For people who love people – and a challenge – there are few careers that can match up to one spent in a telesales advisor job. Responsible for interacting with people on a daily basis - to sell them the benefits of a company’s products or services - telesales agents are important components of success for companies right across the globe.

This article will explain what it is like to work in one of these positions, and provide information for anyone who is interested in beginning a career in telesales.

What is telesales and what are the key skills in a telesales job?

Key skills required for telesales jobs include the following:

  • Natural charisma – the ability not simply to charm people but to come across as genuinely likeable, trustworthy, and interested in what they have to say.
  • Resilience – the ability to move straight on with the next call and remain upbeat even after dealing with a difficult or abusive contact.
  • I.T. – quickly and efficiently accessing records, checking databases and updating files, often whilst talking to a potential customer at the same time.
  • Organisation – planning schedules, setting priorities, coordinating with other members of a sales team and coping with multitasking.
  • Telesales agents need to good at dealing with stress and it helps if they are naturally positive people who enjoy engaging with others. Succeeding in telesales requires hard work and dedication but the rewards can be high.

What is expected in a telesales role?

Telesales jobs differ from other sales roles because the exchanges are carried out remotely. This means individuals need to be even more efficient and effective in their verbal communication, as their prospects have less to work with when deciding whether the individual is trustworthy, and genuinely trying to help them.

They also differ to some other call centre roles because there is an emphasis on actual selling, rather than simply providing customer service.

Today, telesales work is often supported by company websites. Agents need to be familiar with the websites so that they can quickly work out what potential customers are referring to whether or not they use the item codes. They need to be able to persuade people to browse the website in situations where it is not possible to make an immediate sale.

Daily tasks.

Most people who work in telesales operate from a desk, interacting with potential customers over the phone in order to persuade them of the benefits of buying a product or service. Individuals are given a daily sales target that they are expected to match or exceed, and some of their salary can include commission-based payments, which are designed to reward good work.

This means that individuals need to be able to remain calm under pressure, and have the motivation to succeed in a highly competitive environment. Increasingly, telesales workers also need to be comfortable in selling via digital channels, such as through live chat on the company’s website. This requires good facial as well as verbal communication.

Potential telesales workers should also realise that they may not necessarily be generating actual sales. Instead, they may simply be required to generate leads, which other members of the sales team can then act on. Or, their job could be to encourage individuals to sign up to free product trials, or conduct surveys.

The different types of telesales roles.

Telesales jobs come in many different forms. One of the main differences is whether they are focussing on inbound or outbound sales. These disciplines require different skills from the agent, as inbound selling involves helping customers who are already interested in the idea of buying the product or service.

Outbound selling, on the other hand, usually involves making unsolicited calls to people who may need much more persuading. In addition, different skills are needed depending on whether the seller is targeting a consumer market or a business market.  

Some telesales companies require their workers to stick to strict scripts when on the phone, while others encourage operators to show their personalities a little more.


Newcomers to telesales usually start on around £18,000 but are sometimes offered a lower rate supplemented by commission, which can work out better if they’re hardworking and have a real flair for the work involved. Salaries can rise up to £30,000 for experienced agents with a good record of success, and substantial bonuses can also be available.


Although some nine to five positions exist in telesales, especially in the area of business-to-business calls, an increasing number are shift-based, enabling businesses to reach potential customers when they’re at home in the evenings or at weekends. Some of these positions offer flexible hours. There are also many part time jobs in telesales available, and some that people can do from home, making this a practical career option for people whose circumstances make it difficult for them to work from a traditional office environment.


There are no mandatory qualifications for telesales as natural talent and energy are more important, but many people enter the profession from a business background or have degrees in business. There are NVQs and SVQs in telesales available and studying whilst working is fairly easy because of the flexibility of many jobs. These are a good option for people hoping to climb higher within the profession and take responsibility not only for their own sales but also for those made by others.

Growth within the telesales industry.

Telesales is a great place to begin a career in sales. This type of role gives individuals a way to learn the basics of selling, and to begin to discover their own style - finding out what works and what doesn’t.

The growth potential is very high, with opportunities to move up into well-paid management roles, and sales director positions in reach for those who shine in their careers. The commission element of work in this sector means that those who are successful have the chance to earn a big salary, and can take control of their own destiny. Some even set up on their own and contract out their services, gaining an impressive commission fee for every sale.