Sales Managers

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Also known as:
District Sales Manager, E-Commerce Director, Export Manager, Regional Sales Manager, Sales Account Manager, Sales Director, Territory Sales Manager

ABOUT SALES MANAGER CAREERS
Video transcript

Any company with a product to sell needs a talented sales force. The person who directs and coordinates that sales force is the sales manager. From hiring and training to day to day supervision, the manager works closely with every manager of the sales team.

He or she must be a leader, able to inspire, and motivate. As former salespeople themselves, they've usually advances to management by demonstrating not only superior sales skills, but also a knack for problem solving and the ability to get along with co-workers.

Employers look for degrees in marketing and management or in an area related to their industry. In highly technical industries, such as computer and electronics manufacturing, a bachelor's degree in engineering or science, combined with a master's degree in business administration, is advantageous.

Sales managers need up to date computer skills to help them do everything from market research to tracking and analyzing sales records and statistics. While much of the time is spent in the office, some jobs require travel.

Sales can be a stressful career. Mangers must be able to handle pressure from senior executives looking for more profits as well as pressure from the sales staff, who often are under pressure themselves to make their customers happy.

A manager's salary is often tied to profits and may include bonuses, as well as a percentage of overall sales. For this reason, managing a larger staff usually translates into higher earnings. Sales manager is one of the most direct paths to success in the business world - many company presidents began their careers in sales.

SNAPSHOT
Plan, direct, or coordinate the actual distribution or movement of a product or service to the customer. Coordinate sales distribution by establishing sales territories, quotas, and goals and establish training programs for sales representatives. Analyze sales statistics gathered by staff to determine sales potential and inventory requirements and monitor the preferences of customers.
Leadership
HIGH
Level of responsibilities
LOW
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
LOW
Dealing and handling conflict
LOW
Competition for this position
HIGH
Communication with others
HIGH
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
HIGH
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
LOW
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
LOW
Daily tasks

Prepare budgets and approve budget expenditures.

Represent company at trade association meetings to promote products.

Plan and direct staffing, training, and performance evaluations to develop and control sales and service programs.

Advise dealers and distributors on policies and operating procedures to ensure functional effectiveness of business.

Determine price schedules and discount rates.

Oversee regional and local sales managers and their staffs.

Direct clerical staff to keep records of export correspondence, bid requests, and credit collections, and to maintain current information on tariffs, licenses, and restrictions.

Monitor customer preferences to determine focus of sales efforts.

Direct, coordinate, and review activities in sales and service accounting and record-keeping, and in receiving and shipping operations.

Direct and coordinate activities involving sales of manufactured products, services, commodities, real estate or other subjects of sale.

Resolve customer complaints regarding sales and service.

MAIN ACTIVITIES
Selling or Influencing Others Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.
Thinking Creatively Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
Coaching and Developing Others Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Developing and Building Teams Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
Sales and Marketing Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Administration and Management Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Education and Training Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Computers and Electronics Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Communications and Media Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
TOP SKILLS
Persuasion Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Service Orientation Actively looking for ways to help people.
Negotiation Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.
Social Perceptiveness Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.