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Become An Area Sales Director

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Working As An Area Sales Director

  • Selling or Influencing Others
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Getting Information
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Stressful

  • $127,000

    Average Salary

What Does An Area Sales Director Do

Sales managers direct organizations' sales teams. They set sales goals, analyze data, and develop training programs for organizations’ sales representatives.

Duties

Sales managers typically do the following:

  • Resolve customer complaints regarding sales and service
  • Prepare budgets and approve expenditures
  • Monitor customer preferences to determine the focus of sales efforts
  • Analyze sales statistics
  • Project sales and determine the profitability of products and services
  • Determine discount rates or special pricing plans
  • Develop plans to acquire new customers or clients through direct sales techniques, cold calling, and business-to-business marketing visits
  • Assign sales territories and set sales quotas
  • Plan and coordinate training programs for sales staff

Sales managers’ responsibilities vary with the size of their organizations. However, most sales managers direct the distribution of goods and services by assigning sales territories, setting sales goals, and establishing training programs for the organization’s sales representatives.

Some sales managers recruit, hire, and train new members of the sales staff. For more information about sales workers, see the profiles on retail sales workers and wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives.

Sales managers advise sales representatives on ways to improve their sales performance. In large multiproduct organizations, they oversee regional and local sales managers and their staffs.

Sales managers also stay in contact with dealers and distributors. They analyze sales statistics generated from their staff to determine the sales potential and inventory requirements of products and stores and to monitor customers' preferences.

Sales managers work closely with managers from other departments in the organization. For example, the marketing department identifies new customers that the sales department can target. The relationship between these two departments is critical to helping an organization expand its client base. Sales managers also work closely with research and design departments because they know customers’ preferences, and with warehousing departments because they know inventory needs.

The following are examples of types of sales managers:

Business to business (B2B) sales managers oversee sales from one business to another. These managers may work for a manufacturer selling to a wholesaler, or a wholesaler selling to a retailer. Examples of these workers include sales managers overseeing sales of software to business firms, and sales managers overseeing wholesale food sales to grocery stores.

Business to consumer (B2C) sales managers oversee direct sales between businesses and individual consumers. These managers typically work in retail settings. Examples of these workers include sales managers of automobile dealerships and department stores.

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How To Become An Area Sales Director

Most sales managers have a bachelor’s degree and work experience as a sales representative.

Education

Most sales managers have a bachelor’s degree, although some have a master’s degree. Educational requirements are less strict for job candidates who have significant work experience. Courses in business law, management, economics, accounting, finance, mathematics, marketing, and statistics are advantageous.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Work experience is typically required for someone to become a sales manager. The preferred duration varies, but employers usually seek candidates who have at least 1 to 5 years of experience in sales.

Sales managers typically enter the occupation from other sales and related occupations, such as sales representatives or purchasing agents. In small organizations, the number of sales manager positions often is limited, so advancement for sales workers usually comes slowly. In large organizations, promotion may occur more quickly.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Sales managers must collect and interpret complex data to target the most promising geographic areas and demographic groups, and determine the most effective sales strategies.

Communication skills. Sales managers need to work with colleagues and customers, so they must be able to communicate clearly.

Customer-service skills. When helping to make a sale, sales managers must listen and respond to the customer’s needs.

Leadership skills. Sales managers must be able to evaluate how their sales staff performs and must develop strategies for meeting sales goals.

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Average Length of Employment
Director Of Sales 3.6 years
Top Careers Before Area Sales Director
Manager 1.7%
Top Careers After Area Sales Director
Consultant 2.5%
Owner 2.4%
Manager 2.2%

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Top Skills for An Area Sales Director

  1. Sales Goals
  2. Revenue Growth
  3. New Accounts
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Prepared quarterly updates to ensure achievement of established sales goals.
  • Ensured internal revenue growth and maintained/improved profitability on both new and existing accounts.
  • Identified and developed opportunities with current and new accounts to ensure territory was overbooked to 110% of inbound capacity.
  • Consulted company on new product development and marketing.
  • Increased market share and sales of region approximately 20% per year with revenue generation in excess of 2.5 million dollars.

Area Sales Director Demographics

Gender

Male

62.0%

Female

30.8%

Unknown

7.2%
Ethnicity

White

62.7%

Hispanic or Latino

14.9%

Black or African American

11.7%

Asian

6.9%

Unknown

3.8%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

51.5%

German

12.1%

French

12.1%

Somali

3.0%

Dutch

3.0%

Japanese

3.0%

Greek

3.0%

Hebrew

3.0%

Arabic

3.0%

Cantonese

3.0%

Italian

3.0%
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Area Sales Director Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

13.1%

Michigan State University

6.9%

Southern Illinois University Carbondale

6.2%

Brigham Young University

5.4%

Johnson & Wales University

5.4%

East Carolina University

4.6%

Arizona State University

4.6%

San Diego State University

4.6%

University of Maryland - College Park

4.6%

Miami University

4.6%

University of Houston

4.6%

Iowa State University

4.6%

University of South Florida

3.8%

Villanova University

3.8%

Auburn University

3.8%

Texas Tech University

3.8%

Duquesne University

3.8%

Lehman College of the City University of New York

3.8%

Saint Louis University-

3.8%

East Tennessee State University

3.8%
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Majors

Business

32.9%

Marketing

13.3%

Management

6.8%

Communication

5.6%

Hospitality Management

4.4%

Education

4.0%

Finance

3.6%

Psychology

3.2%

Electrical Engineering

2.9%

Health Care Administration

2.9%

Economics

2.5%

General Sales

2.5%

Political Science

2.3%

Liberal Arts

2.1%

Computer Science

2.0%

Nursing

2.0%

Accounting

1.9%

English

1.7%

Biology

1.6%

Specialized Sales And Merchandising

1.5%
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Degrees

Bachelors

54.8%

Other

17.7%

Masters

17.6%

Associate

6.3%

Certificate

2.1%

Doctorate

0.8%

License

0.5%

Diploma

0.3%
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Top Area Sales Director Employers

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