What You Need to Know About… Telesales

What to know about… Telesales-01

You know those telesales agents, the ones that call when you’re in the middle of making dinner for the kids, you need to put the washing on, there’s still some ironing from last week and your little one needs help with their maths homework? It takes all your energy to say ‘not right now, I’m busy’ in the nicest possible way.

Are you the kind of person that can spend hours on the phone and still have something to speak about? Are you one of those people who does not take no for an answer and is quick off the mark? Are you able to connect with people very quickly and target driven? Then you should pick up the phone to your prosperous career in telesales!

So, What’s involved?

Most of your time will be at a desk speaking to people on the phone and convincing them to buy your product or service. Since a telesales agent is at the bottom of the ladder, expect to be learning the ropes, displaying great customer service and consistently hitting targets set by your line manager.

You will also sit in meetings with the rest of your colleagues and line manager discussing new telesales strategies by directors along with any new targets.

The Good Bits

The great thing about working in telesales is that usually there is no limit to what you can earn. Depending on the percentage of commission, you could be earning from a couple of hundred to a few thousand on top of your basic salary.

Since a lot of companies use telesales as their main source of sales contact with the public, you can find a telesales role in almost any industry.

If you work for a company that takes on sales contracts, you can be selling mobile phones one day and F1 track days the next.

The Bad Bits

The life a telesales agent is not easy. You’re only as good as your last sale. If you’re not one for rejection then maybe you should keep the career on hold – there is a lot of it. You also need to be able to take things on the shoulder as some customers may be rather abusive, not answer call backs or even take you right up to closing the sale and hang up.

Telesales is also very target oriented and your performance can affect whether you keep the job or not. Thick skin is definitely the name of the game.

What Skills and Qualifications Do I Need to be a telesales agent?

So you’re up for a challenge, you just simply shrug off any confrontation and the idea of making money is just another motivator? Here are some skills you need to have those employers queuing to hire you.

  • Excellent communication skills
  • Great telephone manner
  • Good rejection handling
  • Ability to identify customer needs
  • Ability to work well under pressure
  • Target oriented

Ideally, you need to be educated to A-Level or degree to get the best roles in Telesales, however, it’s all about the personality and telephone manner in this business.

It will also help if you have an NVQ Level three in Telesales or a course by the Institute of Sales and Marketing Management.

The more experience you have, the more you’ll likely be paid. If you’re just starting out however, don’t fear. Each company trains the best of agents to their sales system and sales approach.


Just starting out, you can earn around £18,000 basic salary, plus any on target earnings. Sometimes OTE’s are capped but generally not.

You should also look out for telesales roles that are purely commission based.


From a telesales agent to a telesales executive you could be earning up to £24,000 plus OTE. If you are ambitious enough to head up to sales director, you could be earning anything from £30,000 – £100,000.

by Nathalie Lot
02 August 2013

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