In terms of content, the profession is related to the account manager. As a sales manager, sales is your place of work; you know how to convince others of the advantages of your goods, products, or services in no time at all. But sales management is more than just selling. Here you can find out what the range of tasks of a sales manager includes, what requirements you have to meet for this job and all the important information about careers.
Job description: What does a sales manager do?
A good sales manager is said to be able to sell glasses to a blind man . Or to put it another way: Sales managers know how to dress a product in such pleasant words that the customer cannot help but buy it. Well, that is perhaps a bit of an exaggeration. But it’s true: the main business of sales managers is selling – ideally, however, it is a product of which they are deeply convinced. Then it is all the easier to praise their advantages and get along better with your conscience.
But sales managers are more than just better salespeople. They coordinate and plan sales strategies and develop measures to win new customers, they maintain the customer base and lead a team. Because sales managers are usually heads of a sales department.
The daily work of a sales manager can be stressful. Because he and his team are always measured by sales figures. Allowing yourself a break is not an option in this job. Here it is important to always give full power. Not least for the following reason: If the sales figures fall, so does the salary.
Often a not inconsiderable part of the income of sales managers depends on the individual sales success. That’s good when everything goes smoothly. In economically difficult times, however, this performance-related remuneration is noticeable in a falling rate on your own account. This professional pressure, under which sales managers are particularly exposed, tends to be detrimental to a good work-life balance. On the other hand, the profession has a promising future. In the technology sector, in particular, manufacturers are always trying to outdo each other with new products.
In sales, they mainly look after existing customers. In day-to-day work, a more precise distinction is made between customers:
- B2C stands for “Business-to-Consumer” and describes a business with private customers.
- B2B stands for “Business-to-Business” and describes a business with corporate customers.
In addition to the sales manager, there are related terms such as sales consultant, account manager, and key account manager. The latter is a manager for very important customers (key accounts) and is sometimes only responsible for one or two customers. The activities of a sales manager often overlap with the aforementioned. You determine sales territories, quotas, and targets and deploy the staff accordingly. You plan, coordinate, and advice on sales and advertising strategies. You look after existing customers and at the same time acquire new customers. As a sales manager, you have a managerial role, which means that you are also responsible for leading the team and motivating the team.
Education: how do you become a sales manager?
There is none training in the sense of becoming a sales manager, but a way to get there. Anyone who works in this job is primarily characterized by a high level of communication skills, economic knowledge, and accounting understanding. That is why graduates of economics, communication sciences, or a marketing degree are welcome applicants. The job is suitable for lateral entry. Depending onBranchEngineers or medical professionals are also suitable for this activity – for example when it comes to technical or pharmaceutical products that require detailed explanation. Even skilled workers without a university degree have the opportunity to advance to sales managers through further training. Training with a technical sales background is advantageous here.
Also, you need a good deal of self-confidence and persuasiveness, because you want to convince undecided customers of your products. Again, this does not work with the mallet method; rather, you radiate competence and seriousness. Negotiating skills and knowledge of human nature are also among the urgently needed soft skills of a sales manager. Both properties help him to adapt to customers individually and to address them according to their wishes and requirements. If customer acquisition does not work as planned, this has financial consequences. You, therefore, need strong stress resistance and frustration tolerance.
Salary: How much does a sales manager make?
The salary prospects cannot be quantified across the board. The salary always depends on aspects such as company size, industry, region, managerial responsibility, and professional experience. The job starts as a junior sales manager. There are already differences here depending on qualifications.
Map of sales manager salaries
The darker areas on the map show where sales managers earn the highest salaries across all 50 states.
- Median Annual Salary: $92,596
- Top 10% Annual Salary: More than $154,000
- Bottom 10% Annual Salary: Less than $50,000
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Career: opportunities and prospects as a sales manager?
The job prospects are currently good as the demand is significantly stronger than the supply. There are hardly any branches of industry that can do without a sales manager. The focus is on industrial and trading companies, but sales managers are also employed in large craft businesses. It is not uncommon for students to start as working students in sales.
The classic career path in sales usually develops as follows:
Entry as Junior Sales Manager: In this position, the salesperson completes a lot of customer appointments and works his way into the operative business.
Senior Sales Manager: After three to five years, the time is usually ripe for the next career step. Senior sales managers take on the planning and control of sales activities and work closely with other departments.
Sales Director: A sales director heads several areas and is also responsible for advertising and public relations.
Chief Sales Officer: The Chief Sales Officer is a member of the management of a public company. He is responsible for the sales structure and organization of a company.
After graduation, you start as a Junior Sales Manager for around three to five years. From there, work your way up to Sales Manager or Senior Sales Manager over time.
Those who are accordingly successful in their job can hold a position as Sales Director. As such, you not only report to management but also represent the company externally. As Chief Sales Officer, you occupy the absolute top position in sales management. Then you are part of the management and are responsible for the entire organization and structure in sales.
Application as a sales manager: tips, formulations, template
The main motivation of a sales manager is to increase the company’s sales. In your cover letter, you should be able to convincingly demonstrate that you have the necessary business and strategic knowledge. As a sales manager, you will also score points if you can demonstrate relevant successes, for example:
Thanks to my excellent knowledge of the XY product, I have succeeded in increasing our sales by at least five percent annually.
In no way should you neglect the necessary soft skills when applying as a sales manager. For example, leadership and assertiveness or the necessary team spirit – because as a loner you will not be successful in the long run. In all of this, it is always important that you provide appropriate evidence of your abilities. By no means should you simply list your preferences.
Through my multiple travel activities in my current job, I have built up a solid network both at home and abroad.
Application: How do sales managers score
Prospective sales managers can score points in their application documents with the following skills:
- Completed degree in a relevant field
- Entrepreneurial understanding
- leadership skills
- Sales skills
- Sound technical knowledge
- Customer-oriented appearance
Anyone interested in the profession of sales manager has excellent career prospects, because there is currently a dime a dozen jobs in sales, while there are not so many job candidates. And even if the requirement profile is usually high, companies are now more and more willing to compromise on qualifications, provided that the cultural fit with the employer is right.
Below we provide you with a samples that shows what a resume and cover letter for an application as a sales manager could look like. With all these modern resume templates you must adapt them individually and redesign them a little. This will keep your application unique and successful.