(seylz man-ij-muhnt) (n.)
The practice of supervising and coordinating sales teams. Sales managers work in a number of industries: any company with a sizeable sales force needs one or more sales managers. Sales managers typically hire, train and manage sales team members. They set sales goals for their sales teams and are accountable for meeting those goals. Sales managers set department policies and procedures and may need to coach or counsel sales team members to improve their performance.
Depending on the size and type of company, sales managers may also be responsible for market research, developing marketing plans, and ensuring their sales teams follow plans. They allocate their departmental budgets, solve problems as they arise and intervene when customer service issues become volatile. A sales manager may report to a company vice president, president, or a regional manager, depending on the structure of the company.
A sales manager's workload is determined by his or her department's needs and goals, rather than by a set number of hours. As such, sales management can be stressful and involve long hours. As the financial well-being of a company depends on selling its product or service, sales managers bear an enormous amount of responsibility.
Sales managers typically have a bachelor's degree in business, although some may be promoted to management without a degree if they have proven sales ability. Some employers may prefer a sales manager with a master's degree in business. Sales managers in technical fields may need technical degrees in addition to business degrees. Sales managers must understand and have experience in sales, marketing and management. A successful sales manager may be promoted to district or regional sales management, company vice president or company president.