Businesses that peddle goods or services require strong leadership to maximize the productivity of their sales teams. Salespeople and support staff benefit from training, achievable goals and the promise of profit. Sales directors lead sales teams to success, using their business training and education to foster a prolific sales environment.
Education and Experience
The majority of sales directors have a college degree. Candidates with a bachelor's degree in a related field such as finance, marketing or economics have the edge over applicants without this type of education. Obtaining a master's degree further separates aspiring sales directors from the pack. Although education is an important prerequisite for many job offerings, employers usually require applicants to have multiple years of experience in sales or purchasing.
Duties as a Director
The main duty of sales directors is leading their team to success. They organize training initiatives for all members of their sales team, including supervisors and support staff. Sales directors also work with clients, establishing and maintaining rapport with potential customers. Directors coordinate with other employees and stakeholders, creating sales plans that involve details such as quotas, budgets and marketing. Monitoring all aspects of the sales process helps sales directors meet or exceed expectations.
Nearly all sales directors work full time, and may have to work on weekends and evenings to keep up with new developments or hectic schedules. They travel to sales events and conferences to develop new clients or contacts within their industry. Sales directors in larger organizations visit company offices, distributors and dealers, increasing the potential for long-distance travel. This combination of significant responsibility and travel contributes to stress.
Products and Services
Sales directors should be experts in the goods or services offered to their clients. This enables directors to properly plan and execute sales campaigns. For example, a sales director for an art gallery should have sales experience directly related to the art world. Keeping abreast of artistic trends in both local and international art scenes allows an art gallery sales director to respond quickly to any change that might affect the bottom line.
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