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What Do Manufacturing Sales Representatives Do?

selling reps

Manufacturing sales representatives play an important role within their organizations, yet many people are unsure as to what it is they do on a day to day basis. Sales reps for manufacturing companies actually take on a number of duties, all related to the end goal of closing sales and driving revenue. It is not an exaggeration to say that manufacturing companies would struggle to survive without the hard work of their sales representatives. For a better understanding of what these individuals do each day, please review the information below.

Find Leads

One of the most important functions of a manufacturing sales representative is to track down leads that can be pursued by the business. These leads can come from many different places, such as trade shows, connections through other clients, or even simple business listings. Developing leads in business to business sales is quite different from consumer sales, so manufacturing reps need to have a very specific skill set.

Calling on Leads

Of course, those leads aren’t going to turn into customers until they are contacted and informed about the various products or services available. Building trust and developing a positive relationship with potential customers is something that every sales rep must be able to do effectively.

Having All the Answers

Potential customers are going to have a lot of questions about the products or services they are being offered – and manufacturing sales reps are going to need to have those answers on hand. A close understanding of the product line they are selling is extremely important, as is the ability to quickly track down answers to questions that the sales rep cannot handle personally. Being informed is important, but providing accurate information is even more important, which is why a good sales rep always knows who to contact for the right answer.

Successful Negotiations

There are inevitably going to be negotiations as part of the process of closing a deal for a new account. This is one of the ways in which the duties of a manufacturing sales rep will differ from a salesperson who deals directly with consumers. In this case, there is going to be room for negotiation with regard to price and other terms, so the sales rep must be an expert negotiator. It is important that negotiations do not turn hostile or argumentative, so communication and relationship skills are going to be put to the test on this part of the job.


Once a new customer has been secured, it will be largely up to the sales representative to maintain that relationship going forward. Checking in from time to time to answer questions and monitor satisfaction is all part of the job. Most businesses – manufacturing or otherwise – thrive on repeat business, so it is important to keep current customers happy and coming back for as long as possible. The successful manufacturing sales representative will stay on top of all of his or her accounts to ensure they are having their needs met at every turn.