Whether they work for a retail store, an insurance company or a car dealer, sales managers are an important part of any business. Along with setting sales goals for a team or company, they are also responsible for developing training programs, overseeing staff and determining sales strategies. When employers seek sales managers, they look for certain requirements, including applicants' education and skills.
According to U.S. News and World Report, most sales managers have a bachelor's degree in business administration with a concentration in marketing. Some also hold a master's in business administration. Courses in topics such as business law, economics, accounting and mathematics are helpful as well. Sales managers should possess strong computer skills to compile and analyze sales records and data. Depending on the position, some sales managers must have degrees related to a particular position. For example, sales managers in technology and engineering industries should pursue a bachelor's degree in science or engineering.
Many sales managers previously worked as sales representatives or purchasing agents. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that extensive sales experience plays a big part in landing sales manager positions. Although the length of time varies, employers typically seek candidates with one to five years experience in the field. Since the sales industry is a competitive field, success in previous sales jobs can help you stand out from other candidates.
Licenses and Certifications
A growing number of sales managers are becoming licensed and certified to show their expertise and achievements working in the sales field. According to CampusExplorer.com, the number of licensed and certified sales managers will continue to increase as employers seek more qualified candidates. Some sales associations offer management certification programs, including Sales and Marketing Executives International, Inc. Also, many employers offer management certification programs to help their employees advance to executive-level sales positions within the company.
Sales managers should be highly-motivated, decisive and outgoing, and have good analytical skills. They must also have good communications skills, especially dealing with executives, staff and customers. Customer service skills are important so sales managers can help their staff close deals and solve problems with unhappy customers. Since many sales managers are responsible for developing training programs for staff, they must be creative and have good managerial skills.
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