What Does a Sales Manager Do?

What a sales manager does ultimately depend on their industry and company. Some train employees, others focus on product knowledge and others monitor sales pipelines. Here are four different job descriptions for sales managers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Sales Manager – Training

Sales personnel continually receive training in order to improve their sales, interpersonal and customer service skills. Sales managers who train others design and deliver comprehensive curriculums for a variety of employees. They regularly assess and validate training needs and priorities for all employees, teams and regions. They also design and implement development solutions that will enhance teamwork, office efficiency and overall effectiveness. Sales training managers research and create content and objectives for training classes and competency based tests. They use different training formats, such as online, classroom and mobile solutions. Sales training managers interact with market research, sales development and organizational teams as needed.

Sales Manager – Products

Sales managers, in companies that sell products, supervise all sales functions within assigned areas. Their responsibilities include managing employees, developing sales strategies and researching market opportunities. These sales managers continually establish sales goals, evaluate individual progress and follow-up with their employees to drive revenue. They work with marketing and operational managers to strategically plan how to maximize sales, increase customer engagement and raise brand awareness. Most of these sales managers have a degree in marketing, sales management or business administration. They must have strong knowledge of sales strategies, prospecting and forecasting. They also need strong analytical skills because they must evaluate client trends and market conditions in order to provide clear direction.

Sales Manager – B2B Sales

A sales manager who sells to businesses must have a unique skill set and knowledge base. For instance, they must excel at establishing long-term business relationships through outbound emails and phone calls. In order to do this, they identify prospective clients, determine their needs, evaluate market conditions and carefully approach the company. They must clearly understand their own and the competition’s products or services. In the office, they initiate client focused promotional planning with marketing managers in order to achieve sales targets and drive profitable business growth. They develop account and market forecasts that are incorporated into overall business strategies. They work with pricing analysts, market researchers and customer service reps to understand market trends and take advantage of business opportunities. Some of these sales managers spend most of their time regionally traveling, quoting and negotiating with clients.

Sales Manager – Manufacturing

A sales manager in a manufacturing company will work with a designated set of clients. Because of this, they must have strong customer relationship management skills. These sales managers follow established business models and tactics to maintain sales commitments and target revenues. With new customers, they sign new contracts, source new suppliers and conduct on-site tours with clients. They also meet with potential distributors and conduct routine quality checks. Every year, they set operating plans and goals by working with distributors to increase numbers and quality while also working with customers to increase demand. Manufacturing sales managers must be extremely knowledge of technical manufacturing processes.

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What a sales manager does in an architect or engineering firm is very different because they work with design firms, property developers and construction companies to develop or renovate existing building interiors and exteriors.