Sales managers organise, coach and lead a team to work towards agreed sales targets.

What does a sales manager do?

You would be responsible for a team of sales representatives selling a particular type of product or work with a certain type of customer, such as business to business sales. You may also be area manager for sales across a set area or sales patch.

Your work could include:

  • recruiting and training sales staff
  • allocating areas to sales reps
  • developing sales strategies and setting sales targets
  • monitoring the team’s performance and motivating them to reach targets
  • providing feedback and coaching to team members
  • compiling and analysing sales figures
  • dealing with some major customer accounts yourself
  • collecting customer feedback and market research
  • reporting back to senior managers
  • keeping up-to-date with products and competitors

What do I need to do to become a sales manager?

You need proven experience in sales, with a good record of achieving targets. Once you reach management level, most employers will consider your sales and management experience, market knowledge and track record to be more important than your academic qualifications.

For some sales jobs, such as hi-tech scientific or engineering equipment, employers may prefer you to have a qualification such as an HND or degree. You could also be considered for specialist sales management jobs if your expertise comes from a background in designing or manufacturing of the products your team are selling.

You may wish to back up your experience and develop your management skills by studying towards a relevant Level 4 professional qualification.

In some jobs you could be travelling around the world to meet customers, so it may be helpful to speak a second language.

Related skills

  • Communication
  • Interpersonal skills
  • IT
  • Leadership
  • Literacy
  • Numeracy
  • Organisation
  • Teamwork

Academic route

  • HND or degree in a related subject

Vocational route

  • Level 4 Award in Managing Responsible Selling
  • Level 4 Award in Managing a Sales Team
  • Level 4 Award in Finance for Sales Managers
  • Level 4 Award in Operational Sales Planning

Where to find out more

Where could I be working?

You would usually be based in an office but also spend time travelling to conferences, trade fairs and exhibitions. 

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0

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