Becoming a sales manager can be a fulfilling career choice for individuals who enjoy leading teams and driving sales growth. Sales managers are important team members in many organizations, managing and motivating sales teams, developing sales strategies, and achieving revenue targets. This guide will outline the steps to becoming a sales manager, including education, certifications, salaries, and job opportunities.

What Is a Sales Manager?

A sales manager is a professional responsible for leading and managing a sales team within an organization. They oversee the sales process, set sales goals, and develop strategies to drive revenue growth. Typical responsibilities of a sales manager include:

  • Leading and motivating a sales team to achieve sales targets and objectives.
  • Developing and implementing sales strategies and plans to expand market reach and increase sales.
  • Setting sales goals and performance targets for individual team members.
  • Monitoring sales activities, analyzing sales data, and identifying areas for improvement.
  • Conducting regular sales meetings, training sessions, and performance evaluations.

Step 1: Complete a BBA Degree

While a specific degree is not a requirement to become a sales manager, completing a 4-year Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree can provide a valuable business education to help get things started. Consider the following aspects when pursuing a BBA degree:

  • Relevant Concentrations: Some universities offer concentrations or specializations, such as the BBA in Marketing, which provides coursework specific to sales management, consumer behavior, sales strategies, and marketing techniques.
  • Typical Curriculum: A BBA program generally covers subjects such as marketing, management, finance, economics, and business communication. These courses can help develop essential skills for a sales management career, including strategic planning, leadership, market analysis, and customer relationship management.
  • Online Program Options: If you need flexibility, consider online BBA programs offering business administration coursework and related subjects. Many hybrid programs, which provide online coursework alongside limited campus lectures, are also available. Whether you choose an online, hybrid, or traditional campus-based BBA program, ensure that it is accredited and recognized by reputable institutions. Learn more about BBA accreditation.
  • Internships and Networking: Seek internships or part-time positions in sales or marketing departments to gain practical experience and build a professional network. These opportunities can provide valuable insights into the industry and potential job prospects upon graduation.

RELATED: Find a BBA School in your area.

Step 2: Determine If You Need Any Certifications to Become a Sales Manager

Certifications may not be required for sales managers, but they are beneficial in demonstrating your expertise and showing employers your commitment to the profession. Consider the following certifications:

  • Certified Sales Professional (CSP): Offered by the Sales and Marketing Executives International (SMEI), the CSP certification validates your sales management skills and knowledge. It requires passing an examination and demonstrating experience in sales leadership.
  • Certified Professional Sales Person (CPSP): Provided by the National Association of Sales Professionals (NASP), the CPSP certification focuses on enhancing sales skills and knowledge. It covers areas such as prospecting, relationship building, negotiation, and sales strategy development.

Step 3: Learn About Sales Manager Salaries

Sales manager salaries can vary significantly based on factors such as industry, company size, location, experience, and performance. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for sales managers in $127,490 in May 2021. Factors that can influence sales manager salaries include:

  • Industry: Sales managers in industries such as finance, manufacturing, and professional services tend to earn higher salaries compared to those in retail or non-profit organizations.
  • Company Size: Sales managers in larger organizations or multinational companies may have higher earning potential due to larger sales teams and revenue targets.
  • Location: Salaries can vary based on the cost of living and demand for sales professionals in specific regions. Urban areas and regions with a strong economy often offer higher compensation.
  • Experience: Sales managers with a proven track record of success and extensive experience in the industry may command higher salaries and bonuses.

It’s essential to research industry-specific salary trends and consult reliable sources such as the BLS or industry associations to obtain accurate salary information for your desired location and sector.

Step 4: Find a Job as a Sales Manager

Sales managers can work in various business industries and organizations, including:

  • Retail: Sales managers in retail oversee sales activities in stores, managing sales teams and implementing strategies to maximize revenue.
  • B2B Sales: Business-to-business sales managers focus on selling products or services to other companies. They develop relationships with key clients, negotiate contracts, and coordinate sales efforts.
  • Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices: Sales managers in the healthcare industry manage sales teams that promote and sell pharmaceuticals, medical devices, or equipment to healthcare professionals.
  • Manufacturing: Sales managers in manufacturing companies handle sales of products to distributors, wholesalers, or directly to customers. They may manage regional or national sales teams.
  • Technology: Sales managers in the technology sector oversee the sales of software, hardware, or IT services. They work closely with clients to identify their needs and develop tailored solutions.

To find job opportunities as a sales manager, utilize various strategies:

  • Networking: Leverage your professional network, attend industry events, and connect with sales professionals and recruiters on platforms like LinkedIn.
  • Online Job Boards: Explore job boards and industry-specific websites advertising sales management positions.
  • Company Websites: Check the career pages of companies you are interested in to find job openings for sales managers.
  • Recruitment Agencies: Consider working with recruitment agencies specializing in sales or executive positions, as they can provide access to exclusive job opportunities.

EXPLORE MORE: Learn about other BBA Career options.

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