important tasks of an outbound sales representative involves retrieving customer information and entering it into a computer system. Outbound sales representatives set up new customer accounts, access existing customer accounts, and manage sensitive customer data across one or more computer systems. They multitask frequently and in many instances update records in a computer system while conversing with customers.
Respond to Customer Concerns and Questions
An outbound sales representative understands a company’s products and services and their advantages and disadvantages. That way, an outbound sales representative can quickly address customer concerns and questions and overcome potential roadblocks in the sales cycle.
Meet Productivity Goals
For an outbound sales representative, merely sharing information about a company’s products or services is insufficient. Instead, they must meet KPIs to ensure optimal productivity and efficiency. Common outbound sales representative KPIs include number of activities, activity goals, and closed sales. Outbound sales representatives meet with managers to discuss KPIs and may be eligible for bonuses or pay increases if they achieve or surpass sales milestones.
Provide Inbound Call Assistance
If a business is overwhelmed by inbound sales calls, an outbound sales representative may be asked to assist with these calls. Outbound sales representatives possess communication skills that make it easy to transition between outbound and inbound calls.
Outbound Sales Representative Skills and Qualifications
Outbound sales representatives prioritize short-term customer satisfaction and long-term business goals. Employers typically search for outbound sales representatives who possess at least a high school diploma or equivalent. They also prioritize outbound sales representatives who possess the following skills:
- Customer service – outbound sales representatives ensure prospects and customers enjoy an outstanding experience any time they engage with a brand
- Research experience – outbound sales representatives are research-oriented; they enjoy learning about prospects and customers and find innovative ways of engaging with them to drive sales
- Persistence – outbound sales representatives frequently deal with difficult prospects and customers, but they must remain driven and positive even in the face of adversity to transform leads into sales
- Communication skills – outbound sales representatives are personable communicators who clearly and persuasively describe products and services to customers to encourage sales transactions
- Mathematics -outbound sales representatives perform basic calculations to provide prospects and customers with accurate prices and quotes
- Typing – on average, outbound sales representatives must be able to type at least 40 words per minute and perform various data entry tasks
- Collaboration – regular meetings with an outbound sales manager are common, and outbound sales representatives collaborate with managers to evaluate KPIs and explore ways to generate sales growth
- Problem-solving skills – outbound sales representatives identify and address prospect and customer concerns during the sales process
Tools of the Trade
Outbound sales representatives work in office settings and are comfortable using the following software and equipment during a typical work shift:
- Microsoft Office (including Excel, PowerPoint, and Word)
- Customer relationship management software (like Salesforce or Hubspot CRM)
- Telephones and telephone headsets
- Auto dialers (such as predictive or refractive dialers)
- Voicemail automation solutions
Outbound Sales Representative Education and Training
Employers prefer outbound sales representatives who possess a high school diploma or equivalent. Many companies offer on-the-job training to these professionals. This training period teaches outbound sales representatives about the hiring company, its products and services, and its prospect and customer base.
Outbound Sales Representative Salary and Outlook
The Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) reports a median annual wage of $26,590 for sales and related occupations. Comparatively, the average annual salary of outbound sales representatives in the United States is $24,000, and ranges from $17,000 to $43,000, according to Glassdoor. The BLS also estimates that employment of sales and related occupations will increase 3 percent and result in nearly 459,000 new jobs by 2026; these figures are lower than the average for all occupations.
These six additional resources provide insight into the importance of outbound sales representatives at companies around the world:
The Center for Sales Strategy – access e-books, white papers, and other free online resources based on the center’s decades of work with global sales organizations
A Sales Guy – sales and marketing influencer Jim Keenan offers audio clips, videos, and other digital resources to help outbound sales representatives go from good to great
More Sales, Less Time – sales and marketing professional Jill Konrath blends cutting-edge research and comprehensive sales expertise to help outbound sales representatives get the most out of their time and resources
The Sales Blog – sales leader Anthony Iannarino delivers daily sales tips and insights
Selling Power Blog – for those who want to sell like there’s no tomorrow, Selling Power magazine founder Gerhard Gschwandtner has you covered
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