If you’re new to the world of independent sales, commission only reps, 1099 sales the lingo can be really confusing. Here’s a short primer that may be helpful:

Outsource(d) sales:

Outsource sales is the term that companies often use when they decide to use external, independent sales professionals to carry out the sales functions for their company. Just like accounting, legal, payroll, etc may be outsourced…so can sales!

Independent sales rep or Independent sales representative (ISR): This is the sales professional who chooses to work for himself, instead of for a company. The Independent sales rep or ISR chooses the products or services that he carries, picks and services his own territory. He is responsible for all costs and all revenues associated with sales of his product or service. Commission only reps and 1099 sales reps also its example.

1099 Sales:

1099 is the tax form in the USA that must be filed for independent contractors. A 1099 sales professional is the same thing as an ISR.

Commission only Rep:

Now something about commission only reps, they are same as an ISR or 1099 sales. This is a sales professional who is paid strictly on commission. No salary, no expenses covered that’s why they are is called commission only reps.

<Industry> sales rep:

We often hear of Apparel Reps, Medical Reps, Manufacturing Reps , Commission only Rep and more. Whatever the industry, the sales professionals that service the industry are the modified in name by the industry, followed by ‘sales reps or independent sales reps’.


A line is the product or service that is available by the contracting company for representation. There are typically at least 2 types of lines:

* Primary Line – this is the line that the ISR will carry and use as his primary income producing line. The ISR will make cold calls typically and sell and service customers for his primary line.

* Add-on Line – this type of line is usually added on to the offerings when an ISR already has a primary line. The add-on Line is sold to the same customers and serviced at the same time as the primary line. Because the ISR is utilizing existing contacts to make sales, the sales cycle for an add-on line is typically much shorter than for a new primary line.

Line Card – This is the phrase that is used to describe the full list of products or services carried by an ISR.

I hope that this list helps acquaint you with our business. Feel free to add on in comments and share about commission only rep,1099 sales etc if I’ve left off some useful terms!


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Posted by | January 27, 2013 | 1099, 1099 sales, independent sales, Outsource Sales

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