Sales managers are the leaders and coordinators of a sales team. They are experts in analyzing market data, finding sales territories, building sales plans, and implementing strategies to achieve and even surpass business sales targets. They also monitor and mentor sales workers who are the future of their organization. Maybe most notably in the modern age of digital communication and marketing, sales managers are often the face of their organization in brand-building exercises.
Yet, the most crucial task of a sales manager is still generating revenue for their company. If this is your dream career, keep reading to get all the answers to start and create the best resume possible.
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Job Duties of a Sales Manager
A sales manager has a dynamic role to play in many organizations. Their job responsibilities can be multifaceted and include creating a sales plan that determines techniques and strategies that help companies meet their financial goals. Sales managers also play a crucial role in coordinating between the marketing department and the sales force to conceptualize the best sales plan and set business goals. Below are some of the essential job duties of a sales manager:
Coordinating with the marketing department to build a sales plan that ensures profitability.
Analyzing sales statistics and data to conceptualize and recognize the target market and setting ultimate sales goals.
Planning budget and determining the particular pricing policies to meet sales goals and maintain the organization’s profitability.
Assigning individual sales targets for every team member.
Deciding, implementing, and monitoring sales strategies and techniques that can help in processes starting from lead generation to deal closure.
Providing required product knowledge to the sales force and motivating the team through counseling and sales training.
Understanding customer expectations to determine the best sales efforts in the right way.
Recruiting, training, and developing sales executives.
Sales Manager Median Salaries
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual pay for a sales manager in the U.S. is $126,640. The projected growth rate of employment is 4% from 2019 to 2029. These numbers tend to go up or down a bit depending on the growth of the overall U.S. economy.
Top Skills for Sales Managers
A sales manager’s job duties comprise a set of crucial responsibilities. From identifying the sales target market and its customers to understanding the caliber of each team member, their job duties require an excellent collection of technical and active soft skills. Below, we have listed the necessary qualifications to be an expert sales manager.
- Spotting talent and training well: Empowering, facilitating, and guiding a sales team is an integral part of the job. To do this, the sales manager must identify prospective talent and provide training and counseling before assigning any sales targets. But to be able to complete those duties, taking talent management training is the first step.
- Channel management prowess: Channel Management is where the company develops various marketing techniques and sales strategies to reach the broadest possible customer base. The channels are nothing but ways or outlets to market and sell products. To predict sales revenue, a sales manager has to be proficient in channel management. For example, an organization has set a goal to close $500,000 in sales during August, with a 25% closing percentage in a six-month delivery cycle. The sales manager ensures the entry of $2,000,000 potential business in the channel in February to have a sure-shot revenue of $500,000 in August.
- Analytical proficiency: A sales manager builds a sales plan and sets sales targets by analyzing the data procured by the marketing team and accordingly makes a budget to cover expenditures and generate revenue. For this purpose, a sales manager has to be proficient in calculating and analyzing data. One way you would write this skill into your resume would be: “Analyzed three competitors’ products to collaborate with manufacturers in Asia and potential buyers in the U.S.”
- Management software skills: To improve efficiency, the sales manager can also pursue Cloud Computing Sales Certification from industry-related or for-profit education companies or work under higher authorities to learn basic computing.
- Motivational leadership: A sales manager’s primary job is to recruit a new sales force, provide the requisite training, and manage the whole team efficiently to generate more revenue and meet the sales goals. Therefore, a sales manager has to be a self-motivated coach to push the unit for better results.
- Strategic planning: Imagine that sales are a one-way trip, a journey, and the sales manager, through his strategic plan, helps them reach their destination. In this example, the company’s journey is how the company secures dependable, long-term revenue by retaining and acquiring new and existing customers. The strategies can include specific tactics, market approach, methods, objectives, forecasting, budgeting, and timelines.
- Delegation: Delegating is an essential ability for managers. To delegate means to trust and give work away so that it gets done by subordinates. Many managers fail because they think others are too busy or green to do additional work. But how do you delegate efficiently? First, know how to choose the best person for the job and why they will be successful. Second, provide them with proper instructions and resources. Third, check the work and provide feedback continuously until it’s ready to go.
- CRM skills: CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management, and it is a complete process through which a business or organization monitors and administers its interactions with the customers. The fundamental goal of a CRM is to target the right audience for their product, and then fulfill their needs, to increase the sales and revenue of the company, which is the fundamental goal of a sales manager. That is why a sales manager needs to perfect this skill.
Educational Requirements for Sales Managers
An aspiring sales manager should also have a solid educational background to be recruited as a sales manager. The following courses and certifications are beneficial to gain expertise in the industry and have a step-up among fellow applicants.
Degree:Sales managers mostly require a four-year bachelor’s degree to enter the industry. However, recruiters usually prefer candidates with degrees in business administration, business law, finance, marketing, accounting, and statistics.
Many universities in the U.S. offer bachelor’s degrees related to business marketing. Some universities include the University of Portland (Pamplin School of Business), Stanford University, The University of Illinois at Chicago, and many more.
With a bachelor’s degree, you can acquire a sales position in many organizations, but only after gaining experience of two-to-four years in the related field can you apply to become a sales manager. However, if you have a master’s degree in business administration specializing in the marketing stream, you can become directly eligible for the sales manager position.
Many universities offer degrees in sales management in both undergraduate and graduate plans. You can choose between online or on-campus full-time courses at places like American Military University, Stanford University, University of Pennsylvania (Wharton), Northwestern University (Kellogg), University of Chicago (Booth), and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sloan) are only some of the universities that offer these courses.
Certifications:Apart from having a degree related to business, if you acquire specific certificates in sales management, it can add expertise to your skills and in-depth knowledge of your particular niche.
- Universities and colleges: The Kellogg School of Management offers several executive certification programs in marketing and sales. These programs enable you to master different skills of sales to ensure the success of your deal. These are generally short-term, individual study programs based on in-house research. Nevertheless, if you want to find a school in your area, you can browse by state and study for the best business administration programs.
- Industry-connected companies: Industrial certifications are mainly required when you decide to enter a complex technology-based niche. Most technology and science-based companies offer certification programs to understand the complexities of their products and expertise in the newest technologies. Some of the major companies providing these sales management certifications include Adobe, Google and Cisco.
- For-profit educational companies: Besides these certifications above, specific study programs offered by organizations like Hubspot, Challenger, Huthwaite International, and Meddic Academy can certify you in the specifically chosen subjects of your choice, such as Strategic Planning and Execution, SPIN selling, Complex Deal management, CRM, and many more.
Sales Manager Resume-Writing Tips
To design an effective sales manager resume, here are some points to consider.
- Start with a summary: Although most applicants overlook a summary or an objective summary, you can grab the attention of recruiters by writing one. To make it more notable, add some measurable terms such as:
- “Enthusiastic automobile sales manager with eight years of supervised experience with a team of 15 to 21 representatives helping my organization increase its revenue by 19% year-over-year.”
- “Consistently performing marketing professional, with $200,000 in cosmetic products sales, I also led a group of 17 sales associates.”
- Quantify your experiences: Numbers are an accurate glimpse of your skills, efficiency, and productivity. So, without any hesitation, demonstrate your achievements in numbers to earn an interview. Below are two examples:
- “Managed a team of 17 sales and marketing members.”
- “Assisted in planning a 2020 sales campaign that resulted in a 12% growth in revenue in just the first quarter. It continued for the entire financial year, which garnered a net profit of 27% in the overall period.”
- Use industry-specific keywords: Adding targeted language or some keywords adds a unique charm to your resume. Such words can be used in the objective section to add extra detailing to your particular trait or skill. These words will grab the attention of recruiters and indirectly put forth the fact that you are updated to the latest industrial trends. Some are “sales pipeline,” “profit margin,” “B2C,” “B2B,” and “competitive analysis.” You can use energetic, peculiar, dynamic, diplomatic, or enterprising kinds of adjectives to describe your soft skills.
Which is a more lucrative career, sales manager or marketing manager?
Both career options, sales manager and marketing, can bring growth prospects and be lucrative careers. It all depends on what you want to do in a company. Sales managers are responsible for overseeing the employees in charge of selling a product or service, while marketing managers focus on gauging the demand for these goods.
What are the prospects of the sales manager profile in the era of digitalization and artificial intelligence?
Many job profiles will become extinct in the future with digitalization and artificial intelligence advancement, but the same is not valid with sales managers. Sales managers are here to stay. Though sales managers of the future will have to be more tech-savvy and be ready to use more and digitization techniques in the future, one thing is for sure. It is that the sales job positions combine with digitalization and artificial intelligence.
What are the growth prospects of a sales manager in an organization?
The primary objective of any business is to earn money. Supporting this very baseline, sales managers steal the show in most organizations. Their achievements are easily noticeable. Riding on their quantifiable success stories, they can easily climb the ladder and ultimately secure a berth in the company’s management.