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Sales Manager Careers

If you thrive on being in charge of a team, then you might consider becoming a sales manager. In this position organization is everything. To ensure your team is running efficiently, you'll want to establish organization right off the bat.

Sometimes you'll be required to travel, that's just the nature of the job. In most situations, you'll only be working 40 hours a week, but since you're a sales manager, you'll probably have some weekends where you'll have to work a little extra.

Sales managers typically earn a bachelor's degree and have some work experience before becoming a sales manager. If nothing else, you'll want to be able to prove that you're a natural salesperson because a lot of your job requires you to train your team on how to attract and maintain customers.

What Does a 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.

How To Become a 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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Average Salary
$81,511
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
5%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
70,135
Job Openings

Sales Manager Career Paths

Top Careers Before Sales Manager

Top Careers After Sales Manager

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Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for a Sales Manager

Sales Managers in America make an average salary of $81,511 per year or $39 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $132,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $50,000 per year.
Average Salary
$81,511

Best Paying Cities

City
ascdesc
Average Salarydesc
New York, NY
Salary Range83k - 169k$119k$119,255
Edison, NJ
Salary Range80k - 162k$114k$114,323
Richmond, VA
Salary Range75k - 145k$105k$104,706
Pittsburgh, PA
Salary Range71k - 142k$101k$100,856
Boston, MA
Salary Range63k - 134k$92k$92,427
Washington, DC
Salary Range64k - 125k$89k$89,489
$43k
$169k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
Los Cavazos
Sales Manager
Sales Manager
Los Cavazos
Los Cavazos
03/31/2021
03/31/2021
$39,13103/31/2021
$39,131
Goodwin Recruiting
Sales Manager
Sales Manager
Goodwin Recruiting
Goodwin Recruiting
03/30/2021
03/30/2021
$65,00003/30/2021
$65,000
Goodwin Recruiting
Sales Manager
Sales Manager
Goodwin Recruiting
Goodwin Recruiting
03/30/2021
03/30/2021
$65,00003/30/2021
$65,000
Sales Manager
Sales Manager
Goodwin Recruiting
Goodwin Recruiting
03/30/2021
03/30/2021
$65,00003/30/2021
$65,000
Goodwin Recruiting
Sales Manager
Sales Manager
Goodwin Recruiting
Goodwin Recruiting
03/30/2021
03/30/2021
$65,00003/30/2021
$65,000
See More Recent Salaries

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Sales Manager Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a Sales Manager. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

Learn How To Write a Sales Manager Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Sales Manager resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View Detailed Information

Sales Manager Demographics

Gender

male

66.0 %

female

30.4 %

unknown

3.5 %

Ethnicity

White

82.7 %

Hispanic or Latino

8.0 %

Asian

4.0 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

53.1 %

French

8.6 %

Portuguese

5.0 %
See More Demographics

Sales Manager Education

Majors

Business
37.9 %

Degrees

Bachelors

54.3 %

Certificate

15.0 %

Associate

13.5 %

Top Colleges for Sales Managers

1. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$56,225
Enrollment
19,548

2. University of Wisconsin - Madison

Madison, WI • Public

In-State Tuition
$10,555
Enrollment
30,360

3. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

4. University of Georgia

Athens, GA • Public

In-State Tuition
$11,830
Enrollment
29,474

5. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Blacksburg, VA • Public

In-State Tuition
$13,620
Enrollment
27,730

6. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

7. Ohio State University

Columbus, OH • Public

In-State Tuition
$10,726
Enrollment
45,769

8. University of Texas at Austin

Austin, TX • Public

In-State Tuition
$10,610
Enrollment
40,329

9. University of Houston

Houston, TX • Public

In-State Tuition
$8,913
Enrollment
37,291

10. SUNY at Binghamton

Vestal, NY • Public

In-State Tuition
$9,808
Enrollment
13,990
See More Education Info
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Sales Manager

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 21.5% of sales managers listed sales goals on their resume, but soft skills such as analytical skills and communication skills are important as well.

  • Sales Goals, 21.5%
  • Product Knowledge, 8.5%
  • Sales Process, 6.9%
  • Customer Service, 5.7%
  • Territory, 4.9%
  • Other Skills, 52.5%
  • See All Sales Manager Skills

Best States For a Sales Manager

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a sales manager. The best states for people in this position are Delaware, New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. Sales managers make the most in Delaware with an average salary of $118,864. Whereas in New York and New Jersey, they would average $114,787 and $111,380, respectively. While sales managers would only make an average of $104,665 in Connecticut, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Delaware

Total Sales Manager Jobs:
169
Highest 10% Earn:
$204,000
Location Quotient:
1.05
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. New York

Total Sales Manager Jobs:
1,854
Highest 10% Earn:
$201,000
Location Quotient:
1.13
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Connecticut

Total Sales Manager Jobs:
503
Highest 10% Earn:
$189,000
Location Quotient:
1.19
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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How Do Sales Manager Rate Their Jobs?

Zippia Official Logo

5.0

Internet Sales ManagerJanuary 2020

5.0

Zippia Official LogoInternet Sales ManagerJanuary 2020

What do you like the most about working as Sales Manager?

Coming in contact with people, motivating staff, making the numbers, profitability for everyone Show More

What do you NOT like?

I like everything Show More

Zippia Official Logo

5.0

Salesmanager lifeOctober 2019

5.0

Zippia Official LogoSalesmanager lifeOctober 2019

What do you like the most about working as Sales Manager?

Working and meeting new people. Helping customers with their purchases. Helping employees better themselves and their sales processes. Show More

What do you NOT like?

Nothing Show More

Zippia Official Logo

5.0

New Day New Goal (NDNG)July 2019

5.0

Zippia Official LogoNew Day New Goal (NDNG)July 2019

What do you like the most about working as Sales Manager?

I always like the challenging and competitive environment which strengthen our skills and develop new leaders. Show More

What do you NOT like?

I don't like Infiltration which is common in Asian countries. Show More

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Top Sales Manager Employers

We've made finding a great employer to work for easy by doing the hard work for you. We looked into employers that employ sales managers and discovered their number of sales manager opportunities and average salary. Through our research, we concluded that Macy's was the best, especially with an average salary of $120,105. Rent-A-Center follows up with an average salary of $55,282, and then comes AT&T; with an average of $94,212. In addition, we know most people would rather work from home. So instead of having to change careers, we identified the best employers for remote work as a sales manager. The employers include Covanta Energy, Cigna, and Abiomed

1. Macy's
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$120,105
Sales Managers Hired: 
2,072+
2. Rent-A-Center
4.3
Avg. Salary: 
$55,282
Sales Managers Hired: 
1,356+
3. AT&T
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$94,212
Sales Managers Hired: 
1,134+
4. Best Buy
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$118,983
Sales Managers Hired: 
1,093+
5. Aaron's
4.5
Avg. Salary: 
$55,697
Sales Managers Hired: 
1,020+
6. Verizon Communications
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$98,033
Sales Managers Hired: 
768+

What are the best companies to work for?

Heath Weber

Assoc Dean for Performing Arts, Morningside College

Morningside grads in MUED have been consistently placed in school districts all over the state. We have recent grads in High School, Middle School, and Elementary music positions in the Sioux City Community Schools, Bishop Heelan Catholic Schools, Ankeny Schools, and many many other school districts across the state and region. Students also are well prepared for graduate study, with many of our recent grads attending graduate study in voice performance, Music Education, and choral or instrumental conducting.Show more

Sales Manager Videos

Updated October 2, 2020