The specific job responsibilities of an outside sales representative can vary from one industry to another, though people with this type of job are typically responsible for making sales calls to both existing and potential clients. These sales representatives will typically have an assigned territory they work in, and they are often required to travel within a defined geographic area to meet clients. It is typically the responsibility of an outside sales representative to maintain contact with clients, providing face to face support both before and after a sale. Sales representatives who deal with technical equipment and software will often provide additional support by offering to help install equipment or train employees.
Many companies employ inside and outside sales staffs in order to sell their products. Inside sales representatives typically provide support for the outside salespeople who are actually responsible for going out and making sales calls. An outside sales representative will typically have a list of existing clients he regularly calls on to offer support and generate new sales agreements, usually within a specific geographic area. They are often required to meet with potential new clients as well. Some sales areas are relatively small, while others require the outside sales representative to travel extensively.
The field of outside sales is similar to other sales jobs, though outside sales representatives typically need to be very well versed in the products, equipment, or software they are selling. It is possible to begin a career in outside sales without extensive preexisting knowledge of the particular industry, though people who do have relevant experience from earlier careers often have an advantage. The specific knowledge required to be an outside sales representative also varies widely from one industry to another, since these salespeople can be responsible for selling anything from car parts, to pharmaceuticals, to software.
In addition to serving as a point of contact, and drawing up sales agreements, outside sales representatives often provide support as well. This is typically the case in highly technical fields, especially when the sales representative deals in complex equipment or software. These sales representatives will often help with the installation of new computer systems and other similar equipment. They often provide informal training sessions, or arrange for professional training, so that a client's employees can learn how to use any new equipment or software. Outside sales representatives often provide support in the long term as well, especially if there are any problems with the equipment or software later on.