Sales Management Job Description (Templates & Advice) in 2023
Your goal: To find a sales manager that will effectively lead and inspire the rest of the sales team.
Your challenge: Sorting through thousands of applicants that are partially qualified to find the ones who are–then figuring out who best fits your company culture.
We already know you’ll have to post a job description to start this process … but what do you include in it? How do you attract the right people while filtering out the wrong ones (and how do you tell the difference between them)? Finally, once you get potential hires in for an interview, what do you ask them?
This article will look at the sales manager job description creation process, interview questions you can ask a potential sales manager, and skills they should possess.
What is a Sales Manager?
Sales management is defined as developing a sales force, coordinating sales operations, and implementing a sales plan to help a business achieve its sales goals and quotas.
But sales management goes beyond sales forecasting and measuring metrics and profitability. Other essential duties for a sales leader include increasing the sales team's bottom line by making the right hires, inspiring and motivating sales representatives, coaching them, developing them through sales training, and letting go of the wrong people when necessary.
Sales managers are ultimately responsible for their sales teams achieving desired targets. They come with proven skills in high-performing sales themselves so that they can serve as experienced coaches and mentors. In addition, they have peak budgeting and analytical skills, a customer service mindset, and confident leadership abilities.
The sales enablement manager or marketing manager, meanwhile, is responsible for curating and creating sales resources to help sales reps be more effective and efficient. This is a separate role from the sales manager; however, in start-ups and small teams, the sales manager may assume this role as well.
What to Include in a Sales Management Job Description
A sales manager’s job description includes specific skills and sales manager responsibilities such as mentoring, coaching, training, and guiding sales teams and reps. They set quotas and goals, determine commissions, analyze reports, and more. They are also an excellent salesperson in their own right, able to use their own experience to help others succeed.
A hiring manager should compose a detailed job description to include everything an ideal candidate brings to the table to develop a successful sales management process.
The job description will include four main categories: job responsibilities, job qualifications, desired skills, and employment details, so let’s start simple with those areas.
In most settings, sales managers work to ensure your sales teams are empowered to hit peak performance goals throughout the sales department. Specific sales manager duties include:
- Recruit, hire, and train the sales team
- Establish goals and sales quotas including base sales targets and stretch goals and adjusting them as needed
- Assess the current sales process and implement improvements
- Develop individual quotas and assign sales territories for team members
- Ensure customer satisfaction among current customer base while proactively seeking new business
- Refine the sales strategy around existing products and develop it for new products.
- Supervise, mentor, train, coach, and evaluate sales staff performance
- Monitor and manage the customer relationship management (CRM) reporting and automation process
- Assess individual sales performance using data, CRM reports, and observation and suggest changes and corrective actions as needed
A sales manager should show expertise in both sales and management. Common qualifications include:
- A certain level of educational requirements or a number of years of related experience
Ex: Master’s degree or 8 years of progressive sales experience
- A number of years of targeted industrial experience
Ex: 5 years working in the SaaS industry
- Track record and/or book of business
- Excellent mentoring, coaching, and people management skills
There are definite skills that a sales manager will need, some broad and some specific. Try and be as specific as possible. Skills you may wish to include are:
- Leadership skills
- Communication skills
- Problem-solving skills
- Inbound or outbound sales skills
- Planning business development initiatives
- Sales forecasting
- Customer need assessment skills
- Customer service experience from existing clients to new sales leads
- Sales metrics
- Experience pricing customer deals
Of course, while you’re listing all of the things your new sales manager should know or be able to do, you’ll also have to post details of what you’re offering. Things to include are:
- The position’s salary range
- Schedule of benefits provided
- How and when to apply
- Work location(s) or remote capability
- Travel requirements
- Any required screenings, background checks, etc.
- Any additional legally required disclosures
Advice for Setting Sales Manager Role Qualifications
As you likely noticed earlier, when composing your final sales manager job description, you’ll need to make some decisions around specific language when composing the qualifications section of the document. A lot will depend on which type of sales organization your company is. Here are some suggestions and considerations for the more variable qualifications we noted above.
- Education: Consider setting a base of a bachelor’s degree in business, marketing, or communication, with a Master of Business Administration (MBA) preferred for this position. For a wider applicant pool, you may add “or equivalent experience” to the education requirement, as someone with decades of sales management experience may not have the degree to match. If you consider hiring someone with less education, they need to have the experience in place to earn the respect of others on their team who may have higher educational credentials.
- Years of experience: Again, in order to be a good sales manager you need to have measurable experience in both sales and management. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the current job market shows more baseline candidates for sales manager jobs than there are openings, so don’t be afraid to increase the required experience. More experience means a longer career, and you can use this with your interview questions in discussing a candidate’s track record.
- Track record: Just because someone has been in sales management for a decade doesn’t mean they’ve got a good track record. Perhaps they moved from job to job or their existing company’s leadership didn’t push the high standards that you would. The ideal candidate will show a pattern of meeting and exceeding sales goals, effectively motivating and managing their team, and receiving recognition.
- Industry experience: There’s a mindset that “a good salesperson can sell anything!” which may, in some cases, be true. But if your industry is SaaS and you have an experienced salesperson who is still tracking sales calls on a paper notepad and using a flip phone, it’s not likely to be a good fit. Remember, their job is going to be to build relationships, and that’s done by finding common ground. If they can’t relate to the specific pain points your clients have, they won’t be as able to close a deal as someone who has sales experience in a related field.
- Leadership skills: Harvard professor and leadership expert John Kotter wrote, “The central function of management is to provide order and consistency to organizations whereas the leadership is to produce change and movement. Thus, management is about seeking order and stability; leadership is about seeking adaptive and constructive change.”
As you look at your candidates are they just going to be good sales managers who provide order and consistency or are they going to be true leaders in your organization, advocating for change and adapting to new challenges proactively? Do they have the analytical skills to see patterns and push their people to adjust their plans to meet challenges head-on? Assessing a candidate’s leadership skills can be hard because training does not equal doing when it comes to leadership. Ask tough interview questions about how they were good leaders in past ventures.
Sales Manager Job Description Templates
When advertising your sales manager position, you’ll want to use both industry-specific job boards and specific well-known websites that job seekers frequent. You can use the following templates as you start drafting your job descriptions:
- Indeed.com Sales Manager Job Description Template
- Glassdoor.com Sales Manager Job Description Template
- BetterTeam.com Sales Manager Job Description Template
Whichever template you go with, or if you decide to create your own from scratch, your job description should cover the following points:
- A description of the hiring company
- The type of role needed
- Expectations of the candidate
- The position’s exact responsibilities and duties
- Required qualifications
- Desired qualifications
- Salary structure
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