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Become A General Sales Manager

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Working As A General Sales Manager

  • 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

  • $113,860

    Average Salary

What Does A General Sales Manager Do

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:

  • 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 A General Sales Manager

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 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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General Sales Manager jobs

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General Sales Manager Career Paths

General Sales Manager
Regional Sales Manager National Sales Manager
Director Of Sales
10 Yearsyrs
Regional Manager Director Of Sales
Director Of Sales & Business Development
13 Yearsyrs
Regional Sales Manager Director Of Sales
Director Of Sales And Marketing
9 Yearsyrs
Operations Manager General Manager
District Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Account Manager Account Executive
District Sales Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Director Of Sales Director Of Sales And Marketing
General Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Business Development Manager Vice President, Business Development
Head Of Sales
6 Yearsyrs
Territory Manager Account Manager
Major Account Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Operations Manager Regional Sales Manager
National Account Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Account Manager Regional Sales Manager
National Sales Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Marketing Director General Manager
Regional General Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Account Executive Marketing Manager
Regional Marketing Manager
7 Yearsyrs
General Manager Account Manager
Regional Sales Manager
9 Yearsyrs
General Manager Account Executive
Sales Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Business Development Manager Senior Product Manager
Senior Product Marketing Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Regional Manager National Sales Manager
Senior Sales Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Director Of Sales Vice President, Business Development
Senior Vice President, Sales
14 Yearsyrs
Managing Partner Associate Manager
Store Director
7 Yearsyrs
Senior Account Executive Territory Manager
Territory Sales Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Operations Director Director Of Sales And Operations
Vice President Of Sales & Operations
12 Yearsyrs
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General Sales Manager Demographics


  • Male

  • Female

  • Unknown



  • White

  • Hispanic or Latino

  • Asian

  • Unknown

  • Black or African American

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Languages Spoken

  • Spanish

  • French

  • German

  • Arabic

  • Chinese

  • Russian

  • Portuguese

  • Carrier

  • Hindi

  • Mandarin

  • Korean

  • Cantonese

  • Greek

  • Urdu

  • Polish

  • Gujarati

  • Italian

  • Hebrew

  • Swedish

  • Ukrainian

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General Sales Manager

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General Sales Manager Education

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Real General Sales Manager Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
General Sales Manager Autobyzack Inc. Houston, TX Feb 13, 2015 $166,000
General Sales Manager-Plate Dillinger America, Inc. Chicago, IL Dec 15, 2016 $154,606
General Sales Manager CBS Radio Inc. Las Vegas, NV Apr 15, 2011 $140,000
General Sales Manager D&R Directional Inc. Houston, TX Sep 16, 2010 $140,000
General Sales Manager D&R Directional Inc. Houston, TX Sep 25, 2010 $140,000
General Sales Manager Bluestar Infotech America, Inc. Jersey City, NJ Dec 02, 2009 $103,000
General Sales Manager MOI Foods U.S.A. Inc. Kennesaw, GA Apr 25, 2016 $96,574
General Sales Manager C/S Group Payroll Services LLC A Member of The Cs Brentwood, CA Mar 21, 2011 $92,700

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Top Skills for A General Sales Manager


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Top General Sales Manager Skills

  1. Dealership
  2. Sales Staff
  3. New Car Sales
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Changed the culture, increased the sales and put the Dealership on the map with competitive new car pricing strategy.
  • Hired and trained local sales staff and national sales assistant in all areas of sales and broadcasting.
  • Improved new car sales by 35% (350 units) in a market that was down 10%.
  • Uphold great relationships with other dealership departments to ensure excellent customer service.
  • Realigned pricing to reflect increases in raw material, and quality, improving profitability, and supporting rapid sales growth.

Top General Sales Manager Employers

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