Managerial positions, sales managers included, are highly coveted jobs that are constantly surrounded but competition. Strong computer and communication skills, related experience and superior creativity give college graduates access to all the good opportunities. While long hours including late nights and weekends and a large amount of travel is required of sales managers, they are always rewarded with high salaries. This job category is very important and visible in companies and paves way for advancement to very high ranks.
Sales manager’s responsibilities and job descriptions vary with the size and field of organisation they work for. However, a general sales manager’s job description is as below;
- Implements any national sales programs by coming up with field sales action plans
- Determines an annual unit and gross/profit plans by carrying out marketing strategies and analysing results and trends.
- Comes up with sales objectives by evaluating ad developing sales quotas for territories and regions.
- Lays down and adjusts selling prices by observing supply, demand and competition.
- Maintains selling price, sales volume and product mix by keeping abreast with supply and demand, competitors, changing trends and economic indicators.
- Maintains sales staff by recruiting, interviewing, selecting, orienting, and training new employees.
- Records national sales staff monthly job reports by disciplining and counselling employees. This includes planning, appraising and monitoring individual sales staff job reports.
- Collects customer feedback and does market research.
- Compiles and analyses sales figures on a weekly and monthly basis.
- Provides feedback to the team and motivates them to reach the set targets.
- Deals with the major customer accounts by dealing and resolving their complaints.
- Maintains a technical and professional knowledge base by attending relevant educational workshops, reviewing sales professional publications, participating in professional societies and forming personal networks.
- Contributes to overall team effort by ensuring that related results are accomplished as desired.
What is a sales manager?
A sales manager is a person who is responsible for guiding and leading a team of sales people in a specific organisation. He/she sets goals and quotas, analyses data, builds sales plans, mentors the team members and is heavily involved in hiring and firing the junior sales staff.
How to become a sales manager
Most companies seek candidates who have a bachelor’s degree either in business administration or sales but with an emphasis specifically in marketing. Other companies will prefer a candidate with a master’s degree. Aspiring sales managers can earn a degree in the specific area that is relevant to their industry like pharmacy, technology or economics. With the changing face of the global marketplace, a sales manager needs excellent computer skills and an excellent understanding of the internet.
Taking up courses in economics, business law, accounting, finance, statistics and management give applicants a head start on competition. Some organisations offer professional sales certificates which go a long way to ensure a manager’s job.
Sales Manager Requirements
Most companies will need a proven experience in sales and a good record of achieving set targets. A high school diploma or associates bachelor’s degree in marketing, retail management or a similar field is crucial.
Computer skills are necessary for bookkeeping and data management. The knowledge of the internet helps to advertise campaigns and conduct sales promotions. Sales managers can also greatly benefit from knowledge of a second language. This is because a great deal of businesses is conducted with foreign entities all over the world. Knowledge of German, Spanish, and Chinese may help open doors to great job opportunities.
A sales manager is usually required to work the standard hours, 9am to 5pm every day, Monday to Friday. This positions would require travels to visit customers and the sales team could make the working days longer. Sales managers are also required to attend trade fairs, conferences and exhibitions which would involve working in the evening and over the weekends. If the company sells products or services abroad, one may be required to travel to those countries. This means that the manager is based in an office but with regular travels out of or within the country they reside. A full driving licences is mandatory in some companies.
Sales Manager Salary
According to the BLS, sales managers earned a median salary of around $108,540 to $155,090. The best paid sales manager made more than $187,199 while the worst paid earned about $53,770. The most highly compensated sales managers work for companies that specialise in commodity exchanges and brokerages, securities and any other financial service firms.Most companies give a basic salary together with a bonus scheme. This can vary widely depending on the market or industry sector and experience of the company.