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How to Become a Payroll Services Sales Representative

If you have excellent presentation skills, you’re an outstanding communicator, and you are looking for a career where you can show off your high-level sales skills, a payroll services sales representative could be a great fit for you.

A payroll services sales representative typically works for a company selling payroll services. They work with organizations, determine their payroll needs, and sell them a plan that meets those needs. To excel as a payroll services sales representative, you will need exceptional networking abilities, exceptional people skills, and be driven by success. 

Payroll services sales representatives may also educate organizations on how to use payroll services. They must possess good judgment, understand the needs of the client, and be able to provide the right plan for them. In-depth product knowledge and good decision-making skills are essential. A solid understanding of accounting, payroll processes, and intermediate computer skills are needed for this role. Payroll service sales representatives must have effective communication skills, they must be excellent negotiators, and they should be detail-oriented.

Sample job description

[Your Company Name] is searching for a payroll services sales representative with an amazing ability to form, build, and maintain relationships with our current and future client base. This sales position requires you to assess clients’ needs, research solutions within our services, and craft convincing presentations to close deals. Confidence in your ability to network and generate business leads is a must in this position. Experience in sales and a willingness to continue to learn and grow make you the kind of candidate [Your Company Name] is looking for.

Typical duties and responsibilities

  • Identify potential customers
  • Develop professional relationships and business networks
  • Explain specific details about how payroll services would benefit the client
  • Seek out and network with new prospects
  • Give sales presentations
  • Design proposals and quotes for payroll services

Education and experience

This position requires a high school diploma or its equivalent. However, some companies may prefer a payroll services sales representative with a bachelor’s degree, especially in a discipline like marketing, business, accounting, or communications.

Employers also prefer candidates with a background in business-to-business (B2B) sales with a successful track record.

Required skills and qualifications

  • Written and verbal communication skills, including relationship-building and influencing
  • Negotiation skills
  • Ability to assess and interpret the payroll needs of businesses
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite or similar software, including spreadsheets and databases
  • Strong sense of organization and time management

Preferred qualifications

  • Works well independently and as part of a team
  • Professional demeanor and impeccable integrity
  • High sense of urgency and innate sales talent

Typical work environment

Payroll services sales representatives work in an office environment to research potential clients and put together presentations. They also spend a lot of time out of the office traveling to meet with current and potential clients to help meet their needs and sometimes train them on how to use payroll services.

Typical hours

The work hours for a payroll services sales representative are usually from 9 AM to 5 PM.

Available certifications

Becoming a payroll services sales representative can be difficult if you’re new to the field. These certifications can give you a leg up on the competition:

  • Certified Professional Sales Person (CPSP). This 6-week certification is perfect for anyone that wants to show that they know their stuff when it comes to sales. This program is built to teach you the sales habits and behaviors necessary to build and maintain relationships with clients. As a Certified Professional Salesperson, you verify to future employers that you have skills invaluable to any sales position, making you stand out from the rest of the applicants.
  • Certified Payroll Professional (CPP). Selling payroll services is much easier when you know a thing or two about payroll. By taking the Certified Payroll Professional exam, you will have a certification that backs up your knowledge in this area. The APA offers courses in payroll essentials, concepts, and practices to prepare you for the 190 question exam to qualify you for certification. After passing, your certification is valid for five years before you must apply for recertification.

Career path

This position requires a high school diploma or equivalent. Many larger professional services companies need sales representatives to have a bachelor’s degree. Coursework in sales, business, marketing, accounting, communications, and related subjects can be attractive to potential employers looking to hire payroll services sales representatives. Entry-level representatives often train on the job under a more experienced sales manager.

Successful payroll services sales representatives can often be promoted to sales managers, supervising a team of sales representatives. Then they can be promoted to supervise sales for an entire geographic area.

US, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook

SOC Code: 41-4000

2020 Employment1,625,700
Projected Employment in 20301,703,300
Projected 2020-2030 Percentage Shift 5% Increase
Projected 2020-2030 Numeric Shift77,600 Increase

According to the human resources software company Bamboo HR, one trend in the payroll services field is the increasing popularity of cloud-based payroll software. More companies are turning to cloud-based solutions for most computing needs for added convenience and security. Cloud-based payroll software allows managers and employees to access their timecards and time-off requests in real-time. Businesses will likely continue to ask payroll services sales representatives about cloud-based solutions in the coming years.

Another trend is the increasing diversity in the workforce in terms of the company-worker relationship. Many companies are using a combination of full-time workers, part-time workers, and freelance workers, also known as gig workers. Gig workers are paid in a different way than employees on a company’s regular payroll, so newer payroll services systems are being designed to incorporate all the various payroll needs into one platform, increasing efficiency. This trend is expected to continue, and as the “gig economy” grows, more companies will need these kinds of payroll solutions.