Getting a Remote Sales Job: Your 2022 Guide

Written by Coursera • Updated on

Learn common questions employers use to identify the skills of candidates. To ace the interview, prepare for these 15 product manager interview questions.

[Featured image] A salesperson in remote sales is using her laptop, to contact her clients.

For sales professionals interested in working from home, recent trends are encouraging. Remote work, including remote sales jobs, is more available than ever. Due to the stay-at-home social distancing health mandates associated with the Covid-19 pandemic, most companies offer flexible schedules that include remote positions.

Work from home sales jobs are also getting a boost in numbers due to the increase in software-as-a-service (SaaS) products and other new products and solutions. When companies target national and international clients, it doesn’t matter where the sales team is based.

Is it possible to work in sales remotely?

Yes! Sales is primarily a business of making and strengthening client relationships, which can’t always happen in an office. Those who work in outside sales visit clients for face-to-face networking. For inside sales jobs, professionals send emails and make phone calls. You can do this work from almost anywhere. 

Sales people are typically self-motivated individuals, primarily when you work for commission. Your boss won’t have to worry about whether you’re doing everything possible to land a deal.

Some companies have sales teams that must collaborate to achieve goals, and for remote positions, it’s no longer necessary to schedule meetings in an office conference room. Today’s technology makes this easy, even when teammates are located across the globe. Some of the most powerful productivity tools are online apps, such as:

  • Zoom for video conferencing

  • Slack for instant messaging

  • Toggl for time tracking

  • Calendly for scheduling

  • LinkedIn Sales Navigator for lead generation

  • Salesforce for customer relationship management software

The rise of remote working

Before the Covid-19 pandemic, an estimated 2 percent of American employees worked from home. By May 2020, that number rose to 70 percent [1]. Some companies returned to in-office work, but not all. Data researchers predict the percentage of remote workers in North America by the end of 2022 to be 25 percent [2]. 

A search for "remote sales" US jobs as of July 2022 results in the following number of job listings:

  • Indeed: 80,000+ [3]

  • LinkedIn: 20,000+ [4]

  • Glassdoor: 25,500 [5

The industries that have led the way in this trend are:

Read more: 10 Remote Work-From-Home Jobs that Pay Well

Sales roles that can be done remotely

Technological improvements and the attitude toward remote work have increased the number of work-from-home home sales jobs. Here is a look at some specific positions that can be done remotely. 

*All salary data is sourced from Glassdoor as of July 2022

Sales manager

A sales manager is responsible for planning, directing, and coordinating the distribution of products or services to the customer and establishing sales territories, goals, and training programs for sales representatives. These professionals analyze sales statistics to determine potential and inventory requirements for the company.

Average annual salary (US): $68,059

Telephone sales representative

A telephone sales representative, also called a telemarketer, uses a sales script to call potential customers to offer products and services. These professionals have an in-depth understanding of their company’s work and are responsible for answering questions about pricing and shipping. While these roles were once based in a call center, it’s now very common to be remote.

Average annual salary (US): $40,078 

Advertising sales agents

Whether the distribution is local, national, international, or even just online, publishers make money through advertisement sales. An advertising sales agent must find new clients and maintain strong relationships with businesses looking to connect with their customer base. Remote work is common since you can do even the necessary presentations through video conferencing software.

Average annual salary (US): $54,339

Affiliate marketing manager

Online retail companies often collaborate with affiliates—or influential people on social media—who share content with a large audience to advertise their products and services. The role of affiliate marketing managers is to identify and recruit appropriate partners, track their effectiveness, and resolve any concerns that may arise during the process. 

Average annual salary (US): $73,298 

Credentials for landing a remote sales position

The same skills, experience, and qualifications for an in-office sales position are necessary for remote sales work. However, equipment and additional skills can help you stand out from the competition and succeed once you’re hired. 

Skills

You’ll need workplace and technical skills for these positions. Some skills that employers seek in a remote sales professional are:

  • Excellent organization and time management 

  • Ability to foster strong relationships with clients

  • Good communication skills, both verbal and written

  • Fast learner so you can answer questions potential customers may pose

  • Persistence to follow up whenever necessary

  • Self-motivation 

  • Proficient in technology, especially with apps like Zoom, Slack, and any customer relationship management software used by the company

Read more: What Are Job Skills and Why Do They Matter?

Experience

Like in-person sales positions, the level of experience you need for remote sales jobs will depend on the job. You can pursue entry-level positions requiring no experience, such as advertising sales, customer service, or travel agents. If you have experience in sales, you can seek remote jobs, such as a sales engineer, securities sales agent, or sales manager. 

You can also demonstrate your abilities by completing online training programs and listing them on your resume. Northwestern University offers The Art of Sales: Mastering the Selling Process Specialization on Coursera for professionals interested in effective sales techniques. SalesForce offers a Sales Development Representative Professional Certificate on Coursera for those interested in exploring tech sales. 

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The Art of Sales: Mastering the Selling Process

Learn to Master the Art of Sales. Become as Efficient and Effective at Selling as Possible

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Average time: 4 month(s)

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Salesforce Sales Development Representative

Unlock your potential in tech sales. Build job-ready skills for an in-demand career as an entry-level Sales Development Representative (SDR). No degree or prior experience required.

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Average time: 6 month(s)

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Skills you'll build:

Sales Development, interviewing, Sales, Time management, Cold Calling, teamwork, Personal Advertisement, Audience, Personal Branding, Resume writing, cold emailing, objection handling, Prospecting, video prospecting, sales engagement, Customer Relationship Management Software, empathy, Proactivity, Creative Problem Solving, Coachability, Communication

HubSpot Academy offers Sales Training: Inbound Business Strategy on Coursera as part of its Sales Training for High Performing Teams Specialization. Another HubSpot Academy offering, Sales Training: Building Your Sales Career, could also help you build your skill set and confidence when applying for remote sales jobs.

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Sales Training: Inbound Business Strategy

Welcome to the Inbound Certification course! This course will introduce you to inbound and provide you with a big picture view of everything you need for a ...

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Sales Training: Building Your Sales Career

Whether you're thinking about a career in sales, just getting started at your new sales job, or managing entry level sales people, this course will provide ...

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Average time: 1 month(s)

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Skills you'll build:

Sales Strategy, Sales, Communication, Inbound Sales

Equipment

It's essential to create a dedicated workspace at home or wherever you choose to work remotely. This should include the following:

  • Computer 

  • Natural light source

  • Ergonomically correct chair and desk that helps with posture and comfort

  • Headphones to block out noise and distractions while making calls

  • Excellent internet connection

  • Phone and plan that allows for a high number of calls

You’ll also need a mastery of the apps your company uses. Video conferencing software, such as Zoom, Skype, Google Meet, or ClickMeeting, will often be required. 

Qualifications 

Along with the right skills, experience, and equipment, you’ll also need to know best practices used in the industry for generating leads remotely. Demonstrate to potential employers that you’re comfortable with a personalized outreach strategy that includes appropriate follow-up techniques. Learn customer relationship management tools to keep track of the different clients and their needs.

You’ll also want to practice using video presentation software. Create an agency for a mock presentation, focus on sharing value, and leave time for your potential customer to ask questions. To show you’re qualified for the remote sales position, you should be helpful while also knowing how to close a deal.

Read more: Zoom Interview Tips: A Guide For Your Online Interview

How to find a remote sales job

Many tasks for remote sales positions are done over the internet, so it’s a good idea to start there when looking for a remote sales job. But that’s not the only way to find a work-from-home sales job that’s right for you.  

Search remote working websites

Start by searching online work boards for “remote sales.” FlexJobs, a website specializing in remote work opportunities, lists national companies offering remote work in sales. These include CVS Health, HubSpot, Pearson, and United HealthGroup. 

Other online job boards worth browsing include:

  • Glassdoor

  • ZipRecruiter

  • NoDesk

  • Google For Jobs

  • SimplyHired

  • Weworkremotely.com

Ask current employer

If you already have a sales position that you enjoy, your boss may be willing to allow you to transition to remote or hybrid work. Many companies are willing to be flexible, especially when you can demonstrate your value through new clients and sales reports. 

Network

Relationships can get new customers in sales and help you get a new job. Start with your friends and colleagues to effectively use your social and professional network for leads. See how you can help them before asking for help, and be patient with the process. You may need to follow up a few times before a job opportunity presents itself.

Highlight relevant skills on your resume and LinkedIn profile 

Consider updating your LinkedIn profile and resume with the skills required for remote sales jobs. LinkedIn is a powerful tool for researching potential customers, making connections, and creating recommendations. This can help with sales as well as finding a remote position.

Browse the “jobs” tab on LinkedIn to see advertisements too. You can also filter jobs for only remote work.

Read more: How to Use LinkedIn: A Guide to Online Networking

Benefits of working remotely 

Here are some benefits to consider when looking for a remote sales role.

It widens your search area.

If you live in a location that does not have openings for sales positions that interest you, expanding your search to remote work will allow you to apply to companies located anywhere. You can look for part-time or full-time work. 

Read more: Job Search Guide: Resources for Your Next Career Move

Allows you to work from home.

If you juggle personal responsibilities such as raising children or caring for elderly parents, working from home can provide a level of flexibility that can alleviate stress.

Owl Labs 2021 State of Remote Work reports that 84 percent of remote workers say working from home makes them happier, and 67 percent say they are more productive [6]. That may have to do with enjoying the comforts of home while earning a living. 

No commute.

Depending on where you live, you could be saving days by not driving to and from the office. Employees who telecommute can save an average of 4.6 hours a week by not traveling to work, according to Upwork [7].

Work-life balance.

The flexible work schedule that is often related to remote work may allow you to improve your work-life balance. While working in remote sales, you can enjoy your life while also getting the job done.

Read more: Work-Life Balance: What It Is and How to Achieve It

Get started in remote sales

Even if you’re an experienced sales professional, you’ll still benefit from additional training to let employers know that you can be trusted to excel remotely. Enroll in GitLab’s How to Manage a Remote Team on Coursera to learn best practices for working at home and create a foundational strategy for success.

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Article sources

  1. Society for Human Resource Management. “Working from Anywhere to Persist After Pandemic, https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/hr-topics/talent-acquisition/pages/working-from-anywhere-to-persist-after-pandemic.aspx.” Accessed June 23, 2022.

  2. Ladders. “25% of all professional jobs in North America will be remote by the end of next year, https://www.theladders.com/press/25-of-all-professional-jobs-in-north-america-will-be-remote-by-end-of-next-year.” Accessed June 23, 2022.

  3. Indeed. "Remote Sales Jobs in United States, https://www.indeed.com/jobs?q=remote%20sales&l=United%20States&from=searchOnHP&vjk=d3e59358b825fa4f.” Accessed July 13, 2022.

  4. LinkedIn. "Remote Sales Jobs in United States, https://www.linkedin.com/jobs/remote-sales-jobs/.” Accessed July 13, 2022.

  5. Glassdoor. "Remote Sales Jobs in United States, https://www.glassdoor.com/Job/us-remote-sales-jobs-SRCH_IL.0,2_IN1_KO3,15.htm.” Accessed July 13, 2022.

  6. Owl Labs. "State of Remote Work 2021, https://owllabs.com/state-of-remote-work/2021.” Accessed June 23, 2022.

  7. Upwork. "Where Remote Work Saves Commuters Most, https://www.upwork.com/press/releases/where-remote-work-saves-commuters-most.” Accessed June 23, 2022.

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