A sales representative job description isn’t a document you quickly throw together. The reps you hire will determine whether you hit your targets and generate revenue. To find applicants who will improve your customer experience, it’s critical that you create a comprehensive and transparent job description.
The more detailed the description, the higher the likelihood you’ll find the right match for the position. Set the tone, clearly spell out who you want, who you are, and why that potential employee should work with you.
7 tips for nailing your sales representative job description
Regardless of the sales representative job you’re hiring for, the description typically has the same structure:
- Company info
- Title info
- Summary objective
- Job duties and responsibilities
It’s how you approach this structure that makes all the difference. Just as job seekers want to sell their skills and abilities to you, you also must sell your company and department to attract the most talented candidates. When writing each sales rep job description, consider these tips for providing enough detail while also engaging applicants.
1. Identify your ideal candidate
This element is the foundation of your sales rep job description. Just like writing buyer personas, create a document that outlines your target applicant—one who has all of the necessary skills for the role and whose values align with your company culture.
With this document in hand, answer the following questions to dig into the new position’s purpose:
- Is a similar position already in place?
- How will this position differ from existing positions?
- What value will this position provide the department?
- What are some example sales goals?
- What are the minimum skills required?
Interview your top-performing sales reps and account executives to understand their daily responsibilities and what skills/tasks their position requires. Ask them what they think would be vital to a new employee, in skills and experience. Incorporate their feedback into the description as required skills and actual daily responsibilities like the Buffer example below.
Buffer sales rep job description
2. Be transparent
While leaving the “boring tasks” out might make your job description more appealing, it will usually backfire. Upon getting hired, your new employee might be disengaged or even angry, as they could feel misled by the hiring process. Include all tasks you expect an applicant to complete as part of the role, whether simple, monotonous, or complex.
MobyMax, an ed-tech platform, shows exactly what its position is about in the example below. Letting people know it’s a remote, full-time sales position right away minimizes potential confusion. The more open you can be about the expectations regarding responsibilities and execution, the better.
MobyMax example: Inside Sales Rep
3. Keep your sales rep job post concise
Managers, eager to include everything in their sales job description, may end up going overboard. If you bombard candidates with a dense page of responsibilities and information, your ideal applicant may end up overwhelmed and opt-out of applying.
Notice how Bread, a payment platform, expertly handled their company description. While they could have said, “Bread makes buying essential items such as furniture, vehicles, etc., cost less for people with an average salary,” the company gets to the point by stating, “Bread makes essential purchases affordable to regular people.”
Write a succinct sales job description by shortening each section. Keep these tips in mind:
- Avoid prepositional phrases
- Don’t use two words when one will do
- Focus on what’s critical in the position
- Include information about your company, but don’t provide your entire website copy
If it helps, write out the sales rep description first, fluff and all. Then go back through and delete unnecessary sentences.
4. Avoid vague, generic descriptions
Sales lingo can be dry, which makes it easy to jot down general responsibilities.
Don’t take the easy way out with descriptions like “responsible for bringing potential customers into the company via lead generation.” Use the information you gathered during meetings with your hiring team and recruiter to nail down tasks that are specific to the position. Instead of saying, “able to promote our product,” you might ask that candidates are “able to learn and pitch the benefits of our offering at both an executive and junior buyer level.”
In the example below, Auth0 took this approach when looking for a junior sales engineer. Each bullet point states a responsibility that the candidate will have and how they’ll accomplish each one. For example, “design and build new and relevant demonstrations...” describes what they’ll do (design and build demonstrations), for what (Auth0’s platform), and with who (sales engineering team and the office.)
Hint: Avoid buzzwords like “competitive salary” and “dynamic team player.” Many companies include phrases like these, so the language doesn’t help applicants understand what you’re looking for in your ideal sales representative.
5. Ditch the technical sales jargon
You want to add details relevant to a sales representative’s job. But you don’t want to overwhelm an applicant with jargon.
According to Monster UK, “57% of respondents said jargon in job ads puts them off applying for a role.” They also found that the sales industry is one of the worst for using jargon.
The best candidates are busy. They don't have time to decipher confusing position descriptions, so the language needs to be as clear and straightforward as possible.
Avoid technical wording and phrases that may not be common or may need extra thought. Avoid words like “KPIs” or “SQLs” for entry-level sales positions. Put your entire description in layman’s terms—similar to this Zendesk sales rep job description. Each section gives a quick summary without unnecessary jargon.
Zendesk sales position
Hint: If you must use technical or legal terms, consider doing so toward the end of the description.
6. Show the human side of your company
Many startups today provide a comfortable work environment—dogs are allowed, the dress code is casual, and employees have unlimited paid time off. As a result, many job applicants expect workplaces to be flexible and friendly.
Attract these candidates by showing your company culture throughout your job description. For example, talk about the amazing office space, snack bar, or casual Friday.
In addition to listing company culture elements, the right wording is crucial in setting the tone from the start. Don’t be afraid to add some humor or at least warmth if that’s part of what your culture. is about. Try to be conversational and show your company’s personality through language.
One way to do this is to use the second person to address the candidate, like, “You are an excellent social seller.” Avoid third-person phrases, such as “The candidate should be skilled at social selling.”
And, of course, GitHub, for example, summarizes their company values well in their job description. If you look at the example below, you’ll see they clearly talk about who they are before focusing on what they want in each worker (collaboration, empathy...) to communicate their human side and culture.
7. Communicate the value of the position
You’re vying for the attention of every candidate. The best candidates know what they’re looking for, and if you fail to communicate why the position is important and what the candidate will get out of it, you risk losing their application.
Remember, your value proposition goes beyond salary. Create an enticing sales representative job description by highlighting these non-monetary factors:
- Work-life balance
- Career growth opportunities
- Product/service quality
For example, according to Bridge, offering career training and development would keep 86 percent of millennials from leaving their current position. Communicate what you have to offer, and your job description will inspire job seekers and motivate them to apply.
Amplitude takes this approach with its enterprise sales development representative position.
Amplitude sales rep job description
The description states how the candidate will grow over a 90-day timeline and how the company will support this growth.
Hint: Candidates want to know that their hard work will mean something. Include how they will contribute to the company’s success and impact the bottom line to motivate them to apply.
Create your sales rep job description with 3 Zendesk templates
If you’re unsure about a sales rep's or an account executive's responsibilities and requirements, use the first two descriptions below as a jumping-off point to create your own. Use the first two descriptions below as a jumping-off point to create your own. Or, use the third if you’re looking for a fill-in-the-blank option.
1) Sales development rep description
Typically, a sales development rep uses their communication and interpersonal skills to generate leads, build customer relationships, convey benefits, and, hopefully, sell new products or services.
Negotiation skills are a must, as well as a strong ability to connect with people. Presentation experience and networking skills are also essential. Common responsibilities include:
- Cold calling
- Social selling
- Acting as the first face for a client
Here’s a sales representative job description template:
Passionate about a career in sales? Looking for a doorway into one of the fastest-growing industries in the world (SaaS)? We are looking for entry-level Sales Representative professionals to join our growing team.
Our Inside Sales Representative role offers an environment to learn, practice, challenge, and establish a strong foundation that’s invaluable to your career. The focus is on supporting our sales teams with more leads, more closed deals, and more revenue. Your efforts directly give to Zendesk Sell's top-line growth — providing you with a professional development path into a consultative selling, Account Executive position.
Why Zendesk Sell?
100% year-over-year growth for 6 straight years.
Recognized by Gartner as “Forward-thinking” in the SFA Magic Quadrant.
Disruptive strength in the enormous $36 billion CRM / SFA marketplace.
Qualifying and disqualifying inbound leads in a high-volume environment using calls, emails, and LinkedIn inmails.
Representing our brand as the first point of contact between Domestic and International C-level executives, decision-makers, and influencers.
Building credibility and value in our solution through strategic research and preparation.
Innovating lead generation processes by taking part in executive leadership meetings.
Bachelor's degree from an accredited 4-year university.
Intelligence, Character, Coachable, Experience.
Focused on a long-term sales career.
Working knowledge of the CRM industry.
Sandler, Spin, Challenger, Strongman, Force Management training.
Understand and articulate a qualification methodology such as BANT.
Why it’s effective:
- The summary draws the candidate in and gets them excited to work for Zendesk
- The description is brief and concise
- Rather than titling the last section something generic like “Desired Skills,” the writer of this description chose “Bonus Points” as the header
- The responsibilities are specific to the role: “Qualifying and disqualifying inbound leads in a high-volume environment using calls, emails, and LinkedIn InMails”
- Language is easy to understand
2) Account executive description
A step up from a sales representative, an account executive uses their expert communication skills to generate sales opportunities and take ownership of their assigned accounts. They nurture relationships with current clients and also build relationships with new ones. They work with both clients and internal teams.
A successful account executive balances planning client outreach and account coordination or management. They regularly report on their accounts’ health and identify growth opportunities with clients, such as upsells.
Here’s an example of a sales job description for an account executive:
Recently acquired by Zendesk (formerly Base), we're building a product for Salespeople called Zendesk Sell, part of the wider suite of Zendesk products. We have a big vision for 2020 and a small, highly talented team within Zendesk. Everyone at Zendesk has the opportunity to make a big impact on the productivity of millions. Zendesk is an amazing place to work for self-driven and dynamic people who solve big problems that disrupt a multi-billion dollar industry. Zendesk Sell began when we were frustrated by our own experience with CRM and was founded in 2009 based on a strong internal belief that businesses deserve better, smarter software. The Sell team is a small and dynamic group (150 people) operating inside of the amazing Zendesk team of 2,500 employees.
Why be an Account Executive?
Located in our sunny (sometimes) San Francisco office, our sales team is looking for a bright, motivated and high-performing Account Executive to join our crew. As an Account Executive at Zendesk Sell, you will be responsible for managing and closing opportunities within a territory. This person must demonstrate all the behaviors associated with a high-performance sales culture, specifically prospecting for new business, upsell and cross-sell within our extensive install base and delivering results against a quota. Sound like you? Read on...
Exceed activity, pipeline, and revenue goals on a quarterly basis
Continually build pipeline of new business, upsell, and cross-sell opportunities
Become an expert on Zendesk Sell and conduct discovery calls, presentations, and demos with prospects and customers
Develop and manage relationships with prospects and accounts within your assigned territory
Demonstrate and sell value to key stakeholders within the accounts during fast-moving as well as complex sales cycles
Work in a team-selling environment specifically building relationships with Zendesk Support counterparts.
Track all opportunity and customer details including use case, purchase time frames, next steps, and forecasting in Zendesk Sell
Experience selling to Director/VP level leaders
2+ years of software selling experience; SaaS experience preferred
Track record of success selling into mid-market companies
Technically savvy; thorough understanding of a related technology (CRM, SFA, Support Software, SaaS)
Proficiency using CRM; (Base CRM, Pipedrive, Copper, Salesforce, etc.)
Skilled in virtual presentations, online web demos, remote sales processes
Exceptional verbal and written communication skills
Why it’s effective:
- Outlines the positive aspects of working with Zendesk by talking about both facts and culture
- Injects personality into the role: “Located in our sunny (sometimes) San Francisco office, our sales team is looking for a bright, motivated and high-performing Account Executive to join our crew”
- Defines how the company will bring value to the candidate’s career
- Goes more in-depth, as it’s for a tenured role, while staying concise
3) Fill-in-the-blank sales job description
This fill-in-the-blank and annotated sales job description enables you to create a complete, concise, and engaging job posting in minutes. Remember to keep in mind the role you’re hiring for and all the tips from above.
Don’t be afraid of modifying the template by adding or removing sections. Consider what makes your position unique—required skills, day-to-day tasks for the position—to decide how to customize the template.
Get started by copying and pasting the template below:
About [Company Name]
For this section, you’ll have to do most of the heavy lifting. Remember, sell yourself to the potential candidate while keeping it short and to the point. Ensure you’ve conveyed the company culture and what work style your potential candidates can expect. For starting points, think about the following:
Who are you and who owns/runs you?
How many people will the candidate be working with? How many are in the whole company?
Where are you located? Is there anything nearby that employees enjoy?
What does the office look like—anything “fun?”
How do employees act—like a family?
What are your company’s impressive accomplishments?
What do you offer your employees that really stands out?
Why be a [job title?]
Located in [location of position], our [department] is looking for a [three adjectives] [job title] to join our crew. As a [job title] at [business], you will [most important and exciting responsibility.] You should be [most important qualifications.] Sound like the ideal job for you? Qualified? Read on...
Note: During this section, you should be hyping up the role. Talk about the best points of the job and the most important qualifications.
As a [job title], you will be responsible for [main three tasks] with assistance from [the X team or person.] Reporting to [superior], you’ll be expected to [metrics or goal] by week one, [metrics or goal] by month one, and [metrics or goal] by year one. We’ll work as a team by [teamwork style] to ensure you’re able and ready to grow.
For this section, you’ll also have to do most of the heavy lifting. Remember, think about what your current sales team is doing. Talk to current high-performing sales reps to determine what quantifiable and concrete responsibilities they have. Make sure you talk about the challenging, monotonous, and simple tasks—be transparent about the role.
It’s best to list these details as a bulleted list. However, you could frame it as “a day in the life.” For starting points, think about using the following words as inspiration:
Are there any regular meetings they will have to attend?
What metrics or goals will they need to meet?
What will they devise, determine, establish, or complete?
Is there anything they will need to convey or communicate to potential customers?
Requirements generally start with education and years of experience. From there, it’s important to add “proven experience” in prior similar roles, hard skills like an understanding of programs, and soft skills such as communication.
[Years of experience] as a [ similar or equal job role]
Prior experience successfully [most important task]
Track record of [metric of success in the role]
Proficiency in [programs]
Exceptional [soft skills]
Consider framing requirements as a minimum and optional so that candidates can evaluate whether they’re a good fit for the role.
Set yourself up for success with your sales rep job description
Your sales rep job description is your first opportunity to leave a positive impression on job seekers. Wow applicants by taking the time to write a balanced job description.
Use tried and true formulas, like our templates, while also customizing the description language to fit your company’s needs and voice. This thoughtful approach to job postings will increase your chances of finding the best fit candidate, whether you’re hiring a sales rep or an account executive.
Need more hiring process tips? Check out our other posts to help you find, interview, and hire the perfect sales candidates: