what is a sales manager?

As a sales manager, you direct and manage the company's sales teams. Sales representatives, field sales teams and sales associates report to you. Your job is to hire and train teams of sales representatives on the company's sales processes. You also set sales quotas and targets for individuals and teams, providing them with the necessary resources to help them achieve their goals. Your main objective is to generate revenue for the business and develop strategies to increase sales. You incentivize staff through cash bonuses, gift cards and prizes.

Your duties as a sales manager usually involve people management. This includes recruiting, training and managing a team of sales representatives. As a sales manager, you are also responsible for fostering customer relationships and managing client satisfaction. You also make decisions that affect the revenue streams of the business.

Sales managers work in various industries that sell products or services to customers or clients. For example, you work in manufacturing industries to ensure the sale of finished products to customers. The role requires exceptional leadership skills. You motivate workers to complete their duties and help drive sales. Collaboration skills are also important in order to work well with various sales professionals.

Would working as a sales manager suit your leadership and collaboration skills? Then read on to find out what competencies and qualifications you need to thrive in a sales manager role.

sales manager roles

average sales manager salary

According to Job Bank, sales managers earn an average salary of $85,000 per year. When you are new in the role, you start with a lower salary due to your minimal experience and qualifications. In an entry-level role, you receive a salary of $58,484 per year. Experienced sales managers drive revenue and contribute to the success of the company. Hence, they earn over $182,820 per year.

how to increase your earnings as a sales manager

As a sales manager, your salary fluctuates based on your performance, skills and experience. When you are new in the role, your earnings are low due to your minimal experience. As your expertise and performance improve, your earnings also increase drastically. Your qualifications give you the leverage to negotiate a higher salary. With additional skills and qualifications, you provide more value to the company.

The industry and company size also affect your earning potential. Some industries sell high-value items, and sales managers are well-compensated due to the revenue they generate for the company. For instance, a sales manager selling vehicles or high-end items earns more than a sales manager selling inexpensive consumer goods. Working for a large company also improves your salary prospects, and you can earn more due to the greater number of resources available.

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types of sales managers

The types of sales managers depend on their duties and the customers they sell to. They include:

  • business-to-business (B2B) sales managers: as a B2B sales manager, you oversee business sales. You work for a manufacturer or a wholesaler and supervise sales to other businesses. For example, you oversee the sale of food products to grocery stores or supermarkets.
  • business-to-consumers (B2C) sales managers: as a B2C sales manager, you oversee direct sales to individual consumers. You work in a retail setting, such as a department store or car dealership, managing the sales teams that sell to consumers.
  • product-line sales manager: when you work for a company that sells more than one group of products, you can specialize in selling items from one product line. Your job is to plan sales campaigns and promote the products in the product line.
woman and man walking outside buildings
woman and man walking outside buildings

working as a sales manager

Working as a sales manager is an exciting career with numerous growth opportunities. Here are some common sales manager tasks.


sales manager skills and education

Some of the educational requirements of sales managers include:

  • bachelor's degree: as a sales manager, you require a bachelor's degree in sales, business administration or marketing. The course prepares you for your role in managing sales teams.
  • experience: gain experience through internships and entry-level jobs to improve your skills in sales. Your experience is valuable in attracting more clients and increasing the company’s revenue.

competencies and characteristics of sales managers

Some of the qualities of a sales manager include:

  • analytical skills: as a sales manager, you study market trends and use data-driven reports to understand the success of the salespeople. You rely on analytical skills to evaluate the pricing, discounting impacts and profit margins.
  • communication skills: as a sales manager, you interact with various professionals. You attend meetings with senior managers and also delegate responsibilities. You require effective communication skills to explain the tasks and responsibilities to salespeople clearly.
  • coaching skills: as a sales manager, your duties involve training new members of the sales teams and coaching them to meet individual goals. Your coaching skills help you build successful relationships and mentor staff.


Here, you will find the answers to the most frequently asked questions about the profession of a sales manager.


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