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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

  • $114,000

    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.

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 A General Sales Manager

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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General Sales Manager Career Paths

General Sales Manager
General Manager Director Of Sales
Senior Sales Director
11 Yearsyrs
General Manager Sales Vice President
Executive Vice President Of Sales
13 Yearsyrs
Director Of Sales
Regional Sales Vice President
11 Yearsyrs
Account Manager District Sales Manager
Division Sales Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Regional Sales Manager National Account Manager
Senior National Account Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Owner Director Of Sales
Vice President Of Sales & Operations
11 Yearsyrs
Regional Sales Manager
Central Region Sales Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Owner Sales Vice President
Global Vice President Of Sales
16 Yearsyrs
Territory Manager District Sales Manager
Eastern Regional Sales Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Account Manager Sales Account Manager
Senior Account Sales Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Regional Sales Manager Sales And Marketing Manager
Regional Sales And Marketing Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Account Manager Sales Vice President
Vice President Director Of Sales
10 Yearsyrs
General Manager Director Of Sales And Marketing
Director Of Global Sales
13 Yearsyrs
Business Development Manager Regional Sales Director
Director Of Sales & Service
10 Yearsyrs
Business Development Manager Senior Sales Manager
Director Of Sales Training
9 Yearsyrs
Owner/Operator Food Service Director
Director Of Retail Sales
10 Yearsyrs
Business Development Manager Director Of Sales, Americas
Director Of International Sales
9 Yearsyrs
Station Manager Fleet Manager
Internet Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Senior Account Manager Senior Sales Manager
Executive Sales Manager
6 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a General Sales Manager?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Sales Manager 3.7 years
Head Of Sales 2.9 years
Top Careers Before General Sales Manager
Manager 4.1%
Owner 2.7%
Top Careers After General Sales Manager
Owner 5.3%
Manager 2.8%
President 2.4%

Do you work as a General Sales Manager?

General Sales Manager Demographics

Gender

Male

79.4%

Female

14.2%

Unknown

6.4%
Ethnicity

White

63.8%

Hispanic or Latino

14.7%

Black or African American

11.3%

Asian

6.4%

Unknown

3.8%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

52.8%

French

8.7%

German

4.7%

Arabic

4.2%

Portuguese

3.7%

Japanese

3.4%

Russian

2.6%

Italian

2.4%

Chinese

2.4%

Mandarin

2.1%

Korean

2.1%

Hindi

1.8%

Carrier

1.8%

Urdu

1.3%

Gujarati

1.1%

Dutch

1.1%

Greek

1.1%

Polish

1.1%

Swedish

0.8%

Ukrainian

0.8%
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General Sales Manager Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

18.0%

Arizona State University

8.2%

The Academy

7.3%

Michigan State University

6.6%

Pennsylvania State University

5.2%

University of Florida

4.8%

Ohio State University

4.3%

San Diego State University

4.1%

Temple University

3.9%

University of Maryland - College Park

3.8%

West Virginia University

3.6%

Ball State University

3.6%

Northwood University

3.6%

Dale Carnegie Maine

3.5%

University of Houston

3.4%

Liberty University

3.4%

University of Texas at Austin

3.3%

Southern Illinois University Carbondale

3.2%

University of Georgia

3.2%

Texas Tech University

3.2%
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Majors

Business

42.0%

Marketing

8.7%

Management

6.2%

Finance

4.9%

Communication

4.5%

General Sales

4.1%

Accounting

3.9%

Psychology

3.5%

Criminal Justice

3.0%

Political Science

2.9%

General Studies

2.5%

Education

2.2%

Economics

1.8%

Computer Science

1.7%

Liberal Arts

1.6%

General Education, Specific Areas

1.5%

English

1.3%

Real Estate

1.3%

Kinesiology

1.2%

Automotive Technology

1.2%
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Degrees

Bachelors

43.8%

Other

31.8%

Masters

10.1%

Associate

9.8%

Certificate

2.5%

Diploma

0.8%

Doctorate

0.6%

License

0.6%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$114,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$70,000
Min 10%
$114,000
Median 50%
$114,000
Median 50%
$114,000
Median 50%
$114,000
Median 50%
$114,000
Median 50%
$114,000
Median 50%
$114,000
Median 50%
$184,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Entercom Communications
Highest Paying City
New York, NY
Highest Paying State
New Jersey
Avg Experience Level
5.0 years
How much does a General Sales Manager make at top companies?
The national average salary for a General Sales Manager in the United States is $114,230 per year or $55 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $70,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $184,000.

Real General Sales Manager Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
GM-Sales & Marketing, USA API & Global NRM Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, Inc. Cranbury, NJ Jul 18, 2016 $235,000
General Manager-Technical Sales, Tubular Products United States Steel Corporation Houston, TX Sep 11, 2015 $233,412
General Manager-Technical Sales, Tubular Products U.S. Steel Tubular Products, Inc. Houston, TX Sep 15, 2015 $233,412
General Manager, W. Coast Sales & Applications CTR IPG Photonics Corporation Santa Clara, CA Sep 06, 2012 $200,000
Sales and General Manager of Latin America Division Tube City IMS, LLC New York, NY Oct 30, 2014 $200,000
Sales and General Manager of Latin America Divisio Tube City IMS, LLC New York, NY Dec 03, 2013 $200,000
General Manager, W. Coast Sales & Applications CTR IPG Photonics Corporation Santa Clara, CA Jan 01, 2012 $200,000
Sales and General Manager of Latin America Division Tube City IMS, LLC New York, NY Nov 17, 2014 $200,000
General Manager Sales and Marketing FCT Inc. Malvern, PA Feb 04, 2013 $175,000
General Manager Sales and Marketing FCT Inc. West Chester, PA Feb 04, 2015 $175,000
Sales and General Manager of Latin America Divisio Tube City IMS, LLC Groveland, FL Sep 19, 2013 $170,000
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 25, 2010 $140,000
General Sales Manager D&R Directional Inc. Houston, TX Sep 16, 2010 $140,000
General Manager Marketing and Sales Toyotomi USA, Inc. Brookfield, CT Oct 01, 2010 $140,000
General Manager, Latin America Sales The Himalaya Drug Company Sugar Land, TX Dec 29, 2011 $122,436
Executive General Manager Sales Primax USA Inc. Rock Hill, SC Jul 19, 2011 $105,000 -
$300,000
General Manager, W. Coast Sales & Applications CTR IPG Photonics Corporation Santa Clara, CA May 23, 2014 $103,009
General Sales Manager MOI Foods U.S.A. Inc. Kennesaw, GA Apr 25, 2016 $96,574
General Manager-Automotive Retail Sales CGM Atomotive DBA Ferrari Los Angeles CA Jan 12, 2015 $93,122
General Sales Manager C/S Group Payroll Services LLC A Member of The Cs Brentwood, CA Mar 21, 2011 $92,700
General Manager of Online Sales and Mobile Marketi Precision Global Consulting, Inc. Rancho Santa Margarita, CA May 27, 2014 $90,000
General Manager of Online Sales and Mobile Marketing Precision Global Consulting, Inc. Rancho Santa Margarita, CA May 27, 2014 $90,000
General Manager of Sales Tecwell, Inc. D/B/A Akira Livermore, CA Mar 30, 2010 $88,948
Sales Manager, Power Generation Combustion Turbines Leistritz Advanced Turbine Components, Inc. Rural Hall, NC Jan 21, 2011 $86,200 -
$100,000
Sales Manager, Power Generation Combustion Turbine Leistritz Advanced Turbine Components, Inc. Rural Hall, NC Oct 01, 2012 $81,500 -
$91,500

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Top Skills for A General Sales Manager

  1. Customer Service
  2. Dealership
  3. Revenue Growth
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Converted Owner Operator delivery system into Pre-Sell / Tell-Sell bulk delivery system, improving customer service and deliveries.
  • Worked collaboratively with dealership owner to formulate marketing strategies and promotional campaigns to increase traffic and maximize closing percentage.
  • Experienced in identifying clients' business challenges and recommending products/services to increase customer satisfaction and drive revenue growth.
  • Trained Sales staff in manner designed to maximize profits and customer satisfaction ensuring repeat business and referrals.
  • Supervised 10 new car salespersons, 4 used car salespersons, 2 F & I and 2 new/used car managers.

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Top 10 Best States for General Sales Managers

  1. Rhode Island
  2. New York
  3. Colorado
  4. Virginia
  5. Delaware
  6. Michigan
  7. Texas
  8. North Carolina
  9. New Jersey
  10. Georgia
  • (267 jobs)
  • (3,605 jobs)
  • (1,736 jobs)
  • (2,475 jobs)
  • (193 jobs)
  • (1,960 jobs)
  • (6,222 jobs)
  • (2,331 jobs)
  • (1,906 jobs)
  • (2,508 jobs)

Top General Sales Manager Employers

Jobs From Top General Sales Manager Employers

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