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Working as a sales manager will involve helping a company sell its products/services to individual customers, businesses or government departments. As a sales manager, you will likely be responsible for a team of salespeople. Duties are likely to include everything from staff training to identifying new markets and products to sell.
Sales manager jobs can be found in most industries in the UK, helping to create a good section of positions across the country. The role can be a great stepping-stone for more senior-level positions, with commission and bonus schemes often helping increase sales manager salaries. Keep reading to learn more about working as a sales manager, including starting salaries, required qualifications and career prospects.
Sales manager jobs can vary in duties depending on the size of your employer and the sector they operate in. However, the sales industry in general is very target driven. Therefore, the work can sometimes be demanding and competitive. Working as a sale manager may involve a variety of working environments, including offices and home-based working. As you will often be meeting clients, sales manager employers will expect you to look professional and smartly dressed during such meetings. Working as a sales manager is likely to involve the following duties:
- Meeting with potential and existing clients
- Negotiating prices and other specifications with clients
- Ensuring members of sales team are trained and performing to satisfactory level
- Responding to client/staff correspondence
- Ensuring company sales targets are met
- Providing sales reports to upper management
- Reviewing sales performance and identifying areas to improve
Many people working as a sales manager do so after working their way up from lower-level sales positions. Sales manager employers will likely place great importance on your previous sales experience, including the sector you worked in, how many years of experience you have and what successes you have had. However, some sales manager jobs will require you to have a university degree. Whilst the subject studied is often not that important, degrees in business, marketing and management will help your application. Furthermore, sales companies operating in a particular sector, such as IT, may require you to have a degree in a related subject.
Sales manager employers look for candidates with the right personality, attitude and skill sets to be successful in sales, these include:
- Confident, positive attitude
- Natural sales ability and good business sense
- Determined and able to deal with rejection
- Hard working, determined and able to work under pressure
- Good team working skills and the ability to motivate others
- Excellent communication skills
With so many sales manager employers and jobs available in the UK, the role offers good career prospects. Promotion in sales positions is often dependent on your own success, meaning career progression can be quick for those that excel in the position. You will likely be given more responsibilities as you progress, including handling bigger, more important clients and working on national/international accounts. You may also be responsible for staff training, as well as staff performance reviews and the hiring/firing of employees.
Once working as a sales manager, other positions will become available if you continue to progress, including national sales manager and sales director. With sales manager jobs found in so many sectors, you will also have the option to work in a variety of different industries. Other options include changing career entirely, with some salespeople moving into other related areas, such as marketing and advertising.
Average starting salaries for sales manager jobs are £20,000 to £30,000, with this rising up to £40,000 for those with three to five years of experience. Salaries will rise with the inclusion of bonuses and commission, whilst some sectors such as finance and IT are likely to pay more than the national average for this position.
Working as a sales manager can be a great career choice. You will gain lots of valuable skills and experience and likely receive a good salary. Your career progression is often dependent only on your own abilities, making it a great role for those determined to work hard and succeed. You will have lots of roles to choose from, and often be able to choose the sector you wish to work in.
However, sales manager jobs can be very competitive. You will likely have a heavy workload and challenging targets to meet. You will be required to stay up to date with all latest developments in your industry and be held responsible should targets not be met. You may also have to work long hours and need to deal with rejection from clients on a regular basis.