Sales Manager: Job Profile and Role

As a sales manager, you are responsible for a company’s sales. To be more precise: you are in charge of selling products and services, thus winning new customers for your company. You are also tasked with staying in touch with existing customers. As a sales manager, you are responsible for your sales team. You need to be an excellent people person with outstanding communication skills. You are also required to have high organisational and analytical skills.

In fact, your work as a sales manager is also connected to your success in that job. This also influences your salary. How does that work? And how can you make sure that you absolutely excel in your sales manager’s job? In the following blog, we will show you how. We will take a closer look at a sales manager’s job description, the skills needed, the average salary and what a typical day in the life of a sales manager looks like. 

Short Summary

  • A sales manager is primarily responsible for selling products and services.
  • A sales manager is tasked with winning new customers, communicating with existing customers and liaising with co-workers and other company departments.
  • A sales manager needs to have an extended knowhow of marketing, market analysis and distribution. 

Job description

As a sales manager, you are responsible for selling products and services. This is only one part of your daily tasks. As a sales manager, you are also responsible for building up a new client base and to take care of your company’s existing customers. Furthermore, you have to have an in-depth knowledge of successful marketing strategies and have to apply this to innovative promotion and marketing campaigns. Being a sales manager also means that you have to have excellent communication and people skills. You apply these to your customers as well as to your co-workers and colleagues. As a sales manager, you will also have to be on top of everything, ranging from current sales figures to future sales and keeping an eye on trends and your competition.


  • People skills
  • Communication skills
  • Problem solving skills
  • Market understanding
  • Seeing profit increases
  • Winning new customers
  • Looking after customers
  • Developing sales strategies
  • Recognizing sellable products
  • Organizational/analytical skills

Different types of Sales Managers

  • Sales supervisor 
  • Junior sales manager
  • Branch sales manager
  • Assistant sales manager
  • Marketing staff sales manager


On average, a sales manager’s salary is between £47,800 and £150,000 annually. The salary depends on various factors, such as job experience, position in the company, promotions, location and employer. Furthermore, the salary depends on commissions and boni. The more sales a sales manager completes, the higher the annual salary. 

Working hours

Being a sales manager means long working hours. On average, a sales manager works 40 hours a week, not necessarily from 9 till 5. In fact, it is not unusual for sales managers to work in the evenings or over the weekend. This is especially true with looming deadlines and/or a new project that needs extra attention and time. Working hours may well include paid overtime as well as business meetings/trips.

Some companies may offer the possibility of working remotely, which usually is part of your average working hours.

If you decide to become a sales manager, make sure that these working hours are ok for you and figure out if you can still maintain the work-life balance that you are looking for. 


Sales managers are employed by different kinds of companies. These can range from small start-ups to small and medium-sized businesses to large companies, covering various sectors. For example, sales managers find employment in retail, the insurance and financial sector as well as in tech-driven industries. If you are looking for a job as sales manager, you may find vacancies in these sectors and further ones focusing on sales.


To become a sales manager, you have to have a degree in either business, communications or marketing studies. Most companies prefer candidates with a Bachelor’s degree or a Master’s degree in one of the mentioned studies. Applying for a sales manager job usually means that you should have at least five years working experience in this job. Applicants are also required to have strong communication and leadership skills. These are accompanied by strong analytical and organisational skills. Naturally, as a sales manager, you should also feel confident around numbers. 

The job as a sales manager could be suitable for you if you have one or more of the following qualifications:


Sales managers need a broad repertoire of soft skills in order to excel in their jobs. They need to know how to place products and services in order for them to sell. They also need to have excellent people and communication skills and the ability to think outside the box.

Knowhow of market, products and services

Being a sales manager does not only mean knowing how to sell products and services. A sales manager also needs to understand the market and the target audience. Which products and services fulfil a need? Which target audience will actually buy said products and services? In order to answer these important questions, a sales manager needs to have an excellent knowledge of marketing and marketing campaigns.

Excellent people and communication skills

A sales manager is not only tasked with selling products and services and with knowing which marketing campaign will work best. One of a sales manager’s tasks is to communicate with existing customers. A sales manager is also expected to win new customers for the company. Therefore, excellent communication skills are needed. As a sales manager, you have to know how to talk to your customers. You must be ready to answer all their questions and to make sure they have all the answers they need. You will also have to be fit in verbal and non-verbal conflict management. Because let’s face it – the sale of products and services includes emotions. And where those run high, arguments can and will occur.

Thinking outside the box

Our world is ever changing. What might have worked in selling something a few years ago might not work today. Coming up with new and innovative sales ideas and pitches is paramount for a sales manager in order to succeed. A sales manager therefore needs to be able to think outside the box – and make sure that unconventional marketing strategies pay off.

Is the sales manager job a good fit for you? Typically, a sales manager should have or develop the following skills:

Career Path

There are a few vital steps on the way to becoming a sales manager. The first one applies to your education; the next steps involve experience and learning.

Educational Background

In order to become a sales manager, first of all you will have to have a degree. You can become a sales manager by doing business studies at university.

Gaining experience

After that, it is vital for you to gain first work experience and to lead your first sales projects. If you are successful at being a sales manager, it is very likely that you will get promoted after a few years. You may well get a leading role with more responsibilities. Maybe one day, you will even be CEO or COO of the company where you started off as a junior sales manager.

Acquiring experience not only strengthens technical know-how but also promotes self-confidence, professional growth, and achievement of personal goals by opening doors to advanced career opportunities.

Continuous Learning

You may have finished your university training. But that does not mean that you are done with learning. In order to be a successful sales manager, you will have to keep on learning. This includes your product and service knowledge, your people and communication skills and the way sales work and can be improved.

A Day in the Life of a Sales Manager

If you think that a day in the life of a sales manager is dull, you could not be more wrong. It is anything but – in fact, it is filled with multiple and various tasks that will require your attention.

Liaise with your team

After that, you will likely call a staff meeting. You discuss what is on the agenda for the day. Which sales numbers will have to be achieved, are there new and exciting sales pitches that can be put into action? Those are only two questions you will answer with your team. You will also liaise with other departments, such as your bosses and the marketing people.success.

Study numbers

As a sales manager, you will have to study the important numbers, both from your own company and the competition. This will help you understand where improvements need to be made. Liaising with other departments, such as marketing, will also enable you to come up with new ideas and successful sales strategies and pitches.

Test new channels

The times of exclusively selling face to face are long gone. For lots of customers, online shopping has become the way to shop. This also affects your sales management pitches. As a sales manager, you will have to find new and innovative ways to sell your company’s products and services. It may well make sense to hire a social media expert for your team. Together, you will soon find the best ways and channels to keep your company on top of things – and on top of the competition.

Tips for Thriving as a Sales Manager

The most important tip to thrive as a sales manager is to always look for ways to be better, to improve. This does not only apply to the things you want to sell. It also applies to your colleagues, your customers and your CEOs.

  • Finding ways to improve on a professional and personal level
  • Finding ways to ensure higher sales
  • Building a strong relationship to clients and colleagues

Improving on every level

Being a sales manager means that you have to stay on top of the game and improving both on a professional and on a personal level. Additional trainings to improve the skill set are part of a sales manager’s learning curve and improvement. On a personal level, a sales manager should also strive to enhance the people and communication skills. 

Ensure higher sales

New marketing strategies such as promotions are part of a sales manager’s job description. A sales manager develops these with the team. The development usually also happens with other departments, for example the marketing department. This includes never losing focus of the market, which products sell exceptionally well and how the competition works.

Strong customer and client relationships

Being a sales manager may be dealing with immaterial things first and foremost. But a sales manager would not have a job if he or she did not interact with clients, co-workers and other departments. Building a strong relationship with all these people is another important tip on how to thrive as a sales manager.

Other jobs that are similar and might also interest you:

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does a sales manager earn?

A sales manager’s salary is between £47,800 and £150,000 per year. The salary is influenced by factors such as work experience, sales figures, commissions, promotions and location and company. It is also influenced by the sales manager position. As head of sales management, you will very likely earn a higher annual salary than an assistant sales manager.

What qualifications do I need to become a sales manager?

Your employers will usually expect a Bachelor’s degree in either business or marketing studies. A Master’s degree may further your chances of future promotions in this sector. Practical experience in the sales manager sector should also be part of your qualifications portfolio.

What is the job of a sales manager? 

The job of a sales manager is to sell products and services. In order to do that, a sales manager needs to know how the market works and which marketing strategies will help to make the company the leading business in the field. A sales manager also needs to liaise with the team, other departments and new and existing clients. Furthermore, a sales manager needs to apply strong administrative and analytical skills to the job in order to ensure high sales.