Sales managers are responsible for delivering consistent sales of products or services for an organisation.
They plan sales strategies to reach targets set by the business leadership, then they drive the achievement of those plans by leading and monitoring sales team members, as well as contributing personally to sales activities.
Sometimes they will be responsible for sales across an entire business, but when working for larger businesses, they may be responsible for smaller sections, such as a geographic area or a particular product line.
This detailed guide includes a full sales manager job description and everything else you need to know about sales managers, including salaries, skills, qualifications, typical employers and more.
- Sales manager job description
- How much do sales managers earn?
- What does a sales manager do?
- Requirements, skills and qualifications
- Who employs sales managers?
- Which junior jobs progress to sales manager roles?
Sales manager job description
UK Sales Manager |DJK Worldwide
About DJK Worldwide
We design, manufacture and sell world-class catering ovens and equipment with a customer base spanning Europe, North America and Asia.
About the role
We are in need of an enthusiastic, committed and successful sales manager to represent our B2B sales function in the UK, negotiate sales and extend our reach through the management of a salesforce of 18 individuals.
- Hit sales targets through successful management and leadership of sales team
- Create and refine a UK-specific sales strategy and forecasts in line with our overall objectives
- Recruit, manage, train and develop the UK salesforce
- Build excellent customer relationships and expand the high value account client base
- Undertake detailed sales analysis and report to the European director of sales
- Create targets, KPIs and sales strategy roadmaps for individual team members
- Identify emerging markets and undertake competitor analysis
- Represent DJK Worldwide at all UK trade shows, exhibitions and conferences
- Problem-solve regional sales difficulties and pipeline issues
- Keep up to date with product and industry knowledge
Location & commitments
- DJK Worldwide, London office
- Contracted hours 37 hours per week, Mon – Fri with flexible working expected
- National and international travel to UK sites and divisional headquarters in Berlin
- Full clean driver’s license
- Minimum 5 years’ experience in a sales executive or assistant sales manager role
- Industry experience in hospitality or catering
- Proven ability to hit sales targets consistently
- Excellent communication, negotiation and interpersonal skills
- Good reporting and planning skills
- Experience managing and directing sales staff
- Full clean driver’s license
Contact us to apply
We’re looking for candidates with outstanding drive and sales performance who are ready to tackle a new challenge in a large and dynamic international organisation. If that’s you, send your CV to firstname.lastname@example.org
How much do sales managers earn?
Sales manager salaries are generally quite high, with an average of £37,500. It’s vital to note that sales managers often have a large portion of their remuneration paid as commission in addition to a base salary.
Sales manager salaries in the UK
- Low: £29,000
- Average: £37,500
- High: £53,500
Source: Total Jobs
There is some variation in sales manager salaries. Variations are usually due to one or more of the following conditions:
- Product or service being sold – Sales managers selling high value products or services will normally earn more than those selling low cost offering. For example a sales manager selling fleets of luxury cars is likely to earn more than another selling stationery.
- Location – Sales managers in large cities tend to earn more than those in smaller towns
- Performance – Sales managers are rewarded for sales with commission and bonuses, so those who sell more, will earn more
- Team size – The larger the team being managed, generally the more the manager will earn
For example, an experienced sales manager in London who is responsible for selling high-level financial software, with a large sales force to manage, will earn more than a regional sales manager, selling shoes, without a team.
However, these average salary figures for sales managers do not paint the full picture. Most sales managers receive a large portion of their remuneration in the form of bonuses or commission (percentages of the revenue generated by their sales). Additionally, they usually receive benefits such as private healthcare, enhanced pensions, car allowances etc. This means that some sales managers earn well above the national average.
What does a sales manager do?
The job description of a sales manager usually covers some core responsibilities and duties;
- Achieving sales targets and growth – Hitting sales targets through sales strategy, team leadership, performance and driving others to peak performance
- Strategic planning – Developing and implementing a strategic sales plan for a company or team
- Customer base knowledge and expansion – Expert understanding of the industry and insight into customers, emerging markets and potential for growth, as well as building relationships
- Management – Lead junior sales representatives and executives through targets, motivation, training and performance tracking
- Reporting– Providing reports to business leadership to update them on performance and forecasts
- Competitor analysis – Uncover and respond to competitor actions to leverage success
- Liaison with marketing – Work closely with marketing to develop marketing activities and strategies that generate more leads for sales teams
- Product or service knowledge – Outstanding knowledge of the full nature and potential of the organisation’s products and services, as well as being informed for cross-selling
What do sales managers need?
Sales manager roles need socially gregarious, emotionally intelligent and confident individuals who are skilled at negotiation and relationship building. Sales managers combine these attributes with deep technical knowledge, analytical ability, a strong sales performance history and the capability to drive others towards success. Proven success is always needed, and qualifications are often required.
Here are details of what is needed:
Junior sales manager jobs are usually accessed after gaining experience as a sales executive, combined with experience working with customers, sales and achieving targets. Some management experience is usually required, as well as market knowledge of a particular industry.
Intermediate to senior sales manager jobs require outstanding proven success in achieving sales targets as well as excellent management ability demonstrated through meeting team targets previously. Experience of analytical processes, technical knowledge and industry insight is also needed.
Sales manager skills
Sales managers hit targets by utilising their soft skills, as well as their customer, industry and product knowledge. These include:
- Negotiation: The ability to reach an agreement to the benefit of the organisation, taking into account different needs and viewpoints
- Interpersonal skills: Skills to succeed in interactions with others including speaking, listening, questioning, communicating and responding
- Relationship building: Initiating and maintaining strong relationships with customers
- Strategic planning – The ability to set out long term plans to achieve sales targets
- Leadership: Enabling and directing others to meet goals through demonstration, motivation and organising others
- Problem solving: The ability to use critical thinking under pressure to identify and pursue solutions
- Tenacity: Remaining focused and motivated to deliver results, even through challenging periods
- Mentoring: Inspiring and coaching others as individuals to achieve peak performance
Sales manager qualifications
Sales manager qualifications are not always needed, and a proven track record is given greater weight by employers.
However, sales managers in some fields are expected to be degree-educated in a business-related subject, or a subject that relates to the product they are selling
Additionally, there are a number of highly regarded qualifications that many in the profession recognise as being useful and desirable in sales management.
Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) qualifications
The CIM offers a range of suitable training opportunities for sales managers. Most widely recognised is the Advanced Certificate in Sales Management.
A highly practical course, it equips the learner to develop their management capabilities within a sales setting, specifically focusing on leadership and motivation; development of sales strategies and plans; analysis, performance and monitoring, and; identifying their own areas for development.
Institute of Sales and Marketing Management (ISM)
The ISM has level 5 and 6 qualifications in Strategic Sales and Account Management which are useful in sales manager roles. Candidates are expected to come to the course with a minimum of 5 years’ experience in a sales role.
The courses cover how to recruit and motivate a high performing sales team, how to use marketing effectively for sales, building customer relationships and creating sales strategies.
Managing and Marketing Sales Association (MAMSA)
MAMSA offers an Advanced Diploma in Sales Management which covers a broad range of high level skills needed in sales management roles. Topics include communication, marketing, personnel development, policy, and statistics.
What is expected of sales managers?
Sales managers are normally required to meet a number of different expectations;
- Long hours – 40+ hours per week are often required in sales roles, especially when performance falls short of targets
- Evening & weekend work – In addition they are usually expected to attend customer/client social engagements, as well as attend conferences, trade fairs and exhibitions involving evening and weekend work
- Target achievement – Sales manager are required to achieve team sales targets in order to fulfil their jobs properly – this is needed to make their OTE (On target earnings)
- Travel – Travel is sometimes required to meet with clients – depending on company
- Location – Roles are typically office-based
Sales manager benefits
Sales managers generally get excellent benefits packages, including:
- Bonuses or commission – The bulk of sales manager pay is made up of commission or bonuses paid to them in reward for making sales.
- Car allowance
- Private Healthcare
- Life assurance
- Enhanced annual leave
Who employs sales managers?
Sales managers are employed mostly by businesses who sell large volumes of products and services – meaning that employment is available in any sector.
Typical employers for sales managers are found in:
- Fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) g. food and drink
- Software and IT
- Technical industries g. aerospace, automobiles and electronics
- Business services
- Finance, banking and insurance
- Pharmaceuticals and healthcare
Which junior jobs progress to sales manager roles?
Sales managers usually require experience in a previous sales role, in order to gain the necessary experience and knowledge to perform a sales leadership role, such as:
A sales executive undertakes the work to put the sales strategy into action with individual prospects, customers or clients to promote and sell the organisation’s product or service. In this role an individual develops the on-the-ground negotiation and interpersonal skills to become a sales manager.
Assistant sales manager
An assistant sales manager supports the sales manager to implement the sales strategy across the sales team. An assistant sales manager begins to refine management approaches alongside their sales skills.
Which senior jobs do sales managers progress to?
Sales managers are generally mid-level roles within an organisation and there are plenty of opportunities to progress into more senior roles, including:
National or international sales manager
Being a national or international sales manager involves moving upwards in the organisational hierarchy to oversee a wider geographical jurisdiction, with greater focus on management and developing sales strategies, as well as utilising others to implement those approaches.
Working at a strategic level, on the board of directors, the sales director oversees the entire sales function, as well as ensuring the sales strategy is formulated in line with the overall corporate strategy.
Business development director
A business development director is responsible for steering the direction of business in terms of new products/services and expanding the customer base, as well as implementing strategic approaches based on future objectives.
Sales manager job description – conclusion
Sales managers fulfil an energised high pressure role, strategically important to the financial success of the business. It is seen to be an ambitious and pivotal role, crucial for both B2B and B2C companies in order to maximise their success.