A sales manager oversees the sales between businesses and individual consumers or oversees the sales between one business to another. They set sales goals, develop training programs for sales representatives, and analyze data. A sales manager may be required to travel often and work full time with the possibility of working some evenings and weekends.
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How to Become a Sales Manager
According to O*Net Online, most sales managers hold a bachelor’s degree. On-the-job experience, a proven track record for results, and knowledge of the product may help a candidate gain a position if they do not have a bachelor’s degree. College degree programs that could prove useful include business, management, and marketing.
Job Description of a Sales Manager
The duties of a sales manager may vary according to the size the company the work for. They typically project sales and determine the profitability of services and products. They decide if discounts can be applied, analyzes statistics, and prepares budgets. A sales manager makes business to business marketing visits, may cold calls clients, and develops plans to gain new customers. They determine the focus of sales efforts and assign sales territories with set sales goals. He or she recruits, hires, and trains new sales staff.
A sales manager may be required to resolve customer complaints and look for ways to improve customer relations. They work closely with the marketing department that identifies new customers, with research and design departments, and with the warehousing departments for inventory needs.
Sales Manager Career Video Transcript
A talented sales force knows how to find customers and persuade them to purchase products. The person who guides and coordinates that sales force is the sales manager. From hiring and training sales staff, to day-to-day supervision, the sales manager works closely with every member of the sales team.
As experienced, successful salespeople themselves, they’ve usually advanced to management because of their talent for problem-solving, troubleshooting customer issues, and getting along with co-workers and management. These managers have the ability to lead, inspire and motivate. Sales managers need strong skills in tracking and analyzing sales records, using statistics to understand what customers want, and to predict where future potential will be strongest.
While generally an office career, some positions require travel. Sales force management can be a stressful career. Managers must balance the demands of meeting sales targets and the expectations of company leaders, with providing good customer service. A sales manager’s salary is often linked to profits, with higher sales leading to bonuses and other benefits.
Employers look for a bachelor’s degree in marketing, management, or an area related to their industry. In industries like computer and electronics manufacturing, a bachelor’s degree in engineering or science, combined with a master’s degree in business administration, is an advantage.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Sales Managers.
National Center for O*NET Development. 11-2022.00. O*NET OnLine.
The career video is in the public domain from the U. S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.