Sales Managers

Sales managers direct organizations' sales teams. They set sales goals, analyze data, and develop training programs for the organization’s sales representatives. Sales managers’ responsibilities vary with the size of the organization they work for. However, most sales managers direct the distribution of goods and services by assigning sales territories, setting sales goals, and establishing training programs for the organization’s sales representatives.

In some cases, they recruit, hire, and train new members of the sales staff. For more information about sales workers, see the profiles on retail sales workers and wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives.
Sales managers advise sales representatives on ways to improve their sales performance. In large multi-product organizations, they oversee regional and local sales managers and their staffs.

Role of Sales Managers

Sales managers typically do the following:
  • Oversee regional and local sales managers and their staffs
  • Resolve customer complaints regarding sales and service
  • Prepare budgets and approve budget expenditures
  • Monitor customer preferences to determine the focus of sales efforts
  • Analyze sales statistics
  • Project sales and determine the profitability of products and services
  • Determine discount rates or special pricing plans
  • Plan and coordinate training programs for sales staff

Skills of Sales Managers

Analytical skills: Sales managers must collect and interpret complex data to target the most promising areas and determine the most effective sales strategies.

Communication skills: Sales managers need to work with people in other departments and with customers, so they must be able to communicate clearly.

Customer-service skills: When helping to make a sale, sales managers must listen and respond to the customer’s needs.

Managerial skills: Sales managers must be able to evaluate how sales staff perform and develop ways for struggling members to improve.

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