An agricultural sales professional sells, demonstrates, and specializes in products related to farming. Products they deal with can include anything from fertilizers to heavy machinery, so a thorough knowledge of the agricultural industry and sales are both essential for success in this role. The education required for this career typically involves a bachelor's degree in a discipline such as agribusiness or agriculture.
Agricultural sales professionals sell products related to food and crop production and provide customer service as representatives of their companies. Their jobs can vary from selling farm equipment to products such as fertilizer and seeds. Though not required, a bachelor's degree in such areas as agriculture or agribusiness is recommended and could be an advantage in a competitive job market. More important to employers is finding a sales representative with a strong background in agriculture and particular knowledge of the industry.
|Required Education||Bachelor's degree in agriculture or agribusiness|
|Other Requirements||Sales experience in areas related to agriculture|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)*||7% for wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives|
|Median Salary (2015)*||$55,730 for wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives|
Source: * U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
While a sales representative is usually assigned a specific territory, traveling might be necessary to reach clients in remote areas and to conduct product presentations. Some sales representatives work out of an office contacting prospective customers. Employers usually look for candidates who are enthusiastic and passionate about the products they are to sell.
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Duties of agricultural sales professionals typically involve all that is related to selling and promoting a line of products offered by a company. Depending on the organization, a sales representative might have to be familiar with a type of equipment and how it operates or have knowledge in such areas as fertilizers and how they affect crops. Experience in the specialized area is expected by the employer. Some sales representatives are tasked with expanding their employer's customer base and providing product training to retail clients.
Sales professionals might also be required to attend regional meetings and conferences to keep up with changes in the field and expand their product knowledge. Good communication and public speaking skills are required to sell products to individuals or groups of potential customers. Other duties might include creating and writing monthly and quarterly reports. Sales representatives might be required to attain computer skills related to programs and software utilized by the company.
Salaries might vary according to size of territory and company, reported the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Besides a salary, many sales representatives receive a commission based on a percentage of the quantity of product sold. According to the BLS, wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives, such as agricultural sales professionals, earned a median salary of $55,730 in May 2015. Those selling machinery and other equipment earned an average of $66,840 the same year.
Agricultural sales professionals often have to travel to various locations in order to meet clients, demonstrate a product, or encourage a sale. Conducting presentations is often a requirement for this role, so these sales reps must have excellent communication skills in order to relate to both individual and group audiences. It is quite common for an agricultural sales professional to specialize in one particular area of agriculture.