A software sales representative transfers software merchandise his company produces into the hands of the consumer. This is a multifaceted task that can include providing product information, physically ringing up the software at the register or processing online orders, demonstrating the software or liaising with stores to negotiate placing the company's software in the store's inventory. He also can be responsible for tasks such as conducting market research to identify market trends that affect software sales, as well as completing cold marketing tactics. The exact responsibilities depend on the level the software sales representative has within the company, with some representatives handling managerial duties.
When a software sales representative is in an entry-level position, he typically concentrates on direct sales. This means he interacts with the customer one-on-one. The two biggest tasks a representative has at this point are to exchange the product for consumer payment and to offer basic advice about what software would be best for the buyer given the buyer's constraints or needs. When sales are slower, or if the representative is not going to work on a sales floor, he pursues communications with consumers such as cold calling or sending unsolicited emails with the purpose of generating interest in the software products.
Demonstrating software is a task all software sales representatives should be able to do. An entry-level sales representative does this for individual customers, showing the clients that the software can perform certain functions or what the interface is like. Upper-level software sales representatives may do demonstrations to vendors to show that the product meets a gap in current inventory. They also may conduct wide-scale seminar-based demonstrations to launch specific software applications, which is the most critical because it has the largest effect on the public's overall reception of the software.
Representatives with a marketing research background concentrate on gathering and analyzing software sales data. From the internal perspective, this means looking at the company's budget, sales numbers and production processes for the purpose of streamlining processes, increasing revenue and making supply estimates. Externally, this means getting information about what competitors are doing with their products and how they compare in terms of market share. The goal of these representatives is to assist market strategists to develop sales plans for the software that will be effective given the predicted market trends.
With enough experience and sales expertise, a software sales representative may become a manager within the sales team. At this level, the manager is responsible for overseeing inventory movement and tracking, scheduling lower-level sales representatives, generating and presenting sales reports, completing disciplinary actions, hiring and dismissal, and training. A software sales representative in this position guides his team toward the overall vision and mission of the software company, so it is important for him to be able to communicate what the company wants to do with the software and why at any given point.