Inside Sales Representative Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

Last updated: June 22, 2022

An Inside Sales Representative, or Inside Salesperson, sells products or services to either consumers or other businesses. Their main duties include locating new sales opportunities through tactics like cold-calling, attending trade shows and building mailing lists, negotiating sales terms and providing product demonstrations.


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Inside Sales Representative duties and responsibilities

Inside Sales Representatives use skills in communication and sales to highlight the advantages of a product or service. Sales representatives are often expected to complete the following duties:

  • Develop meaningful relationships with customers to encourage trust and loyalty
  • Follow up on cold and warm leads to further the sales process
  • Understand and demonstrate the product or service to the customer
  • Set and meet sales goals and objectives set by leadership
  • Improve sales skills to increase sales success rates


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What does an Inside Sales Representative do?

Inside Sales Representatives work in either an office environment or a retail setting selling products to customers. They’re often responsible for gaining new leads and converting them into ongoing customers by building lasting connections and relationships with them. When Inside Sales Representatives gain a potential customer, they’ll research them to make customized sales pitches and demonstrate how the consumer would benefit from purchasing their product. Once they make a sale, they’ll maintain a strong, ongoing relationship with that customer to sell additional products to them in the future or to answer any questions they have while using their service.


Inside Sales Representative skills and qualifications

There are a few skills and qualifications that will assist the Inside Sales Representative in their position, including:

  • Communication: Both strong listening and communication skills are crucial as an Inside Sales Representative. Sales representatives need to know when to talk and when to listen. Representatives will also learn how to listen for common objections and utilize sales training to overcome them.
  • Mathematical: Advanced mathematical skills can be useful in an Inside Sales Representative position. Salespersons will often have to calculate percentages, sales prices and discounts quickly and accurately.
  • Teamwork: Many sales representatives work in a teamwork environment. They may have to interact with operations, marketing or other sales team members to meet sales goals. Interpersonal and teamwork skills will assist the sales representative in effectively working in a team environment.
  • Persuasion: Skills in persuasion and influencing can assist an Inside Sales Representative in closing a sale. Salespersons will learn to build relationships, develop trust and learn when to persuade.


Inside Sales Representative Salary Expectations

An Inside Sales Representative makes an average of $51,229 per year. Salary may depend on level of experience, education and the geographical location. 


Inside Sales Representative education and training requirements

A minimum of a bachelor’s degree is often required to become an Inside Sales Representative. Some organizations may choose to trade in a degree in lieu of previous sales experience. The sales needs of the company often dictates the amount of training that is required for a new candidate. You may prefer to hire salespersons with previous experience or prefer to hire and train within.


Inside Sales Representative experience requirements

The experience required of an Inside Sales Representative depends on the sales needs of the company. Previous experience in a sales position can be useful but is not always necessary. The type of product that the company sells can also dictate the required experience. In some industries, like pharmaceuticals and real estate, additional certifications and prior training may be required.


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Frequently asked questions about Inside Sales Representatives


Who does an Inside Sales Representative report to?

Inside Sales Representatives typically work on a sales team, which is supervised by a Sales Manager. The Sales Manager oversees the Sales Representative’s performance and establishes their sales goals and quotas. If the Inside Sales Representative is having problems hitting a quota or needs guidance on a complex sale, they’ll ask the Sales Manager for guidance on strategies and best practices to follow. 


What makes a good Inside Sales Representative?

A good Inside Sales Representative is proficient at communicating with customers and convincing them to purchase products. They must be confident in both their selling capabilities and the product or service they’re selling. Inside Sales Representatives should also possess effective negotiation skills to get the customer to come to the company’s terms, preferences and prices for certain products. 

An Inside Sales Representative should also have impressive presentation and public speaking skills, as they regularly provide product demonstrations to potential customers. Effective research abilities are also ideal for candidates to have, as they must research potential customers and understand their needs and preferences to display the product in a way that appeals directly to the consumer.


Do Inside Sales Representatives have different responsibilities in different industries?

Most Inside Sales Representatives hold similar responsibilities of selling a product to customers. They must have extensive knowledge of their product and the industry they work in to better cater it to their target audience. Some Inside Sales Representatives work for organizations that sell products or services to enhance the efficiency and productivity levels of other businesses. If they sell a software product, they must have strong knowledge of common software and technologies used in their industry to properly demonstrate how their solution helps businesses thrive. 

Other Inside Sales Representatives work in the retail industry, where they sell certain products like clothes, accessories and merchandise directly to consumers. They must understand the needs and wants of common customers to display the product in a convincing and appealing manner. 


What's the difference between an Inside Sales Representative and an Outside Sales Representative?

Though they both sell products to customers, there are still some key differences between Inside Sales and Outside Sales Representatives. Inside Sales Representatives can work either in an office or retail setting. If they’re in an office setting, they’re typically making sales from within the office over the phone or email. 

Outside Sales Representatives are rarely in the office, as they’re usually traveling to other businesses or industry events selling their products to potential customers. They typically travel to meet with their customers in person at locations like the client’s offices, conferences or industry events and business lunches. 

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