Program Information

Job Task

New hires are expected to be technologically astute, have the ability to sell, and perform important job tasks. JOB TASKS common to all six occupational categories.

  • Manages customer accounts, assess sales opportunities, and seek new business
  • Attends sales and trade meetings
  • Stays current via publications and electronic media related to trends, issues, developments, and market conditions
  • Analyzes and evaluates customer base and their equipment, product and service requirements
  • Conducts sales presentations to individuals and groups
  • Recommends and promotes sale of equipment and products, including maintenance, repair, operating and production (MROP) supplies and services to meet customer requirements
  • Demonstrates application of equipment and products
  • Solicits orders
  • Negotiates price, deliverables, terms and conditions
  • Prepare sales contracts and sales reports
  • Trains end-users in equipment and/or product use and maintenance

Job tasks specific to:

Agricultural Sales Reps:
  • Sells agricultural products and services such as farm, ranch, dairy, and veterinarian supplies
  • Demonstrates use and care of agricultural equipment and machines

Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sales Reps:

  • Sells chemical or pharmaceutical products and services, industrial chemicals, agricultural chemicals, medicines, drugs, and water treatment supplies
  • Distributes samples

Electrical and Electronic Sales Reps:

  • Sells electrical products and services to the industrial, commercial, residential, utility, voice/data comm, educational, and medical marketplace
  • Sells electronic equipment and components to industrial and government establishments

Mechanical Equipment and MROP Supplies Sales Reps:

  • Sells equipment, machinery, tooling, automated devices, and industrial materials
  • Specializes in a line of products such as aircraft equipment, machine tools, railroad equipment, construction equipment, material handling equipment, hydraulic/pneumatic devices and equipment, etc

Medical Sales Reps:

  • Sells medical equipment, devices, products and services to doctors, dentists, lab technicians, hospitals, medical schools, nursing homes, and retail establishments
  • Writes specifications to order custom-made surgical appliances

Instrumentation Sales Reps:

  • Sells precision instruments
  • Assists customers with product selection utilizing knowledge of engineering specifications and applications technology resources

Job Knowledge

Today’s business priority is to hire people with the right knowledge. All companies are in the knowledge business, meaning knowledge of the goals, wants, and needs of customers, as well as knowledge of what products and services will best satisfy those needs and wants. All knowledge has value but the most important knowledge technical salespeople must apply every day is as follows: KNOWLEDGE required of all six categories

  • Sales and Marketing – Knowledge of principles and methods of showing, promoting, and selling products and services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstrations, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
  • Mathematics – Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications in business and technology.
  • Economics and Accounting – Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking and the analysis and reporting of financial data.
  • English Language – Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Engineering and Technology – Knowledge of the practical applications of engineering science and technology including the features, benefits, and financial advantages of modern products and their use.
  • Education and Training – Knowledge of the principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects. Is a self directed learner and understands the need for continuous learning throughout ones career.
  • Customer and Personal Service – Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services including needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Science – Knowledge of physical science and chemistry and their applications in technology.

In addition, within each of the six occupational categories there contains an identifiable body of general scientific knowledge, technical knowledge, product knowledge, as well as industry specific knowledge sellers must have. Hiring companies will provide the specific knowledge and information you need during your initial training period as well as provide you opportunities to continue learning throughout your career.

  • General Scientific Knowledge will be offered in your 2 required science courses. All ID majors are required to take Physical Science as well as one other science. Chemistry is the most logical choice, if not the only choice, for those desiring to be sales reps in the agricultural, chemical/pharmaceutical, mechanical, and medical supply industries.
  • General Technical Knowledge will be provided in the technical courses offered in the ITEC Department. Here you will learn about electrical/electronic, mechanical, fluid power, and thermal systems. You will be given hands-on experiences to help you gain the general knowledge you need to understand how things work. You will also gain much product and application knowledge and how to demonstrate and sell technical goods and services.
  • Product Knowledge will be provided in all technical courses.
  • Industry Business Knowledge will be provided in technical courses as well as in upper level professional courses with a focus on manufacturing, industrial distribution operations, industry trends and issues, leadership, management, technical selling and business relationships.

Job Skills

Today’s business priority is to hire those most able to apply their knowledge. In each of the six occupational categories there contains identifiable sets of common skills that must be performed effectively. These skills include:

  • Instructing and Demonstrating – Teaching others how to do something
  • Persuasion – Persuading others to accept your ideas and sales offers
  • Speaking – Talking to others to convey information effectively
  • Negotiating – Bringing others together to reconcile differences
  • Identifying Customer Needs – Determining the kinds of products and services required to do a job
  • Active Listening – Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times
  • Mathematics – Using mathematics to solve problems
  • Applications Analysis – Analyzing needs and product requirements for unique applications
  • Reading Comprehension – Understanding the written word in work related documents
  • Social Perceptiveness – Being aware of others’ actions and reactions and understanding why they behave as they do

INTERESTS, ABILITIES and WORK VALUES Businesses seek success driven people who can communicate in a global marketplace. INTERESTS common to all technical sales representatives Those individuals with high interest in technical selling share three common behavioral traits; they are enterprising, realistic, and social. How do your interests stack up?

  • Enterprising –They conduct themselves as entrepreneurs being self-motivated and self-directed. They’re able to initiate and carry through with ideas and projects; they’re leaders and decision makers. They can deal with rejection and are able to work in environments where risk is always present. They have winner instincts.
  • Realistic – They like hands-on activities that include practical problem solving and innovative solutions that deal with real-world materials and equipment.
  • Social – They like to help and provide service to others. They enjoy combining business with pleasure. They like social activities and sports such as golfing, dining, entertaining, communicating with and teaching people.

ABILITIES common to technical sales representatives If you can’t communicate, your other talents are almost meaningless (you can’t step on second base without stepping on first, so to speak). The most important communication abilities include:

  • Oral expression – The ability to communicate and present information and ideas in ways so others will understand
  • Speech Clarity – The ability to speak clearly so others will understand
  • Oral Comprehension – The ability to listen and to understand information and ideas presented through the spoken word
  • Written Expression – The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand
  • Written Comprehension – The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing
  • Speech Recognition – The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person

WORK VALUES common to technical sales representatives If you value the opportunity to:

  • be creative
  • have responsibility and autonomy
  • be independent
  • be rewarded for achievement
  • have job variety
  • enjoy good working conditions
  • receive excellent salaries and compensation packages
  • belong to an ethical profession

Then you value the same things that most top gun technical sales representatives do.