Considered working as an Inside Sales Representative? This interview will take you through the ups and downs you can expect in the position, what it takes to land the job, what you can expect to earn and more.
I am an inside sales representative for a third party logistics company. I have over eight years in sales experience and approximately two years in the logistics industry.
My daily tasks consist of cold calling potential customers and offering our services, trying to uncover a need that we might be able to resolve. I also keep in contact with regular clients, schedule shipments, negotiate quotes, deal with our carriers and ensure that our client’s shipments are delivered the way they should be. There are some common misunderstandings about what I do. Many people think that I am simply a telemarketer, but that is far from the truth. I do much more than just call businesses on the phone – I establish relationships, uncover needs, establish a bond of trust between my company and clients, resolve common issues that arise, act as middleman between the carriers and our clients and ensure that every single shipment gets picked up and delivered according to the client’s specifications. I am the person in charge of every step of a shipment’s life.
On a scale of 1 to 10, my job satisfaction is a 9. I love problem solving and achieving my goals every day, especially being challenged in an environment that allows no mediocrity. I like being on top of my game every second at work, and not knowing what I am going to have to deal with next. The only thing that I would probably need to be 100% satisfied with my position would be a better pay incentive. Sometimes I feel like our commission structure is not at its full potential. I can only imagine the results we would get as a team if all our reps were motivated to make even more money.
This job definitely moves my heart, I consider myself a natural born sales person, and this position has been the perfect platform to utilize my skills to their full potential and to learn more on a daily basis. I like the challenge of problem solving, closing deals and keeping happy clients. I like the fact that I hold my future and my success in my own hands. I am the one that decides how big my paycheck will be this week, or where I will be in the company three years from now. It doesn’t get any better than that.
When considering how far I have come and how much experience I have learned, it is interesting to know that I never graduated high school. I came from a foreign country when I was a teenager and struggled much in school, since I didn’t know any English. I feel very proud that I was able to overcome my weaknesses and I have reached my goals. I speak to customers on the phone every day, in English! My high school teachers will never have believed that I was going to be able to carry out a conversation longer than three minutes in English. I have worked very hard to get to where I am.
When I left school, I started working for a local electronics parts distributor, doing some warehouse work. After a while I applied for a position that opened up in customer service. I almost didn’t get it since I was so limited with my English, but my manager decided to give me a chance. Although I struggled the first few weeks, I started getting better, and found out that it was easy for me to create good relationships with my clients. After the company closed and I was forced to find another job, I decided that I wanted to stay in the customer service and sales field. I was faced with many challenges throughout the years, but finally ended up in the logistics field. Since I had worked in warehouses before and dealt with shipping and receiving, incorporating my sales knowledge with my knowledge of logistics was simple. If I could go back and do something different I wouldn’t change anything about my journey, it got me where I am today and I love it.
If there is something that I have learned the hard way in this job is that you cannot get discouraged by failure. I had a day when I couldn’t get a single person to talk to me on the phone, and on top of that three of my biggest clients dropped me due to a mistake one of our carriers made, mistake which was blamed on me. I felt like a complete failure that day, it completely took all the desire to keep going out of me. One of my managers noticed my disappointment, and just whispered in my ear: “Remember, it is not how hard you fall, it is all about how high you bounce”. Those words encouraged me to take failure as a stepping stone to achieve even bigger success.
The single most important thing that I have learned about the working world outside of school is that in order to be successful you have to be passionate about what you do. It doesn’t matter what it is that your job entails, whether it is running a Fortune 500 company or being the janitor of the building. If you do it with passion and desire, you will feel accomplished, and much more success will come.
The strangest thing that has ever happened to me in this job was when I talked to a small business owner on the phone for the first time. I usually like to build some rapport before actually talking business, it helps the person become more comfortable and trust me more. Well, this individual started talking to me about his divorce and about how much he hated his life. He went on for approx forty five minute, as if I was some sort of therapist or his best friend. I eventually had to cut him off and start talking business. He didn’t even care what I had to say, he opened an account with me on the spot. He said that if I was willing to listen to his personal problems he was sure I would be willing to listen and to resolve the business issues that would arise. It a very strange conversation, but it yielded good results.
I wake up every day motivated to go to work for several reasons. First, I love what I do and I am passionate about it. Secondly, I am very proud to be able to provide for my family everything they need, and I like working hard to keep it that way. We were struggling a lot to pay our bills before, but now we are doing OK and our lives have improved dramatically, that is something I am really proud of.
One of the challenges that I handle on an everyday basis that really stress me out is dealing with our carriers. Even though we are the ones that schedule shipments for a clients and provide all the needed details and specifications, sometimes the carriers will not do what they are supposed to, and the clients will call me very upset, me not even aware of the situation. I then have to contact the carrier and transmit the information that the client gave me to try to resolve the issue. Being a middle man can be extremely challenging and frustrating on some occasions.
There are definitely a lot of moments of stress at my work. But I like being challenged and I am provided with the needed tools that will allow me to solve any situation at any time. My lifestyle is very healthy. I am able to have good balance between work and family time. Not having to work weekends is a great plus.
A rough salary range for this position would be between 25,000 to 30,000 dollars a year, plus commission. There is definitely room to make much more if you exceed your sales goals. I am happy with how much I make now, and I like the fact that there is room to make more.
Vacation time is usually two weeks every year. Is it enough? I don’t think there is ever enough vacation time, but since I like what I do is not bad at all.
The skills required to be able to do this job are mostly being able to communicate well over the phone, handle pressure well and knowing how to close. As far as education is concerned, a high school diploma would be ideal and a college degree would be preferred. But if you bring a strong work ethic to the table you will definitely be considered.
If a friend was considering this line of work, I would tell them to make sure they can handle being on the phone all day, being challenged on a regular basis and not being intimidated by issues.
If I could write my own ticket, I would be managing the sales floor of my company and creating new goals in order to grow and expand.
This is a true career story as told to LatPro.com.