The role of a sales manager is essential for any company as they are the professionals who produce revenue.
Sales managers direct, analyze, render personnel and business decisions and work toward customer satisfaction.
To advance from the sales representative to the sales manager, one needs knowledge, background, and experience in business, sales, and industry of the company.
Article Table of Contents
What Does a Sales Manager Do
Sales manager tracks and monitors a company’s sales efforts and force.
Their duties and skills include panning, evaluating, leadership, and customer service.
Sales managers cooperate with other departments in a company to make sure that the sales force works towards the target market while meeting customer needs.
- Develop strategies and plans to win new customers through various methods such as visits to businesses, cold-calling, emails, and other marketing campaigns.
- Determine the discounts and special pricing plan terms.
- Assign sales reps to areas and determine sales quotas and goals.
- Monitor customers’ preferences to relegate sales efforts.
- Analyze sales data and statistics such as gross revenues, volume, sales expenses, etc.
- Assess the performance of sales staff and recommend methods of improvement.
- Resolve complaints or issues by customers.
In some companies, sales managers also deal with hiring and training the sales staff.
In large companies, sales managers also supervise regional or local sales managers.
Development of the sales strategies calls upon collecting and interpreting data.
The analysis includes the number of goods or services, demographics of the purchases, gross revenue.
Sales managers that cooperate with other businesses may incorporate into demographics the size and industry of a business.
Sales managers should be able to lead and direct sales staff.
Therefore, leadership skills include conveying goals, evaluating the work of the staff, and finding space for improvement.
Besides managing the staff, sales managers deal with customers.
With the skills of persuasion, sales managers can retain buyers who remain dissatisfied with the price or quality of goods.
While resolving disputes, they also need persuasion skills as they need to explain the policies on prices and other terms.
In the course of communicating or meeting with customers, sales managers need to express courtesy and patience.
Customer service skills include understanding the needs and desires of customers to develop the right solutions.
Sales managers should be able to instruct the staff and give clear advice.
Communication skills also imply listening to customers, management, and supervisors as well as staff from other departments.
Besides, through questioning, sales managers can better understand the information delivered by those they work with.
How to Become a Sales Manager
To enter the sales field, one needs a bachelor’s or master’s degree in business or related areas.
Sales managers-to-be should gain experience in sales.
Generally, to work with certain companies, sales managers need experience in the specific sector or industry.
Training and Qualifications
Commonly, a sales manager has a bachelor’s of science.
Some managers may have a master’s degree.
Their major is usually related to business or other similar areas.
The training courses usually include marketing, finance, business law, economics, and management.
Those who plan to work in a particular industry can take classes in this specific field.
For example, aspiring pharmaceuticals sales managers can take classes in biology, chemistry, or other science classes.
Sales managers in the securities and financial areas should be knowledgeable about the types of financial products and the regulation laws of the securities and financial industry.
To become a securities pro, the managers need to be registered with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).
Sales managers will have to pass the FINRA administered examination to get registered.
Sales managers usually need to have some work experience.
As a rule, they need at least one to five years of experience as sales reps.
Some companies give their preferences to applicants with experience working as a sales manager in other companies.
Having experience in the specific sector is also helpful.
A typical schedule of a sales manager is full-time with 40+ hours a week.
They generally have to work on weekends and in the evenings.
Sales managers are often required to travel to the offices of manufacturers, distributors, and other customers.
This is usually business-to-business cooperation.
They may also have to travel to other offices nationally, locally, or regionally, where their staff works.
Today, however, with technological advancements, they can conduct video conferences with their sales representatives, customers, or management.
Career Outlook and Opportunities
The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the employment rate to grow by 5% by 2024, which stands for 19,000 new job openings.
With advanced online retail shopping, consumer-oriented businesses will have a decreased need for sales calls to reach customers.
Therefore, employment prospects are brighter in the B2B sector.
There, the sales managers will still have to visit commercial purchases and make sales calls.
According to the BLS, the average salary of a sales manager is $130,400, as of May 2015.
The salary of the top 10% averaged at $187,200 annually, with one-fourth making over $164,300.
The highest average salary was in the “Securities and Commodities Contracts and Intermediate Brokerage Services” sector with $205,800 per year.
The second-highest pay was offered in the “Other Financial Investment Activities” sector with $194,920 on average.
The third highest salary was estimated at $180,860 per year in the “Securities and Commodity Exchange” industry.
Sales managers work towards increasing the revenue of the company.
They delegate tasks to the sales reps while monitoring their work and evaluating efforts.
They decide on prices, discounts, and other sales terms.
The brightest work prospects exist in the B2B sector.
The salary of the manager can be around and above $200,000 per year based on the size and industry of the company.