A sales manager is a crucial asset on board of any company nowadays, since no enterprise can succeed solely based on the quality of their products or services. A good sales team is indispensable to gaining and maintaining the profitability of those products and services, and a good manager is central to that team. Since a sales manager is responsible for analyzing, orienting and planning the whole activity of the company’s sales department, the rewards which come with the job are designed to match its challenged. That is why the pay you can expect from working in a sales management position contains not only salaries which are high enough on their own, but also consistent bonuses and profit shares meant to encourage financial performance. Here is an overview of the sales manager job and what you can expect from it.
Sales Manager Job Description
The typical Sales Manager job description often revolves around coordinating the efforts of the sales team or department within the company or organization they work for. This includes not only analyzing results, statistics and financial data previously obtained, but also developing new strategies to focus the sales team’s efforts in the near future, as well handling the training and management of all employees on the team. The hours can be quite long, with late evenings or overtime often required, as well as frequent job-related short travels (mostly for trainings and conferences or similar events). In spite of the quite intense levels of activity which come with the job, the manager position is highly desirable for the status and high financial rewards which come with it.
Although the exact attributions of a sales manager can vary quite a lot depending on the company or organization they work for, we can still talk about the most common attributes of a manager in a sales position:
- Planning and coordinating new hiring and job training for the sales team they’re in charge with;
- Analyzing statistics, data reports and sales results;
- Designing discount campaigns or special offers, as well as analyzing similar campaigns from competitors;
- Developing plans to gain new sales territories, new customers or niches of market exposure;
- Projecting the company’s sales and determining the profitability of its products or services (in order to determine whether continuing or discontinuing them would be advisable);
- Monitor the trends in customer preferences in order to reorient the focus of the sales team;
- Preparing the company or the department’s budgets and expenditures;
- Helping the company expand its client base and/or range of services in a profitable way etc.
Sales Manager Education Requirements and Training
Here comes one of the major advantages of the job: although it’s definitely a position requiring higher education (a bachelor’s degree), its requirements are still not that high considering the potential earnings the job can eventually bring. You have the chance of getting paid as well as a surgeon for much less of the years invested in education, so sales management is pretty tempting, isn’t it? Officially, the job requires a bachelor’s degree, preferably in a related field such as finance, mathematics, statistics or business law, although the field isn’t really mandatory as long as the previous work experience qualifies you for the job. Some managers also possess a master’s degree, but it’s really not a usual requirement of most employers.
The second requirement of this position has less to do with education: the job calls for a work experience of at least 3 years on a regular sales position, so the candidate knows the drill before taking on management tasks. Some employers even ask for 5 years of previous experience, depending on how big the company is. What we can tell you for a fact is that since the competence required is gained mostly through on-the-job training, the work experience matters more than the formal education when you’re trying to get hired as a manager.
Sales Manager Salary
The median sales manager salary is estimated at $105,260 per year and $50.60 per hour in mid-2012, according to the BLS*. We should note that this median value means that half of all managers earned more than the median amount, and the other half of them earned less. If you’re wondering how much more and how much less can be expected, it would suffice to note that the lowest-earning 10% of all sales managers in 2012 made a bit less than $52,950 per year, while the top-earning 10% of them made a bit more than $187,200. This includes only the salary-bound earnings, of course, but a good manager can expect consisted yearly bonuses and a share of the profits which can go high enough to almost double one’s salary.
After gaining a consistent amount of experience as a sales manager for a small or medium-sized company, a professional can then aspire to become a regional sales manager at a more important company (one big enough to divide its management territory into areas and regions). A regional sales manager salary was estimated in May 2015** to have a median value of $76,000 per year, and up to $135,000 at the higher end of the earning spectrum (including the bonuses one can expect if performing well). Those figures are compelling enough in themselves to make the case for becoming a manager in the sales field.
*Data offered by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), www.bls.gov.
**Data offered by Payscale.com.
Sales Manager Job Outlook
According to the BLS*, the projected job growth of all managers in the field of sales during the 2012-2022 time period is 8%, which is about as fast as the average for all the other jobs and occupations. This means the number of sales manager positions will grow during this time, but not faster (or slower) than the average job growth. The actual number of new positions to be expected is estimated at 29,800, considering that there were about 359,300 existing jobs in sales management in 2012, when the statistics were made.
The very good news about the outlook of a sales manager job is the fact that it is – and will continue to be a very stable occupation in the foreseeable economic climate. No matter how various industries may rise or fall in the demand of consumers, the industries which are on top at a certain moment will always be in need of a good sales team to ensure the profitability of their products and services. And this sales team wouldn’t get anywhere without its manager, so if you’re looking to apply to one of this jobs, you can rest assured that you’re making a wise choice for your future.
*Data offered by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), www.bls.gov.
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