what is a head of sales?

As the head of sales, you manage the sales team, including defining and communicating key performance indicators and targets. You also analyse market trends and consumer behaviours and develop strategies to boost sales in the new markets. You make data-driven decisions to optimise the company's commercial performance consistently.

The head of sales relies on data to analyse patterns, understand the consumer base and study the sales department's performance. Your role involves knowing your competition and coming up with new ways to outsell them. The responsibilities of the head of sales also extend to managing external partners and collaborating with internal departments to increase the company's revenue.

As a supervisor, you lead the sales department by developing sales targets, identifying growth opportunities and developing the product mix. You manage the department's calendar, from trading priorities to launches, campaign activities and promotions. You also take responsibility for the mistakes and negative performances of the department. You mentor other sales professionals and guide them to achieve the department's vision and goals.

As the head of sales, you play a strategic role in the company by driving enhanced revenue generation activities in the department. Your job is to deliver an optimised market mix and expand the company's market share and consumer base. You utilise analytics to measure the successes and weaknesses of sales strategies.

Would working as the head of sales suit your commercial acumen and analytical skills? Then read on to find out what competencies and qualifications you need to thrive in a head of sales role.

head of sales jobs

average salary of a head of sales

According to ONS, the head of sales earns an average pay of £60,000 per year or £30.77 per hour. New heads of sales usually have minimal experience in the role and take home around £49,924 annually. When you run a large department and have extensive experience, your compensation package will be around £80,000 per year.

While most sales professionals receive commissions, the head of sales only earns bonuses for achieving milestones and steering the team to achieve targets. You also enjoy various perks, including paid sick days or leave days and contributions to a pension scheme.

ways to boost your salary as the head of sales

The principal determiner of your compensation package is the size of the company. A large organisation can afford to pay workers more. Besides, roles in big companies are complex, and your compensation should reflect the effort you put into the role. The location also influences the pay structure since the demands and costs of living impact salaries. When you work in a large city, you are likely to earn more due to the higher demand for employees. In small towns, both the need for heads of sales and the cost of living are lower.


office meeting
office meeting

types of heads of sales

Some of the types of heads of sales include:

  • regional head of sales: as the head of sales, you can be in charge of a specific region. That means you oversee sales functions in a designated area to ensure smooth operations. Your job is to grow the company's market share in the region and achieve set targets by empowering the field sales agents and sales managers.
  • branch head of sales: when you manage the sales activities of a particular branch, your job is to direct the sales managers and executives working under you. Your job involves recruiting sales managers, setting targets and supervising the sales activities in the branch. You also manage warehouse activities and evaluate sales performance compared to other branches in the organisation.


working as a head of sales

Working as the head of sales involves leading the entire sales team, from field sales representatives to sales managers. The role requires exceptional leadership skills and self-motivation to inspire others to work hard and achieve the company's targets. Let's explore what the head of sales does daily.


education and skills

You need the following qualifications to become the head of sales:

  • bachelor's degree: the first step into the role is through an undergraduate or foundation degree in business management, communications, marketing or sales. You can join an industrial placement or graduate trainee programme to speed up your job progression when you finish the degree.
  • master's: most employers require a master's degree or PhD in a related field. For instance, you can complete a PhD in business and management, marketing, or communication to increase your chances of joining the field.
  • work experience: you cannot become the head of sales without extensive work experience. Apart from internships, you also need to work in junior sales or marketing positions to learn the ropes and work ethic required. 

skills and competencies

The personal qualities of a head of sales include:

  • analytical skills: as the head of sales, you rely on research and data-driven insights to formulate strategies and measure the sales performance of your department. You need analytical skills to understand marketplace models for measuring performance. These skills also help you evaluate performance and develop new strategies.
  • computing skills: as the head of sales, you need proficiency in Microsoft Office applications, especially Word and PowerPoint, to create reports and presentations for senior sales management teams. Computing skills are also helpful in analysing performance and making comparisons.
  • interpersonal skills: as the head of sales, you need interpersonal skills to build trust and encourage openness with your sales team and external stakeholders. Interpersonal skills help you thrive and work comfortably in group settings. They also improve your persuasiveness and leadership.
  • people and leadership skills: as the head of sales, you perform a supervisory role that requires leadership skills. You should be able to inspire and motivate a large group of people in a unified direction or vision. As the company's representative, you need people skills to be approachable to customers and build lasting relationships on behalf of the business.

woman thinking
woman thinking


FAQs about working as head of sales

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