Sales managers direct organizations' sales teams. They set sales goals, analyze data, and develop training programs for organizations’ sales representatives.
Sales managers typically do the following:
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.
Most sales managers have a bachelor’s degree and work experience as a sales representative.
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 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.
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.
|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|Area Sales Manager||Ferrari North America, Inc.||Englewood Cliffs, NJ||Sep 26, 2011||$140,000|
|Area Sales Manager||Ferrari North America, Inc.||Englewood Cliffs, NJ||Oct 01, 2011||$140,000|
|District Sales Manager||Medtronic, Inc.||Oakland, CA||Aug 31, 2013||$140,000|
|District Sales Manager||Santarus, Inc.||Cornelius, NC||Aug 19, 2011||$135,000|
|Global Marketing & Area Sales MGR for Central and South America||Innova Seeds Co.||Ceres, CA||Oct 08, 2016||$134,100|
|Area Sales Manager, Food||Naturex Inc.||South Hackensack, NJ||Oct 08, 2010||$130,548|
|Area Sales Manager||Ima Dairy & Food USA Inc.||Edison, NJ||Jul 12, 2015||$130,000|
|Area Sales Manager||CLM Equipment Company, Inc.||Broussard, LA||Sep 29, 2010||$125,000|
|Senior Area Sales Manager||Pharmline, Inc.||Florida, NY||Jul 01, 2010||$120,000|
|District Sales Manager||Metagenics, Inc.||San Clemente, CA||Oct 01, 2009||$120,000|
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