Sales Rep or Sales Professional?

Dear Sales Community,

The moment of truth has arrived! It is time for you to ask yourself the most important question of your sales career: Who are you? I don’t mean in a human sense but in a professional sense.

Are you a sales rep or a sales professional?  As people with sales career (and we are all in sales), we need to always ask ourselves which category we fall into. Do you know the difference? This topic has been one of intense and interesting debate lately not only with my clients but in the sales community as well.

How do we know? Is it easy to tell? One simple way to think about this is that a sales professional is one who thinks of his or her territory as a complete business and himself or herself as the business owner. A business owner is responsible for managing and growing the business, and part of that is to know good business when they see it. A sales professional is probably strategic in nature. A sales rep is perhaps more tactical with a shorter-term view. Neither is better than the other, just different. Can a sales rep evolve into a sales professional?

Which are you? Is one better for the development of a robust sales culture? Please share your thoughts with the Sales Community!  Let’s start the conversation and talk about the best qualities and traits of sales professionals and sales reps!

Good Selling!


2 thoughts on “Sales Rep or Sales Professional?”

  1. By listening more rather than talking more, a sales professional better know how to uncover and help clients. Sales roles requires us to strategically think for long-term gains while managing immediate results that are not always measureable in the traditional sense. Being compassionate and passionate about people makes a difference in my approach and the results I eventually achieve. Being patient is hard, but if you do the right things the results will come. Also, if the tactical approach of the course needs changing, have the courage to do so, but stay the course.

  2. Depending on past experience the journey from a Sales Rep to a Sales Professional can either a long or short one. Anyone who works in sales and depends on results to meet their personal and financial needs must be dedicated, organized and patient. To exceed those basic needs a sales professional must take the leap of being more organized, develop a plan and work your plan. Depending on the product or service you must know what you are selling and commit the time and effort to become a subject matter expert (SME). Next, I would suggest that you asses your customer base and build that knowledge by contacting them, making visits and build business intelligence (BI). The key to building BI is to become the customer’s best friend by gaining his trust and confidence in you.

    The use of a CRM product is first and foremost as the most important tool. If you have one with customer data use it to build the initial knowledge, correct and update data, add subsequent data as your work the territory.

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