Sales DirectorJob Description, Salary, Career Path, and Trends

Sales teams have quotas and goals to meet, and Sales Directors help develop those goals, as well as strategies to employ to meet them. They are also responsible for developing a plan to grow the company’s client base. Sales Directors are usually in charge of several sales teams or accounts. They are responsible for communicating with key stakeholders both within their own company and with customers. Sales Directors also are accountable for forecasting sales results.

In addition to communication skills, Sales Directors should have a thorough understanding of their team’s products, in addition to a firm grasp on various sales techniques and methodologies. They should also stay on top of market trends and recommend changes in sales strategies to adjust to those trends. A Sales Director is in charge of coaching and mentoring the Sales Representatives or Sales Managers working on their teams.

Sample job description

Sales directors develop growth strategies and action plans to improve sales and meet or exceed sales targets. Sales directors must be able to build strong relationships and have a solid understanding of customer trends. They need excellent communication and negotiation skills and should be good listeners.  [Your Company Name] is searching for an experienced sales director with proven sales experience who can take our company to new heights. As an ideal candidate, you have in-depth knowledge of marketing techniques, strong leadership qualities, and the ability to effectively multitask.  

Typical duties and responsibilities

  • Forecast and set sales goals
  • Develop and execute a strategic plan for meeting sales goals and expanding client base
  • Understand market trends and recommend adjustments
  • Communicate sales plans and strategies to key stakeholders in upper levels of the company as well as sales teams
  • Implement sales training and orientation programs

Education and experience

This position requires a bachelor’s degree in business, marketing, communications, or a related field, as well as several years of experience and success in sales.

Employers typically prefer that candidates have a master’s degree in business administration, marketing, or a similar discipline, in addition to a proven track record of success leading a sales team.

Required skills and qualifications

  • Written and verbal communication skills
  • Proven leadership skills, especially relating to coaching and motivating
  • Experience forecasting sales and setting sales goals
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite or similar software, including spreadsheets and databases
  • Strong ability to develop and present data and strategies to C-level stakeholders
  • Expertise in organization and time management

Preferred qualifications

  • Excellent negotiation, leadership, and motivational skills
  • Strong communication skills
  • Experience in sales 
  • Ability to build strong relationships

Average salary and compensation

The average salary for Sales Director is $95,800 in the United States. Position salary will vary based on experience, education, company size, industry, and market.

LocationSalary LowSalary High
Phoenix, Arizona$95,250 $128,900 
Los Angeles, California$107,500 $145,450 
Denver, Colorado$89,550 $121,200 
Washington, DC$109,100 $147,650 
Miami, Florida$89,150 $120,650 
Orlando, Florida$82,250 $111,250 
Tampa, Florida$83,050 $112,350 
Atlanta, Georgia$87,150 $117,900 
Chicago, Illinois$100,150 $135,500 
Boston, Massachusetts$108,300 $146,550 
Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota$86,300$116,800 
New York City, New York$114,000 $154,250 
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania$92,850$125,600 
Dallas, Texas$90,400 $122,300 
Houston, Texas$89,550 $121,200
Seattle, Washington$104,250$141,050 
National Average$81,450 $110,150 

Typical work environment

Sales directors typically work full-time during normal business hours in office settings. They may spend part of their day in meetings with the sales team or upper management. They may work overtime depending on the needs of the business. Travel may be required for some sales directors.  

Typical hours

The typical work hours for a Sales Director are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in an office setting. They sometimes have to work additional hours or on weekends.

Available certifications

Sales directors can be found in many different industries, and many institutions offer certifications that can help enhance their skills. Here are two of the best certifications for sales directors: 

  • Certified Professional Sales Leader (CPSL) . The CPSL is designed for sales leaders and managers. It is a comprehensive, six-week online course that provides you with the strategies and behavioral training you need to succeed as a sales director. You will learn how to challenge sales professionals to grow, how to improve sales performance on your team, how to effectively speak to the specific needs of your team members, and how to motivate your team in the best way. 
  • Certified Sales Leadership Professional (CSLP). The CSLP certification proves your knowledge, skills, and competencies in sales and business development. It demonstrates your competency in generating leads, closing deals, making effective sales pitches, and developing proposals that work. The certification shows you understand the basics of sales, effective communication, and the tools needed to deliver successful presentations. Certification is valid for 3 years and must be renewed to remain active.

Career path

This position requires a bachelor’s degree in business, marketing, communications, or a related field, as well as several years of experience and success in leading a sales team. Coursework in sales, business, marketing, accounting, communications, leadership, and related subjects can be attractive to potential employers looking to hire Sales Directors, as well as a master’s degree in business, marketing, accounting, or a related discipline. Successful Sales Directors are often promoted into Senior Director positions, eventually moving into executive roles.

US, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook

SOC Code: 11-2022

2020 Employment397,900
Projected Employment in 2030425,800
Projected 2020-2030 Percentage Shift 7% increase
Projected 2020-2030 Numeric Shift27,900 increase

According to the lead routing software company VanillaSoft, one trend Sales Managers should be aware of in the coming years is the increased use of social media for selling. Many companies are using social media platforms as an added touchpoint between Sales Representatives and their clients. Another trend some analysts see affecting sales is customers’ desire for authenticity. More customers are looking for genuine, personal exchange and relationships with salespeople who actively listen to the customers’ needs and offer solutions. This mindset is in stark contrast to the standard one-size-fits-all, transactional sales model of the past.

Sample interview questions

  • What do you like about sales? What don’t you like?
  • What sales techniques do you think are most effective?
  • What makes you an effective leader?
  • How do you stay current with industry trends?
  • How do you best motivate your team?
  • What metrics do you use to measure the success of a sales team?
  • What strategies do you use to generate leads?
  • What is your decision-making process?
  • How would you handle a sales team member who isn’t meeting their quotas?
  • How do you delegate tasks among your sales team?
  • How would you handle a conflict between a sales team member and a client?
  • How would you handle a tight deadline?

Sales Director Jobs in Ashburn

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