What Is a Sales Director? How to Become One, Salary, Skills.
Sales directors are experienced sales professionals who design and lead implementation of a company’s overall sales strategy. Here’s what to know about a sales director’s needed skills, salary and how to become one.
What Is a Sales Director?
Sales directors lead the sales department, constructing its overall strategy for success and working closely with sales managers on directing sales reps in meeting their goals. This upper-level position requires extensive sales and leadership experience.
What Do Sales Directors Do?
Understanding customer needs, onboarding new hires and training sales representatives are all areas of focus for sales directors. They also conduct research to inform decisions about sales quotas and methods in order to set sales teams up to thrive.
Sales Director Responsibilities
- Develop sales strategy and plan implementation.
- Conduct market and competitor research.
- Interview and onboard new hires.
- Collaborate with sales managers on training to teach sales teams how to market products.
Day-to-Day Responsibilities of Sales Directors
- Draft sales reports.
- Lead sales team meetings.
- Cultivate customer relationships.
- Monitor sales metrics and evaluate performance.
Sales Directors Within a Company
A sales director is the head of the company’s sales department. They often work closely with sales managers and report to the VP of sales or chief sales officer.
Importance of Sales Directors
Sales directors are responsible for guiding the strategic vision that ensures the sales team is successful. They handle a range of critical responsibilities from establishing training programs to conducting research that informs planning for sales quotas.
What Skills Are Needed to Be a Sales Director?
Qualifications to Be a Sales Director
- Experience managing a sales team.
- Knowledge of effective sales techniques and training strategies.
- Understanding of sales metrics and data-informed decision making.
- Ability to conduct relevant research.
- Ability to build and foster customer relationships.
- Expertise in marketing products to customers.
- Familiarity with sales tools and software.
Sales Director Prerequisites
- Bachelor’s degree.
- Professional certification in sales and leadership tactics.
Sales Director Hard Skills
- Creating sales reports.
- Marketing products.
- Monitoring sales metrics.
- Conducting research.
- Making data-driven decisions.
- Using sales tools.
Sales Director Soft Skills
- Collaborating within a team.
- Mentoring and training less-experienced team members.
- Communicating between executive leadership and sales team members.
- Analytical thinking and problem solving.
Tools and Programs Sales Directors Use
How to Become a Sales Director
Sales Director Education and Experience
A sales director has likely studied in a field like business, finance or marketing, earning their bachelor’s and, in some cases, master’s degrees. They also typically bring a minimum 10 years of experience, which includes working both as a sales representative and manager.
Sales Director Certificates and Courses
- 20 Top Sales Training Programs and Courses to Know
- Certified Master Sales Professional
- Certified Professional Sales Leader
- SMEI Certified Sales Executive
Sales Director Career Path
A sales director commonly begins their career working as a sales representative before moving up to becoming a sales manager. By spending time in a sales management position, sales professionals gain the leadership and strategic expertise necessary for a sales director job. They can then grow into the role of VP of sales.
Sales Director Salary and Job Outlook
Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows there is expected to be little change in overall employment for sales occupations between 2021 and 2031. The 1.9 million yearly openings in this field will largely be to replace workers who leave sales jobs.
The full compensation package for a sales director depends on a variety of factors, including but not limited to the candidate’s experience and geographic location. See below for detailed information on the average sales director salary.