Retail sales cashiers, customer service representatives, salespeople, order fillers, stock clerks as well as sales engineers, and sales representatives in wholesale and manufacturing need a sales supervisor to oversee daily operations. A sales supervisor is responsible for interviewing and then hiring and training workers. Sales supervisors prepare work schedules and assign duties and might be called a sales manager or a department manager in some industries.
Many sales supervisor jobs require or strongly prefer candidates who have earned a degree in business of a sales related field. Check out the programs below which offer free information:
When the operational classification system is used, a manager who manages nonsupervisory personnel is called supervisor. In the retail business sales supervisors handle complaints, answer customer inquiries, and are responsible for budgeting as well as accounting and purchasing duties. In large retail chains sales supervisors are usually assigned to a department or several departments. Department supervisors implement store policies, and they establish procedures, objectives, and goals for their department. They coordinate activities with other department supervisors as well as develop merchandising techniques. They inspect merchandise to make sure it is clean, saleable, and current. Sales supervisors review inventory levels as well as sales figures. They greet customers, promote sales, and maintain a positive public image and attitude.
Wholesale and industrial supervisors develop sales incentive plans, assign sales territories, approve sales contracts, and make personnel decisions. In small independent companies sales supervisors are responsible for the total operation of the company. Many sales supervisors in small companies are owners. Supervisors in large companies have an office in the home location, but in most retail chains a supervisor’s office is in the store or in the department they manage. A large part of their work day is devoted to the sales floor. Selling, managing store displays, implementing work schedules, and managing department personnel must be done daily.
A sales supervisor rarely works a forty hour work week. The hours are usually based on sales goals as well as the time of the year. Supervisors are expected to work holidays, nights, and weekends, but usually get at least one day off during the week. Sales supervisors fill in for sick employees and must be able to function effectively on short notice if unexpected inventory or sales issues develop. Some sales supervisors set their own work hours but those hours can change at any time.
Sales Supervisors Training and Education Requirements
A large number of sales supervisors begin their careers on the sales floor as cashiers, sales personnel, or customer service representatives. These positions offer future sales supervisors the opportunity to learn valuable sales and management practices and principles. They learn customer service procedures, merchandising policies, and people interaction skills. The formal education background of sales supervisors can vary, but most supervisors take accounting, management, marketing, and sales courses as well as psychology, sociology, and communication courses. Computer skills are needed in large and small companies so a thorough knowledge of computer software that pertains to cash registers, inventory control, contracts, and sales quotas is important.
Large companies usually require a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts, social science, or business in order to be considered for a sales supervisor position. A large number of college students do some sort of internship before graduation. Most retail chains have training programs that include classroom work as well as on-site training. These training programs vary in length. Some last a month, but others last over a year in order for trainees to experience sales responsibilities in every season.
Company training programs can be extensive and may include interviewing techniques, employee and inventory management, scheduling, finance, product information, and company operations. Sales supervisors must get along with coworkers as well as consumers so most training programs include courses in self-discipline, judgment, decisiveness, and motivation techniques.
Sales Supervisor Salary and Wages
Sales supervisor earnings are based on several factors. The industry, length of service, job responsibilities, and the type, size and location of the business all play a role in compensation. The average retail supervisor earns around $33,000 and some earn over $50,000 in larger retail companies. Nonretail supervisors earn around $59,000 a year, but some supervisors with experience can earn over $125,000 a year with national companies. Postal supervisors earn over $52,000 a year plus benefits, and wholesale electronic supervisors earn around $80,000 a year. Clothing and grocery store supervisors earn about $35,000 a year plus benefits. The job outlook for sales supervisors is good, but the growth of new sales supervisory positions is projected to be slow over the next five years.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/
Sales Supervisors Certifications
Most sales supervisors are certified by their employers after a training program is completed. Supervisors are certified in customer service, inventory control, product awareness, and personnel supervision. Most industries require some sort of certification which is a combination of sales and management experience as well as classroom information. Other industries may not require any previous certification because they certify and train all their employees in house.
Sales Supervisor Professional Associations
The National Retail Federation, the International Food Distributors Association, and the National Automobile Association are just three associations that give supervisors information on employment opportunities and other related topics. The National Association of Convenience Stores and other Industry associations have websites that supply employment opportunities as well as offer training courses in specific industries.
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