Plenty of expert salespeople dream of landing a job in management, but few know exactly what the position entails or how to transition into it from a position as a sales agent. Stepping into this next stage of a career in sales doesn’t have to be daunting. Read on to find out what to expect and whether it makes sense to move forward in this career path.
What Is a Sales Manager?
Sales managers are professionals who lead teams of representatives in achieving a company’s sales goals. They do more than just track metrics and attend interdepartmental meetings, though. Sales managers also need to be able to develop and implement strategies, oversee employee training and development, and make important decisions about how to keep the company’s sales efforts aligned with the organization’s other goals. Current or aspiring sales managers can learn how to develop leadership skills and gain insights into how to improve team performance here.
Types of Sales Managers
Although the general responsibilities of sales managers always include those described above, there are many types of positions open to people who have the right skills and want to progress in this career. They include titles and duties such as:
- Inside sales managers who oversee teams that work through digital channels or over the phone.
- Field sales managers who lead teams that sell products in person.
- Channel sales managers who work with distributors, resellers, and agents.
- Key account sales managers who focus on building and maintaining good relationships with a company’s most important customers.
- Regional sales managers who oversee teams working within specific states or groups of states.
- Product sales managers who focus on specific product lines.
- National sales managers who take responsibility for managing sales teams across an entire country.
Not every company has all of these types of sales managers. The options available to sales agents who want to progress in their careers may be limited if they decide to stick with a specific company, but gaining experience and developing leadership skills can help them become more competitive within the wider industry.
A Typical Day
What a typical day looks like will vary by specific sales management function, industry, and company. However, there are some tasks that aspiring sales managers can usually expect to perform regularly.
Most days on the sales floor start with a team meeting. The sales manager leads this meeting by reviewing key data, discussing performance, and providing feedback or guidance as needed.
Sales managers must develop and refine sales strategies to ensure their teams meet revenue targets and goals. In some cases, they work with other departments such as product development or marketing to accomplish this goal.
Sales coaching involves more than just training new hires. Sales managers also work one-on-one with team members to help them develop relevant skills.
Sales managers also have to perform administrative tasks. They can include reviewing and approving reports, managing budgets, and preparing presentations.
Customer Relationship Management
Difficult or high-value accounts are typically referred to sales managers to resolve any issues. These leaders must find ways to ensure that the customers are happy with the company’s products and customer service.
Is it Time to Move Forward?
Moving forward in a career is scary but also rewarding. In the case of a career in sales, becoming a manager is an obvious step in the right direction for those with leadership and administrative skills. Consider taking a training seminar to improve those skills and become more competitive.