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Become An Outside Sales Manager

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Working As An Outside 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

  • $74,000

    Average Salary

What Does An Outside 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 An Outside 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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Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Sales Manager 3.7 years
Top Careers Before Outside Sales Manager
Owner 4.5%
Manager 4.5%
Top Careers After Outside Sales Manager
Owner 5.4%
Manager 4.4%

Do you work as an Outside Sales Manager?

Outside Sales Manager Demographics

Gender

Male

72.9%

Female

20.2%

Unknown

6.9%
Ethnicity

White

65.5%

Hispanic or Latino

13.3%

Black or African American

11.6%

Asian

5.9%

Unknown

3.7%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

70.6%

Portuguese

3.9%

French

3.9%

Dakota

3.9%

Carrier

3.9%

Hawaiian

2.0%

Chinese

2.0%

German

2.0%

Japanese

2.0%

Mandarin

2.0%

Arabic

2.0%

Korean

2.0%
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Outside Sales Manager Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

24.3%

Arizona State University

5.7%

Michigan State University

5.2%

University of Houston

4.8%

Oklahoma State University

4.8%

University of Georgia

4.3%

California State University - Fullerton

3.9%

University of Cincinnati

3.9%

Texas Tech University

3.9%

Texas A&M University

3.9%

University of Central Florida

3.9%

Stephen F Austin State University

3.9%

Indiana University Bloomington

3.9%

University of Toledo

3.5%

University of North Texas

3.5%

Middle Tennessee State University

3.5%

California State University - Fresno

3.5%

Weber State University

3.5%

University of Alabama

3.0%

University of South Florida

3.0%
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Majors

Business

42.7%

Marketing

7.5%

Management

5.6%

Communication

5.3%

Criminal Justice

3.5%

Psychology

3.4%

General Sales

3.1%

General Studies

3.0%

Political Science

2.8%

Education

2.6%

Accounting

2.6%

Finance

2.5%

Kinesiology

2.2%

Liberal Arts

2.1%

Computer Science

2.0%

History

2.0%

General Education, Specific Areas

1.8%

Electrical Engineering

1.8%

Sociology

1.8%

Automotive Technology

1.6%
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Degrees

Bachelors

44.5%

Other

31.2%

Associate

11.9%

Masters

7.3%

Certificate

3.1%

Diploma

0.9%

Doctorate

0.5%

License

0.5%
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Top Skills for An Outside Sales Manager

  1. Customer Service
  2. Product Knowledge
  3. Sales Territory
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Managed 50-75 accounts, providing customer service and technical expertise to various levels of management and manufacturing operations.
  • Demonstrate excellent product knowledge, resulting in increased sales and customer satisfaction.
  • Launched referral method for new sales territory and maintaining a customer satisfaction relationship with authorized ADT dealership.
  • Increased customer base and maintained customer loyalty by providing outstanding customer service.
  • Cultivated business relationships with new clients.

How Would You Rate Working As an Outside Sales Manager?

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Top Outside Sales Manager Employers

Jobs From Top Outside Sales Manager Employers

Outside Sales Manager Videos

Why Sales Managers Hire The Wrong People Over and Over Again -- B2B Sales Training #77

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