- Organise, coach and lead teams of sales representatives
- Use IT, budget/report writing skills, sales and negotiation skills
- You could take on larger sales areas or be promoted to sales manager
As a sales manager, you'll be responsible for a team of sales representatives ('reps') that sell a particular type of product, or work with a certain type of customer, like business to business sales. You could also be the area manager for sales across a set area or sales patch.
- Recruit and train sales staff
- Allocate areas to sales reps
- Develop sales strategies and set sales targets
- Provide feedback and coaching to team members
- Monitor the team's performance and motivate them to reach targets
- Compile and analyse sales figures
- Report back to senior managers
- Keep up to date with products and competitors
- In some jobs you might also handle major customer accounts, or be involved with marketing as well as sales.
You could work at a store, in an office, at a client's business or in a contact centre. You'll usually work standard office hours, although travelling to visit customers and your sales team may often make your working day longer. You may also need to attend conferences, trade fairs and exhibitions, which could involve working in the evening and at weekends. Your job may involve some overnight stays, or travel abroad.
This role would be ideal for someone with IT, budget and report writing skills, excellent sales and negotiation skills, the ability to motivate and lead a team, excellent communication and 'people skills', good planning and organisational skills, and the ability to work calmly under pressure.
You'll need experience in sales and a record of achieving targets. Most employers will consider your sales and management experience, market knowledge and track record to be more important than your academic qualifications. You could also be considered for specialist sales management jobs if you have a background in designing or manufacturing the products your team are selling.
You could take a professional qualification like those offered by the Institute of Sales Management such as, a Level 4 Award in Managing a Sales Team, Level 4 Award in Finance for Sales Managers or Level 4 Award in Operational Sales Planning.
You could also do a degree before joining a company as a graduate management trainee. Subjects include, sales and marketing management, business management and retail marketing. For some jobs, like selling hi-tech scientific or engineering equipment, employers may prefer you to have a qualification in that field.
Alternatively, you could complete a sales executive higher apprenticeship before applying for a trainee manager job.
With experience and a good track record, you could take on larger sales areas or be promoted to regional or national sales manager.