The Sales Manager is someone who has started out in some form of sales role, such as a sales executive, and been promoted to a primary management level – as opposed to supervisor, for example.
Sales Manager Jobs
Is it for you?
If you’re a good leader, able to motivate and you know a thing or too about hitting sales targets, you’ll be on your way to making a good Sales Manager. There’s also a large degree of organisation and planning because you’ll often be responsible for directing a team – or a department – of sales executives (representatives), towards hitting those all important company sales targets. You’ll also be responsible if you don’t.
Naturally, you could be selling anything – from car parts to insurance; pharmaceutical products to computers and as such your exact job description will vary. The bottom line is that you’ll be trying to hit targets by developing sales strategies and then motivating your team. You’ll compile and analyse sales figures and also report back to senior managers. There’s also plenty of room for imagination and initiative and you can go a long way by thinking ahead of your competitors or looking for new sales opportunities.
The hours are usually typical office hours but you could be spending a lot of time seeing customers, attending meetings, trade fairs, exhibitions and conferences to keep up to date with your industry. Needless to say, it can be stressful but also directly financially rewarding.
Qualifications and Skills
All sorts of skills come into play as a Sales Manager – a good eye for figures, negotiation skills and general business acumen.
As we have said above, leadership and motivation; planning and organisational skills are the very least you’ll need. Add to th is the ability to present, to persuade, and see trends emerging or developing and you’ll go far. Language skills are increasingly useful and a business-related BTEC HND or degree will be useful but in this occupation your track record and experience will be most important of all.
If you are looking to study then qualification from Chartered Institute of Marketing, the Institute of Sales and Marketing Management (ISMM) and the Managing and Marketing Sales Association (MAMSA) are what you need. If you’re looking to be a specialist sales professional then degrees in your relevant field will greatly help, such as IT, Pharmaceuticals, Engineering etc.
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Opportunities and salaries
Opportunities are excellent and this is one occupation where your track record and ability really will get you noticed. Indeed it is hard to think of any major commercial industry that does not have sales managers. Typically manufacturing, wholesale distribution and consumer goods, but also many, many more.
Once you prove your aptitude and abilities and depending on your own ambition you can become an area manager, regional manager or the sales Director of a company.
As the Sales Manager of a medium sized company you could expect a salary of between £25,000 and £55,000 but with commission and performance bonus. Top salaries can easily exceed £70k.