For an employer looking to hire a new sales manager, knowing what to look for is key to hiring the right candidate for the job. By understanding the sales manager’s responsibilities, the sales manager’s daily tasks, background requirements, and personality skills required to succeed, a business owner can have faith in their new hire.
On the other hand, a potential candidate for the open sales manager position must research the job and understand the job description before applying to ensure they do not waste their time or anybody else’s.
Understanding the role of a sales manager, the manager’s daily tasks, and the education level required is essential to fit into a new workplace seamlessly.
With that out of the way, let’s dive into the topic a bit more on the requirements of a sales manager. But first, let’s understand the difference between a sales manager and a marketing manager.
What is the Difference Between a Sales Manager and a Marketing Manager?
Employers and potential employees need to know the differences between a sales manager and a marketing manager to understand how to market the open role in the business, which role to apply for, and the duties and responsibilities of each position.
What is a Sales Manager?
A sales manager is a professional in charge of the running, operating, and organizing of a sales team. The sales manager is the person who must help a business reach its sales targets, marketing objectives, and projected growth.
The primary sales manager duties include:
- Managing individual and team performance to meet sales quotas
- Creating a sales plan and executing the sales strategy
- Overseeing sales training for all employees
- Monitoring key accounts
- Mentoring individuals and providing onboarding training to new employees
- Recruiting and letting go of sales representatives
- Analyzing the real-time and past data to improve performance levels
How Much Does a Sales Manager Make?
A sales manager makes approximately $69,000 according to the latest information in the United States. A sales manager can also make an additional salary via bonuses and commission per year.
How to Become a Sales Manager
- Earn a 4-year Bachelor’s Degree – preferably in management, business, finance, or economics
- Gain between 1-5 years of work experience
- Earn a Master’s Degree – optional
- Professional Certification – optional
What is a Marketing Manager?
A marketing manager is a professional in charge of leading the marketing efforts for a corporation, specific product, person, or service. The purpose of the marketing manager is to increase customer interest and engagement levels through various channels, such as emails, social media, and advertising. Unlike the sales manager, the marketing manager focuses on the broadcasting of the product or service in question instead of the financial side of the business.
The main duties of the marketing manager include:
- Conducting market research to determine interest
- Designing creative marketing strategies
- Outlining future goals and outcomes
- Creating budget reports
- Handling public relations (in some companies)
Sales Manager Requirements
Along with requiring specific responsibilities to be carried out by the sales manager, individuals must also know the requirements expected of this job position. The most common sales manager requirements are:
- Business degree in a related field
- Previous experience as a sales manager
- Continuing education through conferences
- Demonstrates excellent communication skills
- Uses analytical skills to succeed in the industry
- High-quality interpersonal and management skills
How to Hire a Sales Manager
The best way to hire a sales manager is to identify the competencies required for the position, source and screen candidates, and conduct behavioral interviews with finalists covering the essential skills. During the interview process, clearly explain the responsibilities of the position, including daily tasks.
Sales Manager Job Description Sample
Understanding how to market your sales manager open position to potential candidates is essential to finding only the most qualified individuals for the job. Too broad of a sales manager’s job description can lead to erroneous applications, whereas too narrow of a search can lead to too few applications.
Introduction: The first section of the job description should include a description of the sales manager role within your company. Describe why potential candidates should choose your business vs. others in the industry.
Responsibilities: The second portion of the job description should include the primary sales manager’s job responsibilities and requirements, including, but not limited to, overarching goals, daily duties, and personality traits.
Benefits: The third section should include the work hours required for this role, the benefits of taking this job, and the details of the work schedule.
Qualifications: The fourth section of the job description should include the sales manager qualifications and the skills required to be successful at this job. This is the section where the business will list business skills, personality traits, and analytical skills required or desired.
Education and Experience: The last section of the job description will include the education and experience requirements, such as requesting a background in business education and experience in a similar role at a similarly sized company.
Finding the Ideal Candidate – What Makes A Good Sales Manager?
The first step of finding a sales manager who matches the job description and can perform the required tasks seamlessly is to go through a thorough candidate vetting process. By asking the right questions, employers can find a candidate who has the right communication skills, analytical skills, and educational history/background for the position.
The first quality to look for in a new employee is the candidate’s experience. Have they been a sales manager before? Understanding what qualities make a good sales manager can help you find a person who has the right balance of personality, education, and problem-solving skills to shamelessly slide into the new role.
- Having experience shows the person can work in a real-life setting and put their learned skills into action.
- Candidates will have already learned how to prioritize the most important tasks and delegate less urgent tasks to other individuals.
- Working at a similarly sized company will ensure the new manager understands the challenges they may face in their new role.
Another important characteristic to look for in a potential sales manager is their business management skills. A sales manager who has experience in the industry and who has relevant education should have a Bachelor’s degree in business or a similar field, such as marketing, communications, or finances. Additional experience with creating, defining, and implementing sales strategies can help the new hire get up and running in a shorter amount of time.
The third quality to consider in a sales manager is their experience in the industry. If they have no experience yet, a recent college graduate for example or they were recently in a different field, then looking for similar roles or jobs can be a good way to see the candidate’s business acumen.
Other common sales positions conducive to success as a sales manager include a National Sales Director, Inside Sales Representative, Outside Sales Representative, Sales Assistant, or Sales Engineer…as long as they have the following key characteristics.
Along with being skilled in the industry, having a business management background, and working in a similar career in the past, sales managers must have the following characteristics to succeed:
- Ability to identify talented new employees – As a sales manager, this individual will be in charge of identifying and hiring new sales representatives. Therefore, the sales manager must have a keen eye and knowledge of the hiring process, such as attracting individuals, recruiting new employees, and creating a foolproof step-by-step hiring process to narrow down the pool to the most qualified individuals.
- Leadership qualities – The second requirement of becoming a sales manager is being able to lead individuals and show strong leadership skills. Finding a sales manager who can motivate, empower, direct, and guide their sales team is essential to keeping everyone on track, meeting quotas, and keeping sales team morale as high as possible.
- Coaching skills – The third requirement of a sales manager is the ability to train and coach new employees to integrate into the company and begin their new role smoothly. The sales manager must effectively communicate with the new employees to help them troubleshoot their initial problems.
- Creating sales plans – Implementing a sales strategy is arguably the most important job of a sales manager. By creating and defining the sales plans for individuals and the team as a whole, the sales manager will be able to track progress, see where things fall short, and how to improve the sales strategy in the long term. Sales managers must know how to create the goal-setting of their sales strategy, perform market research, and create partnerships in the industry.
- Facilitate a sales culture – Along with creating a sales plan for the individuals in the sales team and the company as a whole, the sales manager has to be the one who is driving a sales-oriented and data-driven business. Instead of fixing issues based on non-numerical information, the sales manager will utilize the team’s performance to see how the team can improve their organization, long-term goals, and practicality in the workplace.
- Communication skills – The last requirements all sales managers must have are strong interpersonal traits and communication skills. Suppose you are not personable or able to enunciate your intentions clearly with a client or employee. In that case, this can lead to confusion and miscommunication that can cost the business time, money, and effort.
Responsibilities of the Sales Manager
Understanding the sales manager’s responsibilities is essential to choosing the best candidate for the job. When evaluating candidates ask behavioral interview questions to uncover if they have the experience and ability to handle the following tasks:
- Creating a sales strategy that utilizes the current customer base, creates sales targets, and meets sales quotas
- Directing recruiting, setting objectives, and monitoring employee performance
- Achieving the sales target by consistently performing manager duties, like directing and delegating to the sales team
- Implementing a business plan that increases the online and in-person presence
- Create beneficial customer relationships for future growth
- Identify market changes and shifts to create a relevant strategy
For guidance on getting started, check out this list of questions to ask a potential sales manager during an interview.
How to Succeed as a Sales Manager
As a potential candidate who wants to become a manager for a corporation, future managers must keep these tips in mind before applying for the job. Understanding the essential background, personality, and skills required to be a serious candidate for this position can reduce wasted time and lead to a higher level of success after being hired.
Brush Up on Your Human Resource Skills
When you become a sales manager, the first thing to consider is to acquaint yourself with the must-have human resources skills. Sales managers are known for their interpersonal and analytical skills — but human resource skills are arguably the most important. Not only do sales managers have to deal with challenging employees, hire new candidates, and graciously fire employees in the business, but they must learn HR skills that carry over to other people outside of the company.
Suppose a sales manager does not have the interpersonal skills to fire a person, read a resume to determine suitability for a position or know the question to ask during an in-person interview. In that case, this will not make the person a good choice as a sales manager.
Learning how to speak with others, give directions, motivate team members, and recognize problems is essential to a sales manager’s success at a new company.
Do Not Micromanage
The next skill to keep in mind for those applying to be a sales manager is to avoid micromanaging. Although you want to be organized and make sure everyone is on the same page, micromanagement can lead to unhappy employees, low satisfaction levels, and distrust in the workplace. Salespeople want to make as much money as they can, leading to unique selling strategies. Avoiding micromanaging employees can create a more open and honest workplace environment.
Evaluate the Big Picture
The third tip to keep in mind during the application process for a lead manager is to understand the big picture of the business. Although small tasks and must-do’s can seemingly take precedence over the company’s overarching goal, this can lead to short-sightedness and lack of direction. A sales manager must be able to understand the short-term and long-term objectives to perform at a high level in the company.
The last tip to consider during the first few weeks or months as a new sales manager is to hone interpersonal and communication skills. Since a sales manager will be in charge of numerous employees and relay important information between the higher-up management staff and the sales team, communication is imperative.
By understanding the sales team’s needs and relaying these specific necessities to the executives of the company, the sales manager can help resolve situations, mediate conflicts, and achieve the business’ goals.
The role and responsibilities of a sales manager might vary from business to business, but this role typically includes being able to create a sales strategy, create sales goals and targets, ensuring that sales quotas are met, dealing with recruiting, performance of salespeople, and being able to see changes in the market and shift strategies when needed.
Being able to identify new talent, lead sales teams, train/coach salespeople, develop sales plans, communicate well and create a great culture is also very important.
Need help? Check out our Sales Personality Assessment Test to find great sales talent easier.