Sales managers organise, coach and lead teams of sales representatives to work towards agreed targets.
Salary range: £22,000 to £70,000
How to become a sales manager
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
- an apprenticeship
- applying directly
- training with a professional body
You could do a degree before joining a company as a graduate management trainee. Subjects include:
- sales and marketing management
- business management
- retail marketing
For some jobs, like selling hi-tech scientific or engineering equipment, employers may prefer you to have a qualification in that field.
You’ll usually need:
- 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
- equivalent entry requirements
- student finance for fees and living costs
- university courses and entry requirements
You could complete a sales executive higher apprenticeship before applying for a trainee manager job.
You’ll usually need:
- 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship
You’ll need experience in sales and a record of achieving targets. Most employers will consider your sales and management experience, market knowledge and track record to be more important than your academic qualifications.
You could also be considered for specialist sales management jobs if you have a background in designing or manufacturing the products your team are selling.
You could take a professional qualification like those offered by the Institute of Sales Management.
- Level 4 Award in Managing a Sales Team
- Level 4 Award in Finance for Sales Managers
- Level 4 Award in Operational Sales Planning
In some jobs you could travel around the world to meet customers, so it may be helpful to speak a second language.
You can find out more about becoming a sales manager through the Institute of Sales Management.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- excellent verbal communication skills
- the ability to sell products and services
- customer service skills
- the ability to use your initiative
- business management skills
- leadership skills
- to be flexible and open to change
- the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
- to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
What you’ll do
Your day-to-day duties might include:
- recruiting and training sales staff
- allocating areas to sales reps
- developing sales strategies and setting sales targets
- providing feedback and coaching to team members
- monitoring the team’s performance and motivating them to reach targets
- compiling and analysing sales figures
- reporting back to senior managers
- keeping up to date with products and competitors
You could work at a store, in an office, at a client’s business or in a contact centre.
Career path and progression
With experience and a good track record, you could take on larger sales areas or be promoted to regional or national sales manager.