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A Sales Business Plan helps identify critical factors impacting sales team performance. Pipelines are leading indicators of sales success.



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Creating Sales Job Descriptions for Small Businesses

Job Descriptions set Expectations for Performance

Most sales job descriptions are a combination of four elements: Job Responsibilities, Job Requirements, Compensation and Attributes for Success.

Job Responsibilities

This area of the Sales Job Description outlines day-to-day expectations and responsibilities, for instance: Will this person be selling over-the-phone or in person?  On a scale of 1-100%, how much will the sales rep need to travel to be successful in their position? Customer visits, sales meetings, trade show attendance, and visits to the home office should all be considered when tallying expected travel.  Will the sale rep be managing existing accounts, only developing new accounts, or a combination?  Also to be considered:

  • Is this a full-time, part-time or contractor position?
  • Who will the sales rep report to?
  • Who will be responsible for lead generation?
  • Will there be responsibilities for proposal creation and delivery?
  • Are there business financial requirements, for instance maintaining an average gross margin?
  • How will ongoing customer support be managed?
  • Inter company cooperation and support may be specified.

Job Requirements

Essential elements commonly include:

  • Education level achieved
  • Years of experience in a similar job or industry
  • Technical licenses or qualifications
  • Security clearance, if applicable
  • Background checks, credit reports, drug screening
  • Work hours and physical location


The Sales Job Description should include a overview of compensation, however, it does not replace a formal compensation plan document.  Additional information regarding compensation plans can be found at Sales Incentive Compensation Plans.

  • Base pay and payment schedule
  • Incentive compensation including commissions and bonuses 
  • Benefits that may include: medical, dental, life, 401K and holidays
  • Vacation, Paid-Time-Off, and Sick Leave may be specified
  • Car allowances, if applicable
  • Expense accounts, if applicable

Attributes for Success

This area is important for matching expectations in work styles between the company and the successful candidate.  Unfortunately, this area of the job description is sometimes overlooked.  Describe here the qualities of the job and the organization that are critical for success.

  • Is the company style to "burn the midnight oil", "work-life balance", or something in-between?
  • Will the successful candidate have an entrepreneurial spirit or thrive in a highly structured environment?
  • Is the company seeking team players or searching for reps who are self-sufficient and most productive working independently?
  • Will the successful candidate be motivated primarily by money or fulfilling the company mission?

Sales Job Descriptions provide a strategic foundation for recruiting, hiring and compensating individuals who can make a significant contribution to the company's success.