What is a sales manager and what do they do?
A sales manager is responsible for a business reaching certain level of sales, which may be achieved by leading and guiding a team of salespeople in an organisation as well as undertaking a sales role themselves. They would often be involved in the sales strategy and associated action plans, including ensuring a suitable level of resources.
To monitor success, there would be an expectation of some financial expertise and an ability to analyse data. By reviewing current performance, they would be expected to make recommendations on changes of approach and the likely positive impact of these in terms of the bottom line.
What are the different types of sales manager?
While there may be differences of focus between organisations or even within teams – with some staff involved more directly in the sales activities and others having a more strategic role – there is not always a clear distinction and the role often involves a number of components which are all important, including:
- Setting the goals and direction, the strategy, policies and procedures
- Delivering on the ground, both individually and with a team.
What qualifications are needed to become a sales manager?
Many undergraduate degrees will develop skills which can be applied to sales management roles. Obviously, business management and those focused on core business activities (from marketing to accounts) will be particularly well suited as you consider ways to measure return on investment, the concepts of brand and impact of marketing, and so on.
A degree, relevant to the market in which you operate, may also be an advantage, particularly in a technical area such as pharmaceuticals. There are also professional qualifications you might also consider, such as the Sales Training Diploma or the CPD Diploma in Sales Management.
What skills do you need?
Certain core skills are essential in this role:
- The ability to put yourself in the shoes of those you are engaging with
- Excellent communication skills – both verbal and written
- Customer service skills
- The confidence and ability to sell
- The ability to think on your feet and use your initiative
- Resilience and the ability to learn from setbacks.
How do you become a sales manager in the UK?
There are generally no set entry requirements to become a sales manager, but the following would be beneficial:
- Prior experience in a sales or a related role
- Commercial awareness and an interest in business
- Insight from those working in the sector, perhaps from networking with those in the sales industry.
How much do sales manager get paid?
Entry level positions can range from £20,000 to £30,000 per year although sometimes there will be bonuses/commission involved. Experienced sales managers can earn up to £60,000 per year.