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What Is a Sales Manager? How to Become One, Salary, Skills.

Sales managers direct training programs for sales representatives and work with them on employing effective sales strategies and techniques. Here’s what to know about a sales manager’s needed skills, salary and how to become one.


What Is a Sales Manager?

Sales managers oversee sales representatives, setting quotas and providing training to facilitate their success. The sales manager position makes sure the sales team has the necessary tools and direction to meet its targets.


What Do Sales Managers Do?

Sales managers handle a variety of duties, from directing training programs and establishing sales budgets to tracking metrics and setting individual and team quotas.

Sales Manager Responsibilities

  • Hire new sales team members.
  • Design training programs.
  • Track sales metrics.
  • Research customer needs.
  • Set individual and team goals based on data.
  • Manage the sales budget.

Day-to-Day Responsibilities of Sales Managers

  • Prepare sales reports.
  • Design and implement training programs.
  • Monitor and communicate the progress of sales goals.
  • Interview sales applicants.

Sales Managers Within a Company

Sales managers lead teams of sales representatives and usually answer to a sales director or VP of sales.

Importance of Sales Managers

Sales managers provide the leadership and training that enables sales representatives to meet their individual goals and contribute to the success of a company’s overall sales strategy.

Day in the life of a sales manager. | Video: Patrick Dang


What Skills Are Needed to Be a Sales Manager?

Qualifications to Be a Sales Manager

  • Knowledge of effective sales strategies and techniques.
  • Experience managing and training sales reps.
  • Ability to conduct research on customer needs and market trends.
  • Understanding of sales metrics and how to set data-driven goals.
  • Experience overseeing budgets and allocating resources.
  • Familiarity with sales tools and software.

Sales Manager Prerequisites

  • Bachelor’s degree in relevant fields like business or marketing.
  • Certifications to prove their depth of knowledge and leadership capabilities.

Sales Manager Hard Skills

  • Conducting research and identifying trends.
  • Designing and carrying out sales training.
  • Budget management.
  • Analyzing and reporting metrics.
  • Using sales software.

Sales Manager Soft Skills

  • Leadership and mentorship skills.
  • Fostering employee and customer relationships.
  • Data-focused mindset.
  • Strong communication and teamwork skills.
  • An empathetic approach to sales.

Tools and Programs Sales Managers Use

  • Salesforce
  • HubSpot
  • VanillaSoft
  • Ambition
  • Slack
  • Zoom
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How to Become a Sales Manager

Sales Manager Education and Experience

Becoming a sales manager usually requires a bachelor’s degrees along with multiple years of sales experience, which should include leadership responsibilities.

Sales Manager Certificates and Courses

Sales Manager Career Path

Professionals who become sales managers often launch their careers by working as a sales representative. By further cultivating their leadership capabilities and supplementing their formal education with additional training and certification, a sales manager can go on to become a sales director.


Sales Manager Salary and Job Outlook

Between 2021 and 2031, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the number of people working as sales managers will increase from 469,800 to 493,600.

The full compensation package for a sales manager 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 manager salary.


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