Sales Management Career Path

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Sales Management Career Path

Sales managers are in charge of overseeing all aspects of sales for the company. They ensure that the sales team is successful and achieves its goals, often by developing new ways to engage with customers. Sales management careers can be found in various industries, including retail, wholesale trade, financial services, and telecommunications.

This blog post provides a general overview of careers in sales management, including the median salary for sales managers and the education requirements for becoming a sales manager.

1. What Is a Sales Manager?

A sales manager is a professional who oversees and directs the sales team within an organization. They are responsible for developing and implementing strategies to increase revenue, managing customer relationships, and ensuring that the team meets or exceeds sales targets. The role of a sales manager is critical to the success of any business and requires a combination of strategic thinking, people skills, and operational expertise.

The role of a sales manager has changed over the years. Traditionally, sales managers were found only in the manufacturing and retail industries, where their primary focus was on increasing sales volume. However, with the advent of new technologies, changing customer demands, and an increasingly competitive marketplace, sales managers often find themselves playing additional roles within their organizations. For example, in addition to their traditional focus on generating revenue through sales, they also spend time on activities such as business development and account management.

2. What Are the Responsibilities of a Sales Manager?

The primary responsibility of a sales manager is to ensure that their team generates revenue and meets or exceeds its goals. A sales manager‘s tasks typically include:

  • Developing new sales strategies and tactics
  • Analyzing the performance of the sales team and providing feedback
  • Coaching, developing, supervising, and evaluating the performance of employees
  • Planning and organizing the sales team’s workload
  • We are maintaining relationships with current and prospective customers.
  • Negotiating contracts and resolving disputes
  • We manage budgets for product promotion, advertising, travel expenses, etc.
  • As members of upper management, sales managers may also be responsible for other tasks such as making hiring decisions, establishing compensation plans, developing the overall sales strategy, setting sales goals, and creating business development plans.

3. What Are the Education Requirements for Becoming a Sales Manager?

While some employers may hire high school graduates with previous experience in retail or product promotion, many companies prefer to hire college graduates with degrees in business management or marketing. Candidates who have completed coursework related to interpersonal relations, business communications, and business management in college may be preferred.

Specific degree programs in sales management that may benefit candidates pursuing a career in this field:

  • Business administration
  • Marketing
  • Sales and marketing management
  • Retail management
  • International business/trade/commerce

Additionally, employers often prefer candidates who have completed internships or apprenticeships in sales management, as well as those who have relevant work experience in a sales or retail-related position.

4. What Is the Median Salary of a Sales Manager?

According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employers spent an average of $97,350 per year on sales managers in 2015, representing the 10th-highest occupation in terms of annual wage. The BLS also reported that employment opportunities for sales managers are expected to increase by 8% from 2014-to 2024.

The median hourly wage for a retail manager was $22.06 according to May 2015 data from the BLS, which is slightly higher than the average for all occupations. This likely reflects that retail managers often spend more time on tasks related to overseeing and managing employees.

5. What Is the Job Outlook for a Career in Sales Management?

The job outlook for sales managers is vital. The BLS projects 9% growth in sales management jobs from 2014-to 2024, which is faster than the average for all occupations. This projected increase reflects that companies are increasingly looking to hire sales managers to oversee and develop teams of marketers, product promoters, and business developers as competition increases and consumer demands evolve.

6. What Skills Are Needed for this Job?

Some of the skills needed to become a sales manager are:

Good leadership – Sales managers must motivate and direct their team members to deliver results.

Effectiveness at communication: Sales managers conduct much of their work through interactions such as meetings, emails, phone calls, and presentations. They must be effective communicators with strong interpersonal skills and convey information to various audiences effectively.

Organization and planning: Sales managers must plan and organize work schedules, tasks, goals, strategies, etc., for the sales team so that their efforts are complementary and productive.

Ability to motivate: Sales managers must motivate their team members to achieve company goals.

Knowledge of sales techniques: Sales managers must understand various strategies to lead their team effectively.

Problem-solving: Sales managers are often expected to resolve any problems with the company’s sales efforts. They must know how to analyze data to identify issues within a sales team or retail environment and develop practical solutions.

Computer skills: Sales managers often use software programs related to email, document creation, collaboration, scheduling, accounting, etc.

7. What Are Some of the Benefits of Becoming a Sales Manager?

There are many benefits associated with becoming a sales manager.

Significant earning potential: The median salary of retail managers is approximately $43,000 per year according to May 2015 BLS data, which is higher than the average for all occupations. Additionally, employment opportunities for retail managers are expected to increase by 7% from 2014-to 2024, which is much faster than average.

Opportunity to lead and impact others: The ability to motivate and lead a team of employees creates the potential for significant growth and advancement in this role, as sales managers are often given progressively more responsibility, autonomy, authority, power, etc., over time.

Insight into marketing and product development: Sales managers will likely gain a deep understanding of how various marketing efforts impact the company’s bottom line, as well as what consumers want from products and services.

Travel opportunities: Many sales management positions require travel to visit clients, conduct meetings, etc. This may be required for specific clients or types of accounts.

Regular work hours: Sales management typically involves Monday-Friday, 9 AM-5 PM type of schedules.

8. What Are Some of the Drawbacks Associated With Being a Sales Manager?

Certain drawbacks come along with being a sales manager.

A significant amount of responsibility: Given that sales managers oversee others and generate company results, they are held accountable for their team’s performance and the business’s financial results. If a sales manager fails to meet expectations, it can be tough and stressful to recover from.

Loss of autonomy: Unlike many other management positions, sales managers often work closely with their teams daily and place a high value on their employees’ ideas and opinions. This can lend itself to a loss of autonomy for the sales manager; they may no longer work alone and independently on projects to the same extent they did when not managing others.

High turnover rates – High turnover is often associated with retail management positions, especially in selling merchandise that becomes “outdated” or unpopular with consumers. The nature of this line of work requires sales managers to constantly be on the lookout for new talent and ways to increase business.

Lack of upward mobility – Retail management positions typically lead to other, higher-paying retail management positions and not to executive roles at a company (although exceptions do exist). It cannot be easy to ascend the corporate ladder beyond retail management.

9. What Are the Top Tips for Getting Hired as a Sales Manager?

Review your resume – This is where you will need to highlight any previous experience that demonstrates why you would be well-suited for this position.

Sell yourself – In an interview, you will need to convey your enthusiasm for the position and show why you have the necessary skillset.

Network – Reach out to people within your industry who work as sales managers; they may be able to offer advice about the hiring process or share information about possible openings at their company.

10. Do Sales Managers Work?

Sales managers typically work at large retail companies and consumer product companies, as those industries tend to have the greatest need for sales managers. Another industry employs many sales managers in the financial services field, specifically banks. However, as mentioned above, retail management positions often lead to other such positions (and not necessarily more senior ones) and not to executive roles.

11. What Is a Typical Day Like for a Sales Manager?

Every day is different for a sales manager and tends to vary based on the industry and the company.

Review reports – Sales managers will typically review management reports on previous days/weeks/months to determine if their team met goals and how they can improve moving forward.

Review individual accounts – In addition, sales managers will also want to check in with their staff and review individual accounts, specifically those that did not meet expectations.

Conduct one-on-one meetings – Meetings will likely be held one-on-one with each member of the sales team. The goal during this time is typically to identify areas where staff can improve and how management can support them going forward.

Determine staffing needs – Sales managers are also tasked with determining any staffing changes that are necessary to meet business goals. This may be done on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis, depending upon the company.

12. Best Colleges to Study Sales Management

The schools listed below are based on US News rankings of the best colleges & universities in the United States.

Harvard University (MA) – Harvard not only offers courses specifically focused on business management, but it also has a history of producing the most Fortune 500 CEOs out of all undergraduate institutions.

University of Pennsylvania (Wharton) (PA) – The Wharton School has developed some of the best business minds in history, with alumni including 3 US Presidents and 8 US Vice Presidents.

University of Chicago (Booth) (IL) – The University of Chicago not only frequently ranks among the top universities for business but is also home to over 20 Nobel Prize winners.

Stanford University (CA) – Stanford has been ranked as the best university globally, and its business programs are highly esteemed.

Purdue University (IN) – Purdue offers a range of opportunities for students, including its well-regarded Krannert School of Management & Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs.

13. Online Courses to Study Sales Management

If you’re looking for online courses to study sales management, look no further! Here are just some of the great online courses available out there:

Fundamentals of Sales Management for New Sales Managers by Udemy- This course is ideal for those new to sales management who want a step-by-step guide on how to handle the responsibilities of the role, build relationships with vendors and customers, and motivate staff. It gives an insight into all areas of sales management such as communication, motivation, building trust and rapport, understanding your buyers’ needs, and creating solutions.

Apply Now

Sales Management Masterclass For Sales Managers & Management by Udemy- This course focuses on gaining influence, managing the sales pipeline, setting your team up for success, and more. Sales management can be a daunting task at first, but this course helps to demystify the role by breaking it down into smaller tasks that are easier to focus on.

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Sales Management Foundations by Linkedin learning: This course is an excellent investment for those who have been in the industry for several years and want to gain a greater understanding of sales management. It allows students to build on their existing skills while learning the latest techniques that the best managers are using today, including hiring top talent, building highly competitive strategies, and executing them effectively.

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Sales Management by Coursera- This course teaches the necessary techniques for effective sales management, using real-life case studies to help improve skills. It covers topics such as setting up your team for success, hiring talented people, and how to maximize revenue with solid strategies.

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Diploma in Sales Management by Alison- This course is highly in-depth and covers every aspect of sales management. It provides students with the skills to excel at all stages, whether they want to start small or aim for something big. The best part? Graduates will be fully equipped with the tools they need to stand out from their competitors.

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Sales management is a career with many opportunities. It can be an advantageous field, with high salaries and lots of job satisfaction. The best way to become a successful sales manager is to start at the bottom and work your way up. Get experience in every aspect of the sales process, from prospecting to closing deals. Take courses and read books on sales techniques so you’ll be able to lead your team to success. If you want to become a great sales manager, it takes hard work and dedication, but the rewards are well worth it.

About the author

Indu has been educator since last 10 years. She can find all kind of scholarship opportunities in the USA and beyond. She also teach college courses online to help students become better. She is one of the very rare scholarship administrator and her work is amazing.

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