Sales managers are tasked with overall responsibility for the performance of the sales team.  This involves generating opportunities for team members to close deals through the development of a strong and effective sales plan, whilst also supervising and motivating that team to perform to the best of their abilities.  This article will explain the steps that sales managers can take to progress and develop their careers.

Day to day responsibilities

On a daily basis, sales managers work with the sales team to ensure everyone is hitting their targets and to address issues if they are not.  They also spend a great deal of their time working on strategies and analysing previous sales figures to identify any areas where improvements can be made in the future.

They create sales reports, forecasts, and strategies on the basis of this analysis, and they are expected to break down exactly who the company should be selling to, and on which markets the company should be focusing.  They then devise plans to meet the objectives they create.  Often, the sales manager will work closely with the marketing department on these tasks.

The sales manager may also work on adjusting pricing and authorising discounts, depending on both the wider economic landscape and the company's own economic position.

Sales manager salaries

Sales managers have a lot of pressure on their shoulders, and so they are compensated accordingly. The average salary for those in this line of work is £40,000 a year, and 90% of sales manager jobs have a salary that pays more than £27,000.  Around 10% pay in excess of £70,000 each year.

The location has a substantial impact on the average salary that a sales manager receives.  Those working in London earn the top salaries, averaging £55,000 a year.  Those in areas such as Yorkshire and the East of England can expect to achieve £40,000.

The sector in which the individual works also makes a huge difference.  IT sales managers earn an average of £70,000, compared to those in catering, who earn an average of £35,000.

Ways to develop and grow in your career

The main way in which sales managers progress their career is by moving to a new company, which offers different challenges, usually having reached the top of the tree at their present company by securing the sales manager position.  Recruitment companies can help sales managers to identify new challenges, and progress their careers by finding appropriate vacancies for them.

Some larger companies have different levels of sales managers, so a regional sales manager, for example, can focus on becoming a national or international one.

It is important for sales managers to keep their training up to date so that they can spot opportunities and the potential to move into new markets quickly.

Sales managers need to be highly astute and have the ability to handle responsibility comfortably, while also managing others effectively. The skills and experience required to be successful in one of these roles are highly transferable to business ownership positions, so many former sales managers will go on to form their own companies, using their previous experience to guide them.


Browse our sales manager jobs