The Difference Between a Sales Consultant and a Salesperson


Are you considering a career in sales? When you’re just starting out, it can be hard to understand the nuanced differences between roles like a salesperson and a sales consultant. Don’t worry, though – we’re here to break down the key distinctions!

In this blog post, we’ll dive deep into the responsibilities of a salesperson and a sales consultant – and help you decide which one might be right for you. Let’s get started!


Sales consultants and salespeople both work in business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) sales environments. Both types of professionals must use excellent communication skills, problem solving abilities, and relationship building tactics to close deals. Both are expected to know the company’s products and services, as well as employ strategies to best market these offerings.

However, sales consultants take a different approach when working with clients. Rather than solely rely on their relationship building skills or their knowledge about the product or service, a successful sales consultant strives to use a consultative approach with buyers. They seek to understand the customer’s needs from an outside perspective and offer advice or solutions based on their findings.

Salespeople are less likely to step back from the normal sales process in order to develop better solutions for clients. Salespeople tend to focus more on product knowledge but without delving into the customer’s real needs they can miss more impactful opportunities for growth in addition failing to properly drive upsell & cross selling products.

What is a Sales Consultant?

A sales consultant is an advisor who helps a company identify and meet their goals through the development and implementation of sales strategies. In contrast to a salesperson, the consultant takes a more holistic approach when assessing the company’s needs. They look at the company’s current environment, competition, and market trends to come up with effective solutions.

The consultant then provides advice on how to best allocate resources to achieve sales objectives in an efficient manner. In other words, they assist businesses in creating successful long-term strategies for handling customer interactions and relationships via sales techniques.

Typically, sales consultants carry out their duties by:

  • actively listening to their clients’ needs,
  • providing guidance on product selection,
  • negotiating terms of sale (price, delivery date etc.),
  • training staff on proper selling techniques or processes such as lead generation and objection handling,
  • preparing sales reports or plans,
  • attending networking events and trade shows etc.

Furthermore, they can also assess client feedback or reviews from time to time in order to keep track of emerging market trends as well as recommend appropriate changes in response.

In conclusion, sales consultants are valuable team members that offer well-thought-out solutions for their designated companies with regards to realizing more success in their selling endeavors.

What is a Salesperson?

Much like the terms “salesperson” and “sales consultant” are used interchangeably, the roles they play in a business are often blurred together. Both salespeople and consultants work together to achieve an organization’s sales goals, but they have different responsibilities, activities, and training.

A salesperson is responsible for making direct contact with potential customers, creating relationships with them, and selling products or services to them. They must have a thorough understanding of their company’s products or services in order to explain the features and benefits of them to potential customers. They must be able to identify customer needs and persuade customers that their company’s solutions can meet those needs. In addition to working with clients directly, salespeople work on improving customer service processes within their organization as well as participating in other activities related to enhancing brand awareness.

Salespeople usually receive formal training on:

  • Customer service techniques
  • Communication skills
  • How to build rapport with potential customers
  • Marketing skills such as email campaigns or website design
  • Problem solving techniques
  • Understanding customer psychology so that they can tailor their solutions based on individual customer needs.

Key Differences between a Sales Consultant and a Salesperson

When it comes to positions in the sales industry, there can be a great deal of confusion between the two main titles. Salespeople and sales consultants each have very different roles and expectations, and each must be knowledgeable of their unique requirements. Let’s take a closer look at the key differences between a sales consultant and a salesperson.

  • Salesperson: This role typically involves working on commission with an established base salary or wage. Their primary focus is to lead, generate interest in and close deals on products or services, usually in an effort to make sales quotas set by their employer.
  • Sales Consultant: Often working for themselves or through an agency, this type of consultant works as an independent contractor providing advice and consultation services as well as customization options for their clients. They are expected to build relationships with their clients as they help them discern what packages or services would best fit their needs while also striving to boost profitability for both themselves and their clients through increased sales.

Benefits of Hiring a Sales Consultant

The benefits of hiring a sales consultant over a salesperson are numerous. While both help to boost a company’s revenue by increasing the number of sales, there are distinct advantages to hiring a sales consultant.

  • A sales consultant is knowledgeable in a wide range of industries, so they can share valuable insights across different products and services. This helps businesses to capitalize on potential markets and opportunities that they may not yet be aware of.
  • Moreover, with industry-specific certifications and experience, a sales consultant also has greater industry credibility than most traditional salespeople. This in turn can help to boost the company’s brand value as clients trust the person representing them more readily. Consultants often offer their own networks too – expanding both their reach and yours when it comes to gaining new business contacts.
  • Finally, consultants don’t have an inbuilt stake in the product itself – meaning that their advice is unbiased and objective. They provide valuable insight into the strengths and weaknesses of current product offerings by looking at them from an external point of view, rather than through internal-only perspectives that can be biased or out of date.

Benefits of Hiring a Salesperson

Hiring a salesperson can be a great asset to your business. Here are some of the key benefits of hiring such a professional:

  1. Increased Product Knowledge – A good salesperson will become incredibly knowledgeable about your products and services, making them able to provide customers with comprehensive information. This can help close more sales and reduce customer frustrations when questions come up.
  2. More Personalized Service – A salesperson is better able to provide personalized service to customers that may lead to increased sale conversion rates and overall customer satisfaction.
  3. Developed Network – Good salespeople have expertise in developing and leveraging networks for their clients, exposing the company’s offerings to potential clients who might not have otherwise had the opportunity to learn about them otherwise. This ability can lead to increased awareness, greater profits, and an improved reputation among clients at large.
  4. Increased Sales Process Efficiency – A good salesperson will efficiently manage the entire sales process from start to finish, leaving little room for mistakes or gaps that could negatively affect a sale or customer relationship.
  5. Strategic Planning Support – Your hired team member should be able to provide strategic guidance on decision-making processes throughout the entire organization, including marketing initiatives such as promotional campaigns or investments in other areas of growth such as improving customer service or establishing new partnerships with industry professionals. Ultimately this support may lead your company in the direction it needs in order to achieve success goals on time and within budget while driving long-term growth decisions across departments simultaneously.


In conclusion, the roles of a sales consultant and a salesperson are very different. Sales consultants provide advice and support for their clients that goes beyond just selling the product or service. They bring in outside knowledge, provide consulting services and work with their clients to create custom solutions that best suit their needs.

On the other hand, salespeople focus on selling products or services to customers as quickly and efficiently as possible while managing customer relationships. While both roles require strong communication skills, a successful career in either field will depend on an understanding of the difference between a sales consultant and a salesperson.


Sales representatives and consultants are two roles that may overlap in certain areas, but they are very different from one another. It’s important to understand how these titles differ so that you can make an informed decision when hiring for these positions.

A sales representative is typically responsible for generating revenue through the sale of a company’s products or services. They use their knowledge of the product or service to ensure customers are aware of all available options. Their job is to close sales and they may be held accountable for meeting revenue targets or quotas.

A consultant salesperson is more involved in identifying customer needs and providing solutions to these needs than a traditional salesperson. Their work focuses on understanding customer insight and finding ways to improve business processes and operations, as well as consulting on product features, pricing guides and market trends. Consultants provide technical assistance for product demos, support training sessions, develop reports about customer feedback, and more. They use their expertise to help a team get the best out of the product or service being offered.

When it comes to references, both types of sales professionals come into play in order to provide an accurate representation of their work expertise. Sales representatives should be able to provide records from customers that verify that they exceeded expectations and delivered quality results during their time with the company. Consultants will also need references from previous clients as well as past employers who can attest to their level of expertise in

  • problem-solving skills,
  • strategic planning abilities,
  • technical proficiency, and
  • implementation capabilities.