Sales ManagerJob Description, Salary, Career Path, and Trends
Sales teams have quotas and goals to meet. To help motivate, train, and assist sales representatives in achieving those goals, companies employ sales managers. A sales manager is usually in charge of hiring and training salespeople on their team, evaluating and coaching team members, and instituting procedures and techniques to help them meet its goals. Sales managers are also sometimes charged with assigning each salesperson a geographic territory or set of sales leads. Travel is often a vital element of a sales manager’s job.
In addition to sales skills, a sales manager must also be adept at training and coaching. Motivation, team-building, and knowledge of multiple sales strategies also are essential skills for a sales manager to possess.
Sample job description
[Your Company Name] is searching for a qualified sales manager to head our sales department. This position requires excellent leadership skills, the ability to negotiate, and the initiative to generate new business leads. You will be responsible for managing our team of sales representatives, using your skills and knowledge to inspire them to success, and hiring new representatives to maintain a high-performing team. If you excel at building relationships and closing deals, you’re exactly the kind of person we’re looking for. Experience with the sales process is a must.
Typical duties and responsibilities
Set sales goals and evaluate performance based on those goals
Assess sales processes and procedures and implement appropriate changes
Develop individual sales quotas and assign sales territories
Compile and submit sales forecasts
Coach and provide feedback to sales team members
Education and experience
This position requires a bachelor’s degree in business, marketing, communications, or a related field, as well as a few years of experience in sales.
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 sense of organization and time management
Demonstrated ability to recruit, hire, and coach sales representatives to success
Ability to work a flexible schedule to meet the business needs, including holidays, evenings and weekend shifts
Average salary and compensation
The average salary for a sales manager is $125,000 in the United States. While only base salaries are reflected here, commissions and bonuses may greatly increase total compensation. Additionally, salaries will vary based on experience, company size, industry, and geographic market.
Los Angeles, California
Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota
New York City, New York
Typical work environment
Sales managers will typically have an office where they can complete their work behind a desk. But this position also often requires extensive travel to different offices and to meet with dealers and distributors.
The typical work hours for a sales manager are from 9 AM to 5 PM. They sometimes have to work additional hours or on weekends.
Becoming a certified sales manager sets you apart from the rest of the pack when searching for employment. Show your expertise in sales by considering one of the following certification programs:
APACSMA Certified Sales Manager. This 12 week certification course consists of 20 lecture modules that range from business and sales fundamentals to essential skills for managers. It promises to teach you how to build an effective sales team, identify tools for sales operations, and execute sales strategies. It even goes into boardroom communication skills and helps you to build your personal sales leadership profile.
AMA Sales Management Certification. The Sales Management Certification is a PCM certification that focuses on the business of managing sales. By taking this 100 question exam, you certify your knowledge in the areas of selling, customer relationships, marketing strategies, organizing a sales force, and more. There are no eligibility requirements to take the exam but it’s recommended you have some post-secondary education or prior experience in sales before attempting to take the exam. This certification requires renewal every 3 years.
Sales Growth Cornell Certificate Program. This 100% online course spans 3 months and is instructor-led. Through completing this course, you will gain skills in discovering growth opportunities, winning key accounts, managing sales performance growth, and more. If you are hoping to learn how to maximize your time selling, this certification program is a great choice.
The position requires a bachelor’s degree in business, marketing, communications, or a related field. Generally, sales managers need a proven track record in sales. Coursework in sales, business, marketing, accounting, communications, leadership, and related subjects can be attractive to potential employers. Successful sales managers can often move up to supervising larger sales teams or leading sales for an entire geographic area. From there, sales managers can then become sales directors, eventually moving into executive roles.
US, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook
SOC Code: 11-2022
Projected Employment in 2030
Projected 2020-2030 Percentage Shift
Projected 2020-2030 Numeric Shift
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 the most about sales?
What do you dislike the most about sales?
Describe your selling style.
Describe your management style.
What is the greatest success you’ve had with sales?
What made you a successful sales representative? How will your success inform how you manage your team?
What do you look for in new sales representative hires?
What training method is best for new sales representatives?
How would you handle a sales representative that misses quota on a regular basis?
Tell me about a time when you missed your sales quota and how you handled it.
What is the best motivator for a sales team?
Can you describe a time when you had to let a salesperson go?
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