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Career Profile: Sales Director

Why Is Sales Management a Job of Tomorrow?
Retail sales are beginning to slowly increase again as customers make their way back into shopping malls. The demand for sales managers, whose primary focus is on customer satisfaction, will increase as store owners realize that good customer service can win over hesitant consumers. Employment opportunities for sales managers are expected to increase 4 percent by 2016, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Sales managers earn an average salary of $33,960 annually.

What Does a Sales Manager Do?
Sales managers are responsible for the operations of sales associates, cashiers and customer service representatives. Unlike a general supervisor, whose main duty is to manage workers and not focus on future strategy sales planning, sales managers supervise workers and also take on other responsibilities as well. For example, in a retail environment, sales managers handle customer complaints and concerns, budgeting and accounting. They may consult with other department heads on methods of increasing sales, such as changing the store displays, and assign jobs to employees. Sales managers also interview and train new hires. In a non-retail setting, sales managers coordinate the activities of other workers, prepare and enforce budgets, analyze sales contracts and make personnel decisions. Examples of non-retail sales management industries include insurance sales, financial services and Internet services. Whether in a retail or non-retail industry, sales managers have the common goal of striving for customer satisfaction and a smoothly operating business.

What Kind of Training Do I Need to Become a Sales Manager?
There are no formal education requirements for sales managers. However, those who hold a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts, business or management are more likely to advance to a higher position than those without one. A bachelor’s takes four years to earn, and the courses covered depend on the student’s specific field of study. Training is usually provided on the job site and can last anywhere from a week to a year, depending on the employer.

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