Sales manager essential career information:
- 2011 median pay: $105,260
- 2011, number of jobs: 344,730
- Employment growth forecast, 2010-2020: 12 percent
- Entry-level education requirements: Bachelor’s degree
Sales managers; what they do:
A sales manager career is not for the weak-willed or those only partially dedicated to their job. Sales managers endure a massive amount of responsibility, ranging from setting sales goals and analyzing data to developing training programs for sales representatives and directing entire sales teams.
Sales managers need good communications skills, as they not only manage large teams of sales representatives and regional sales managers, but they also speak directly with elevated customer complaints about sales and service. A sales management career includes overseeing training programs for sales staff.
Sales managers work with numbers, as they also spend a significant amount of time preparing and approving budgets and expenditures, analyzing sales statistics, projecting sales, planning special pricing plans, and determining discount rates. A sales manager career also includes studying customer preferences and using the results to help plan sales efforts.
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Sales managers job titles:
- Vice President of Sales
- Director of Sales
- District Sales Manager
- Regional Sales Manager
- National Sales Manager
- Sales Operations Manager
- International Sales Manager
- Online Sales Manager
- Field Sales Manager
- Senior Sales Manager
- Internet Sales Manager
- Retail Sales Manager
Sales Managers Education, Certification and License Requirements
Generally, employers seek candidates with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with an emphasis in marketing, although some employers prefer candidates with a master’s degree. Some schools offer a Bachelor in Business Administration with an emphasis in Sales Management degree or a Bachelor of Business Administration in Sales & Marketing Management degree.
Significant sales representative work experience is extremely beneficial to sales managers and can sometimes replace missing education credentials. Most employers seek sales managers with one to five years of work experience.
Sales manager programs cover subjects such as:
- Business law
Sales managers don’t need specific certifications or licenses.
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Sales Managers Job Outlook
Forecast: 12 percent employment growth from 2010 to 2020 for sales managers, on par with the average for all occupations.
Companies involved in business-to-business sales have the highest growth for sales managers, as they focus on sales strategy to increase competitiveness. Due to the importance of the sales department in companies, sales managers generally have better job security than other managers.
Sales Managers Salary
- 2011 median annual wage: $105,260
- 2011, workers at the 75th percentile annual wage: $150,610
- 2011, workers at the 25% percentile annual wage: $72,210
- Retail trade
- Wholesale trade
- Finance and insurance
- Management of companies and enterprises