If you have an upbeat personality and are keen to lead a team of busy sales professionals, how about becoming a sales manager? In today’s blog we’re highlighting this exciting career path and unpacking the actual job role and employment prospects — as well as the skills and qualifications you’ll need to get started.

Sales Manager Job Description

Just what is the role of a sales manager? Sales managers are responsible for the organisation’s sales team including the amount of revenue they generate and their overall performance.

While some sales managers maintain a portfolio of customers independent of their team, most senior managers oversee the entire portfolio, only visiting key clients in support of their designated sales representative.

Sales managers are also innovators, problem solvers and influencers — you can expect a sales manager’s job description to include the following duties:

  • Selecting and training the sales team, then overseeing their progress to ensure they meet (or surpass) their targets.
  • Researching customer behaviour then developing targeted sales and marketing plans.
  • Cold-calling leads and nurturing client relationships.
  • Tracking and analysing sales statistics and customer data.
  • Attending meetings with senior management to report on sales performance, budget outcomes and future prospects.
  • Visiting customer sites to check the quality of products, deliver merchandise and support the efforts of the sales representatives.
  • Attending tradeshows, conferences and networking events to build relationships and promote the organisation to the wider business community.
  • Resolving customer issues and problems, then developing service procedures that prevent the issue from recurring (or impacting other customers).
  • Spending time with a sales representative who is behind in their targets and developing strategies to help boost their performance.

Salaries and Stats for Sales Managers in Australia

There are more than 100,000 sales managers employed in Australia right now. While there are no clear statistics on future growth and average salaries, you can expect to be well rewarded for your efforts as there are always opportunities for performance-based bonuses and salary packages that include modern vehicles and the latest in technology.

Sales Manager Career Path

Successful sales managers need a solid understanding of business development and sales, plus the leadership skills to pull together a dynamic and progressive sales team. Here are a few qualifications that can launch your career:

Diploma of Marketing and Communications — get a working knowledge of the marketing mix as you learn how to research customer demographics and build your own advertising and marketing campaigns. You’ll also learn how to manage a small sales team.

Bachelor of Applied Business Management — learn the fundamentals of management, marketing and entrepreneurship as you experiment with business and sales models and practice design thinking.

Bachelor of Applied Entrepreneurship — get the skills you need to transform the sales offerings at your organisation and seek new market opportunities. At the same time you’ll gain a holistic knowledge of organisational behaviour, big data, digital marketing and leadership.

Master of Business Administration (MBA) — if you’re already degree qualified, why not take your leadership, entrepreneurship and strategic planning skills to the next level by obtaining the highly prestigious MBA?

Sales Manager Personal Attributes

Apart from formal qualifications, effective sales managers are also great communicators and are generally well-liked across the organisation. The following personal attributes are also critical to becoming a successful sales manager:

Brainstorming — do you have the vulnerability and confidence to come up with a heap of ideas, then share them? Even the ideas that aren’t that great?

Relationship Building — do you have the interpersonal skills to build lasting relationships with clients, colleagues and senior management?

Oral Expression — can you express your ideas clearly, in a way that inspires your peers, motivates your team and persuades your customers?

Productivity and Planning — can you establish realistic goals for yourself (and the rest of your sales team) then put together a detailed plan for getting the work done?

Positive Energy — are you a naturally high energy and passionate person? Someone that can inspire even the most sluggish team member to greater personal performance?

Written by Melinda J. Irvine
Melinda J. Irvine
Melinda is a professional writer, blogger and creative. When she’s not writing she works with marginalised kids in the Philippines, supporting their social and emotional wellbeing. You can find out more at melirvine.com.au.