Career Definition of a Sales Support Associate
Sales support associates are not sales staff but they do assist sales staff and customers. In some companies they may be known as sales coordinators. They spend their time working in an office and one of their main duties is answering phones and processing requests made by email or other methods. They may process orders, provide assistance to customers or sales staff or help address customer complaints.
When they receive purchase orders they enter the information into their company's computer system. They must ensure that all of the information is accurate. They also maintain and update customer accounts with relevant purchase information, complaints or other data. Sales support associates are also responsible for letting sales staff know if issues arise, such as a delay in shipping, or if customers have specific questions or complaints. They may also correspond with clients and prepare information for them about products they're considering purchasing. Sales support associates will contact customers as needed and let them know about any developments with their orders, such as when the products will be delivered. By interacting with clients and maintaining files they enable sales staff to focus on sales instead of addressing customer inquiries.
|Educational Requirements||High school diploma or GED|
|Job Skills||Administrative skills, organizational skills, interpersonal skills, communication skills, detail oriented, teamwork skills, multitasking skills|
|Median Salary (2017)*||$41,842|
|Job Outlook (2016-2026)**||10% (sales and related workers, all other)|
Sources: *PayScale; **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
There are no formal education requirements for sales support associates. With a high school diploma or GED it is possible to enter this career field, but applicants who demonstrate they have administrative skills may have an advantage when seeking employment. This can be done by earning International Association of Administrative Professionals certification. Several years of practical experience in a related career field or a combination of education and experience are required to pursue this certification. Completing a postsecondary certificate that prepares graduates to work as an administrative assistant may also be an asset.
Sales support associates interact with clients, sales staff and others regularly so they need good customer service skills and interpersonal skills in order to be effective in their role. They also need to have good communication skills to draft effective correspondence and be precise when updating client records. They fulfill an administrative role and may work with several different clients, orders or issues each day so they need to have strong organizational skills and the ability to multitask. Attention to detail is important because they need to ensure the records they create and maintain are accurate.
Career Outlook and Salary
The median annual income PayScale reported for sales support associates was $41,842 in 2017. From 2016 to 2026 the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects that the average rate of job growth for all occupations will be 7%. Sales support associates are part of the BLS classification for 'sales and related workers, all other'. During the same ten-year period, the BLS expects this occupational field will see a job growth rate of 10%, which is faster-than-average growth.
Sales support associates work in a career that combines some sales-related tasks with customer service duties so those who are considering entering this field may also be interested in other sales or customer service occupations. Links to information about a number of careers in these fields can be found below.