Sales Manager Careers

How to become a Sales Manager

What does a Sales Manager do?

Sales managers supervise, organise and plan the work of sales teams. They work closely with marketing staff and with field sales representatives, planning and setting sales targets for teams and individual sales people.

Sales managers recruit and train sales staff, introduce new products or sales schemes, allocate sales areas, and compile and analyse sales data using a computer. They monitor performance and operate incentive schemes or devise other ways to motivate staff to reach their targets.

Some sales managers deal with a few major customers themselves, and might be called on to deal with any problems or complaints. A major part of the job is sending customer and market research information back to head office. Findings can have an impact on product development, manufacture or promotional strategies.

What's the working environment like working as a Sales Manager?

Working hours vary and will sometimes involve working evenings and weekends.

The work combines office-based duties and extensive travel to visit sales representatives, customers and staff at head office. There could be nights or weekends away from home at trade fairs or exhibitions.

What does it take to become a Sales Manager?

As a sales manager, you would need:

  • business skills and commercial awareness
  • strong motivational skills and good management ability
  • initiative and enthusiasm
  • excellent knowledge of company products and those of competitors
  • good communication skills
  • good organisational and administration skills, especially in working with figures
  • the ability to work calmly under pressure
  • skills in IT and, for overseas work, language skills.
A driving licence is often essential.

Sales Manager Career Opportunities

Further information

If you would like to know anything about Sales Manager that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

Institute of Sales and Marketing Management (ISMM)
Harrier Court
Lower Woodside
Tel: 01582 840001

Managing and Marketing Sales Association (MAMSA)
PO Box 11
CW11 3GE
Tel: 01270 526339

The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM)
Moor Hall
Tel: 01628 427500

Facts and Stats:

  • There are one million people in the sales profession, excluding retail sales

  • Half of all sales people are in business-to-business sales.

  • Until something is sold, nothing happens (think about it).
  • The sales process in company IT may take three years.

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