Careers in Sales Management

Most commercial businesses derive the majority of their profit from the net sales of products and services. A given company’s sales market, then, will inevitably be very large and very complex, with hundreds of initiatives, strategies, and employees all trying to drive sales up. Managers of sales operations are crucial to the success and profitability of a company, and are responsible for supervising the sales staff, setting goals, developing training, analyzing sales statistics, and other related duties.

Because sales is such an integral part of so many businesses, the job outlook is positive and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts 12% growth over the next decade. Sales managers may also enjoy fairly generous salaries – the median annual salary for sales managers was $98,530 in May 2010, according to the BLS. However, your actual salary may vary, depending on your employer.

Required Education for Sales Management

The nature of sales management generally requires that managers hold at least a bachelor’s degree, usually in business administration, as well as possess extensive experience in sales, usually as a representative. However, there is room for exception on both ends – some sales managers have master’s degrees, while others don’t even have a bachelor’s, substituting work experience for education.

Understanding theoretic economic and management principles is greatly beneficial for sales managers, in addition to a broad foundation in accounting, finance, statistics, business law, and marketing, all of which are included as part of the sales management curriculum. Students will learn essential skills, such as collecting and interpreting sales figures to determine future strategies, and managing and training employees.

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