PayScale: What is an outside sales representative job description?
As an owner of iLocal Marketing, Inc. I stay very busy helping my business partner, Bobbie Bailey, operate the day-to-day operations of our business. We both have an extensive background in sales and that is our first driving passion. Customer service is a major concern for us and we want to make sure that we are taking care of our customers. Our goal as a company is to follow up with each customer and make sure they are happy with our services and that we went to the furthest length possible to secure our business relationship with them. I help to generate leads for our sales team and am also our team lead in Web design and development. I spend a lot of time learning about marketing and SEO practices. I have a unique interest in our customers' success online, which not only helps them, but also iLocal. We still have a small team of about eight employees, but we also believe that our employees deserve autonomy and we want them to feel a sense of independence and be proud to be employed by iLocal. I work daily with our very talented Web design team and also collaborate with our two very talented graphic artists. At iLocal we believe in measuring your advertising and marketing campaign and I also am a huge advocate and supporter of our call-tracking program. We offer and monitor the phone usage of print and internet ads and websites for local customers. Just today I was thinking how fortunate I am to have a career and a company that I enjoy and am proud to see develop. I believe that iLocal will always want to take care of their customers, employees, partners and vendors. Our goal is to do it the right way every single time.
PayScale: How did you get started as a sales rep?
One thing led to another. Eleven years ago I was between jobs and was the responsible person of a failing business. I knew a guy that worked in the Yellow Pages business and had ties to the phone company. He told me about a job within his company, but I didn't want to do phone sales. I even threw the job notice in the garbage can and took it outside to the curb. After a couple of days I realized that I had no other option and I better retrieve that job notice. I applied the same day I found the notice in the garbage. After four years of phone sales I then had the same thought process about the Yellow Pages. "I don't even use the Yellow Pages," I thought. My true apprenticeship in the world of advertising began, and after my initial training in Denver, Colorado, I realized that I actually really had an enjoyment for the product I sold and the rest is history.
PayScale: What do you love about your sales job?
There isn't much about my job that I don't enjoy. I love getting new customers and adding them to our database. We use Salesforce.com to manage each of the accounts we attain. I enjoy monitoring our new business acquisitions and making sure the records are loaded correctly. Anything that involves marketing is a huge interest to me and I am a geek when it comes to the ecosystem of any ad program. I believe that there is no magic bullet that will market your business. I believe it is important to acquire numerous forms of advertising. I also believe it is important for local businesses to research many advertising platforms and then purchase those that best fit their business needs. Once they have a well-rounded ad campaign developed, it is important that they closely monitor the results they are receiving from their advertising selections. There is no way to improve an advertising program if you don't know how it is performing. Whether you track your calls or use applications like Google Analytics, it should remain important to track every form of advertising you purchase.
A local business should always continue to research useful forms of advertising for their business. I would encourage any business to remain open-minded to all forms of advertising. The marketing of a local business should never end. A wise marketer is always in search of strong marketing and advertising matches for their business.
PayScale: What are the biggest challenges you face in your job?
I would say the biggest challenge that we face as a company is the attainment of good quality employees, vendors and sub-contractors. iLocal Marketing, Inc. is in search of a certain mindset and our eventual goal is to only work with these types of individuals. Being such a new company, we often are forced to work with the hand we are dealt. Often times we find ourselves in relationships on projects with vendors or companies that just don't mesh with our philosophy. We have had three bookkeepers and seven different Web designers so far. My business partner and I both agree that we are willing to keep looking for the right people and cut ties with any business relationships that drag us down and keep us from being the most productive business possible. As a new company we started with zero customers and have found each of our current customers through extensive lead generation, advertising, marketing, word of mouth and customer service. Our sales team is hard at work and it is the backbone of our organization. We are in such a niche industry that we don't depend too often on our own form of advertising to attain new customer relationships. We do it the old fashioned way - we hunt them down. We look for businesses that match our needs and we call them or drop by time and time again until they begin to realize our services could help them.
PayScale: What advice would you give to someone trying to break into the sales field?
Not sure if I have any advice at this point. I am really blessed to be where I am in my career. This is the last place I could have expected to end up. I have had numerous career changes throughout my career and I never felt any of them were the right decision for me. On two separate occasions these new job opportunities pushed me beyond my comfort level but towards a highly successful career path. Perhaps my best advice is to not have too high of expectations. Often times our expectations - especially when not happening at our expected pace - can cause us to give up or be reluctant. With our business I try to not think we should be further ahead than we are. We have 34 customers right now and I still remember getting our first customer. I thought we never would get a customer for a while. Our goal now is to get to 200 customers. Although we have a plan, we are a bit behind schedule. I have decided that I will not be concerned or focus too much on it. I am just going to do my best and work my hardest and I think it will turn out for us.
PayScale: What are the craziest things that have happened while working as an outside sales rep?
I once had a customer that advertised $144,000 per month and I had to remove all his advertising because of numerous news media stories that were fabricated, in my opinion, and not a true reflection of that company's integrity in the community. It was a long 1.5 years as I removed all that local advertising for a small business. Three President Club Awards in my sales career. I also love the lifestyle of an outside sales rep. I am able to work out of my house often and my schedule has a lot of freedom and flexibility. I set my own schedule and travel a lot throughout the South Puget Sound region. I see a lot of new places, roads and destinations I would never see if I was an inside sales rep or had a fixed job location. I also am proud to say that I have made over $100,000 per year numerous times in a row in my life. I say this with true humble appreciation for the road I have traveled in my life. I set goals for myself and have been truly blessed to earn an income that I have been grateful for. I have worked hard in my career and taken calculated risks that have paid off.
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