Examining the job of a Sales Manager and the set of skills it requires to succeed

Sales Managers are responsible for leading and guiding a team of sales people in an organization. They set sales goals & quotas, build a sales plan, analyze data, assign sales training and sales territories, mentor the members of his/her sales team and are involved in the recruitment process.

Sales management is focused on the practical application of sales techniques and the management of a firm's sales operations. It is an important business function as net sales through the sale of products and services and resulting profit drive most commercial business.

Let's dive in and examine the different aspects that defines a Sales Manager.

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Through our analysis we gathered information about Sales Managers around the globe, here are some of the most relevant insights we drew:

The job of Sales Manager involves a diversified set of skills, ranging from SalesManagement and Marketing and which are the foundation for the job, to Sales operations, Contract negotiation and Strategic planning.

Below we try to explain some of the skills these profiles should master :

  • Strategic planning: It is a long-term, forward-looking approach to planning with the fundamental goal of achieving a sustainable competitive advantage. Strategic planning involves an analysis of the company's strategic initial situation prior to the formulation, evaluation, and selection of market-oriented competitive position that contributes to the company's goals and marketing objectives. Sales Managers are often tasked with developing the company's sales strategy and are responsible for its implementation, this is why it's crucial for them to sharpen this skill and make sure they cover all different sales strategy aspects. 

  • Contract negotiation: It is the bargaining process between two or more parties (each with its own aims, needs, and viewpoints) seeking to discover a common ground and reach an agreement about a contract. Sales managers are often confronted with contract negotiations, most importantly with potential clients and partners, and need to be skilled in this field to get the positive results they want.

  • Team management: The ability to administer and coordinate a group of individuals to perform a task. Team management involves teamwork, communication, objective setting and performance appraisals. Sales Managers are usually perceived as leaders of the growth of a company, and having a solid team management attribute can make their mission a lot easier, especially when they have a sizable team working with them.

  • Project Management: Project management is the practice of initiating, planning, executing, controlling, and closing the work of a team to achieve specific goals and meet specific success criteria at the specified time. It is very important for every function, and Sales Managers are no exception since they also are project managers. mastering project management allows them to move fast and optimize the company's human and financial resources.

After talking about the top skills Sales Managers need to master in their job, it's time to see what are the most relevant companies for these profiles.

Through our analysis, we create the chart below ranking the top 10 companies for Sales Managers.

Now it's time to examine the early beginnings of Sales Managers and see how they kicked off their careers. As our analysis revealed, most Sales Managers start their professional career in a Sales positions, below are some of the most common first jobs of these profiles.

 

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