Sales manager

Description

Sales managers develop sales and targeting strategies for a company. They manage sales teams, allocate sales resources based on the plans, prioritise and follow up on critical leads, develop sales pitches and adjust them over time, and maintain a sales platform to track all leads and sales.

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to sales manager:

sales executive
sales coordinator
sales director
group sales manager
sales commercial manager
international sales manage
area sales manager
inside sales manager

Minimum qualifications

Bachelor’s degree is generally required to work as sales manager. However, this requirement may differ in some countries.

ISCO skill level

ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:

  • the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
  • the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
  • the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.

Sales manager is a Skill level 4 occupation.

Sales manager career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to sales manager.

promotion manager
chief marketing officer
category manager
marketing manager
marketeer

Long term prospects

These occupations require some skills and knowledge of sales manager. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of sales manager with a significant experience and/or extensive training.

Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of sales manager.

Sales argumentation: Techniques and sales methods used in order to present a product or service to customers in a persuasive manner and to meet their expectations and needs.
Pricing strategies: The techniques, theories, and commonly accepted strategies regarding pricing of goods. The relation between pricing strategies and outcomes in the market such as profitability maximisation, deterrence of newcomers, or increase of market share.
Corporate social responsibility: The handling or managing of business processes in a responsible and ethical manner considering the economic responsibility towards shareholders as equally important as the responsibility towards environmental and social stakeholders.
Brand marketing techniques: The methods and systems used in researching and establishing a brand identity for marketing purposes.
Content marketing strategy: The process of creation and share of media and publishing content in order to acquire customers.
Sales department processes: The different processes, duties, jargon, role in an organisation, and other specificities of the sales department within an organisation.
Marketing mix: Principle of marketing that describes the four fundamental elements in marketing strategies which are the product, the place, the price and the promotion.
Market pricing: Price volatility according to market and price elasticity, and the factors which influence pricing trends and changes in the market in the long and short term.
Sales strategies: The principles concerning customer behaviour and target markets with the aim of promotion and sales of a product or a service.

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of sales manager.

Integrate strategic foundation in daily performance: Reflect on the strategic foundation of companies, meaning their mission, vision, and values in order to integrate this foundation in the performance of the job position.
Plan marketing strategy: Determine the objective of the marketing strategy whether it is for establishing image, implementing a pricing strategy, or raising awareness of the product. Establish approaches of marketing actions to ensure that goals are achieved efficiently and over a long term.
Study sales levels of products: Collect and analyse sales levels of products and services in order to use this information for determining the quantities to be produced in the following batches, customer feedback, price trends, and the efficiency of sales methods.
Motivate employees: Communicate with employees in order to ensure that their personal ambitions are in line with the business goals, and that they work to meet them.
Carry out sales analysis: Examine sales reports to see what goods and services have and have not sold well.
Manage staff: Manage employees and subordinates, working in a team or individually, to maximise their performance and contribution. Schedule their work and activities, give instructions, motivate and direct the workers to meet the company objectives. Monitor and measure how an employee undertakes their responsibilities and how well these activities are executed. Identify areas for improvement and make suggestions to achieve this. Lead a group of people to help them achieve goals and maintain an effective working relationship among staff.
Evaluate marketing content: Revise, assess, align, and approve marketing material and content defined in the marketing plan. Evaluate written word, images, print or video advertisements, public speeches, and statements in accordance with the marketing objectives.
Manage profitability: Review on a regular basis sales and profit performance.
Create annual marketing budget: Make the calculation of both the income and expenditures that are expected to be paid over the coming year concerning the marketing related activities such as advertising, selling and delivering products to people.
Analyse consumer buying trends: Analyse buying habits or currently prevalent customer behaviour.
Define measurable marketing objectives: Outline the measurable performance indicators of the marketing plan such as market share, customer value, brand awareness, and sales revenues. Follow up on the progress of these indicators during the development of the marketing plan.
Track key performance indicators: Identify the quantifiable measures that a company or industry uses to gauge or compare performance in terms of meeting their operational and strategic goals, using preset performance indicators.
Coordinate marketing plan actions: Manage the overview of the marketing actions such as the marketing planning, internal financial resource granting, advertising materials, implementation, control, and communication efforts.
Analyse internal factors of companies: Research and understand various internal factors that influence the operation of companies such as its culture, strategic foundation, products, prices, and available resources.
Write work-related reports: Compose work-related reports that support effective relationship management and a high standard of documentation and record keeping. Write and present results and conclusions in a clear and intelligible way so they are comprehensible to a non-expert audience.
Plan marketing campaign: Develop a method to promote a product through different channels, such as television, radio, print and online platforms, social media with the aim to communicate and deliver value to customers.
Impart business plans to collaborators: Diffuse, present, and communicate business plans and strategies to managers, employees making sure that objectives, actions, and important messages are properly conveyed.
Integrate marketing strategies with the global strategy: Integrate the marketing strategy and its elements such as the market definition, competitors, price strategy, and communication with the general guidelines of the global strategy of the company.
Produce sales reports: Maintain records of calls made and products sold over a given time frame, including data regarding sales volumes, number of new accounts contacted and the costs involved.
Implement sales strategies: Carry out the plan to gain competitive advantage on the market by positioning the company’s brand or product and by targeting the right audience to sell this brand or product to.
Develop professional network: Reach out to and meet up with people in a professional context. Find common ground and use your contacts for mutual benefit. Keep track of the people in your personal professional network and stay up to date on their activities.
Prepare visual data: Prepare charts and graphs in order to present data in a visual manner.
Analyse customer service surveys: Analyse results from surveys completed by passengers/customer; analyse results to identify trends and draw conclusions.
Set sales goals: Set sales goals and objectives to be reached by a sales team within a period of time such as the target amount of sales made and new customers found.
Analyse external factors of companies: Perform research and analysis of the external factor pertaining to companies such as consumers, position in the market, competitors, and political situation.
Supervise sales activities: Monitor and oversee the activities related to the ongoing sales in the shop to ensure that sales goals are met, assess areas for improvement, and identify or solve problems that customers could encounter.
Identify potential markets for companies: Observe and analyse market research findings in order to determine promising and profitable markets. Consider the firm’s specific advantage and match it with markets where such value proposition is missing.
Align efforts towards business development: Synchronise the efforts, plans, strategies, and actions carried out in departments of companies towards the growth of business and its turnover. Keep business development as the ultimate outcome of any effort of the company.
Make strategic business decisions: Analyse business information and consult directors for decision making purposes in a varied array of aspects affecting the prospect, productivity and sustainable operation of a company. Consider the options and alternatives to a challenge and make sound rational decisions based on analysis and experience.
Perform market research: Gather, assess and represent data about target market and customers in order to facilitate strategic development and feasibility studies. Identify market trends.
Analyse work-related written reports: Read and comprehend job-related reports, analyse the content of reports and apply findings to daily work operations.

Optional knowledge and skills

Optional knowledge

This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of sales manager. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

Customer segmentation: The process whereby a target market is divided into specific sets of consumers for further market analysis.
Public relations: The practice of managing all aspects of the image and perception of a company or individual among stakeholders and the society at large.
Statistics: The study of statistical theory, methods and practices such as collection, organisation, analysis, interpretation and presentation of data. It deals with all aspects of data including the planning of data collection in terms of the design of surveys and experiments in order to forecast and plan work-related activities.
Market research: The processes, techniques, and purposes comprised in the first step for developing marketing strategies such as the collection of information about customers and the definition of segments and targets.

Optional skills and competences

These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of sales manager. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

Communicate with customers: Respond to and communicate with customers in the most efficient and appropriate manner to enable them to access the desired products or services, or any other help they may require.
Forecast sales over periods of time: Calculate and estimate the expected sales of products and services over different periods of time in order to determine their profitability.
Integrate headquarter’s guidelines into local operations: Understand and implement the guidelines and objectives provided by the headquarters of a company into the local management of a company or subsidiary. Adapt guidelines to the regional reality.
Present arguments persuasively: Present arguments during a negotiation or debate, or in written form, in a persuasive manner in order to obtain the most support for the case the speaker or writer represents.
Estimate profitability: Take various factors into account to calculate the cost and potential revenues or savings gained from a product in order to evaluate the profit that could be generated by the new acquisition or by a new project.
Manage distribution channels: Oversee distribution channels with regards to the requirements of customers.
Recruit personnel: Carry out assessment and recruitment of personnel for the production.
Teach marketing principles: Instruct students in the theory and practice of marketing, with the aim of assisting them in pursuing a future career in this field, more specifically in courses such as sales strategies, brand marketing techniques, digital sales methodologies, and mobile marketing.
Analyse supply chain strategies: Examine an organisation’s planning details of production, their expected output units, quality, quantity, cost, time available and labour requirements. Provide suggestions in order to improve products, service quality and reduce costs.
Collaborate in the development of marketing strategies: Work together with a group of professionals to develop marketing strategies performing market analysis and financial viability while staying aligned with the company’s goals.
Define geographic sales areas: Determine the different areas and reach that the company has in terms of sales, in order to segment and divide those areas geographically for a better approach.
Investigate customer complaints: Investigate customer complaints in order to determine the non-satisfactory elements in food products that lead to complaints from customers.
Manage accounts: Manage the accounts and financial activities of an organisation, supervising that all the documents are correctly maintained, that all the information and calculations are correct, and that proper decisions are being made.
Liaise with managers: Liaise with managers of other departments ensuring effective service and communication, i.e. sales, planning, purchasing, trading, distribution and technical.

ISCO group and title

1221 – Sales and marketing managers

 

 


 

 

References
  1. Sales manager – ESCO
Last updated on August 8, 2022

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