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.
What they do:
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.
On the job, you would:
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.
Review operational records and reports to project sales and determine profitability.
sales and marketing
Arts and Humanities
Education and Training
teaching and course design
listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
talking to others
talking people into changing their minds or their behavior
bringing people together to solve differences
noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
communicate by speaking
listen and understand what people say
Ideas and Logic
use rules to solve problems
come up with lots of ideas
add, subtract, multiply, or divide
choose the right type of math to solve a problem
remember words, numbers, pictures, or steps
People interested in this work like activities that include leading, making decisions, and business.
They do well at jobs that need:
You might use software like this on the job:
Customer relationship management CRM software
Blackbaud The Raiser's Edge
Enterprise resource planning ERP software
Business intelligence and data analysis software
IBM Cognos Impromptu
Qlik Tech QlikView
bachelor's degree or associate's degree usually needed