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.