Sales Director

Sales Director Job Information

Sales Directors oversee all sales activities carried out by the sales team, strategically plan and introduce new products and services, and ensure the business maintains top-notch customer service. They inspire the sales team and make sure they achieve anticipated sales targets.

What Does a Sales Director Do?

Depending on the company and the sector the sales director works in, specific duties may vary but often include:

  • Energize and inspire the sales team
  • Push their own deals over the finish line
  • Prepare sales reports, verify their accuracy, and submit them.
  • Set monthly, quarterly, and annual sales targets and ensure they are being met.
  • Create strategic plans to meet sales targets and increase the consumer base.
  • Report targets and strategic plans to upper management,
  • Evaluate industry trends and the competitive environment to help improve the sales program.
  • Implement a sales orientation and training program to educate new hires.
  • Create a referral network with local or regional companies and look for ways to take advantage of those connections.

What Skills Does a Sales Director Need?

To be successful in their position, Sales Directors must possess both hard and soft talents to varying degrees. The following are some of the expected abilities needed for a sales director position:

Leadership – Leadership is the ability to inspire, support, and guide teams and employees to carry out their duties effectively and efficiently. Sales managers must successfully and positively guide their personnel toward success.

Communication – Sales Directors must possess outstanding verbal, nonverbal, and written communication skills. They must be able to listen actively, observe, and empathize with both employees and management, and be able to convey expectations, receive input, and provide appropriate feedback.

Business Development Expertise – Business development expertise entails the capacity to assess the performance and policies of business entities and spot opportunities for improvement. To continue to increase sales and build a broader customer base, Sales Directors must continually assess the performance and goals of the business, staff, and themselves.

Problem-Solving and Critical Thinking – A Sales Director needs to have the ability to apply knowledge, facts, statistics, and reasoning to offer solutions to business and sales issues. Sales directors frequently find themselves in high-stress, time-sensitive situations, so they must be able to think quickly and react appropriately.

Technology Proficiency – Technology proficiency includes understanding both software and network systems. The duties of a Sales Director will often require knowledge of the complete Microsoft Office suite, SaaS software, cloud computing, business-specific ERP software, and Salesforce technology.

Time Management Skills – This is the ability to balance and prioritize tasks to allow you to finish your work quickly and efficiently while maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Because much of a Sales Director’s take requires a certain amount of multitasking, they must be able to prioritize their duties and distribute work as appropriate.

What Is a Sales Director’s Work Environment Like?

Unsurprisingly, Sales Directors spend most of their days in a full-time office environment. However, they may also spend a part of the day on the sales floor with their teams or visiting other departments to help stay abreast of new products, upgrades, and other business developments. Occasionally, they may even operate in the field, meeting key customers in person to close deals.

A Sales Director tends to work a standard Monday to Friday business hour schedule but may occasionally work on some weekends or evenings depending on the business or if they are attending off-site functions such as conferences or conventions.

Sales Directors are almost always salaried employees, and many work more than 40 hours per week—not including possible travel.

What Is the Average Salary of a Sales Director

As a salaried employee who may be expected to work over 40 hours a week plus possible travel, the average Sales Director’s salary in the United States is approximately $187,000 as of mid-2022. Still, the range typically falls between about $164,000 and $214,000 annually.

Salary ranges can vary widely depending on many important factors, including education, certifications, sales region, company location, industry type, skill set, and years spent in the profession.

Requirements To Become a Sales Director

Depending on the industry and size of the organization, there may be particular prerequisites needed to become a sales director, such as:

Education – It’s highly recommended that a Sales Director candidate possess a bachelor’s degree in business administration, marketing, communications, or a closely related discipline. While it’s possible to get this position based solely on extensive experience and proven success, most recruiters will require a degree from an accredited school. A Masters in Business Administration (MBA) will tend to put the candidate in an even more favorable position.

Training – Sales Directors frequently require a proven track record of at least seven to ten years in a relevant position, such as an Account Executive, Account Manager, or Director of Sales and Marketing. In addition to prior experience, Sales Directors frequently undergo further company training to hone their management and leadership abilities, learn crucial systems and technologies, enhance their communication skills, prioritize and delegate tasks, and inspire, encourage, and give feedback to their teams. This additional training is often provided to Sales Directors as part of the onboarding process for their new position.

Certifications – There are several certification programs available to Sales Directors. While they are not absolutely required to acquire a job or develop your career, they are, nonetheless, useful to have. Certifications allow you to document your talents and credentials to current and future employers. The following are common certifications obtained by current and potential Sales Directors:

  • National Association of Sales Professionals (NASP) – The Certified Professional Sales Person (CPSP) and Certified Professional Sales Leader (CPSL) credentials are provided by the National Association of Sales Professionals (NASP). The CPSP and CPSL certificates are based on The 45-Day Challenge series, which combines practical behavioral training with tried-and-true daily conditioning to help you become an exceptional sales professional or sales leader.
  • Sales Management Association – The Certified Sales Leadership Professional (CSLP) and Certified Sales Operations Professional (CSOP) qualifications are available from the Sales Management Association.
  • Salesforce – One of the top customer relationship management (CRM) platforms utilized by businesses across various sectors is Salesforce. The Salesforce certification demonstrates that you have the expertise and understanding of the CRM skills required for an executive-level position.
  • AIPMM Certified Brand Manager – The Certified Brand Manager certification is provided by the Association of International Product Marketing and Management (AIPMM). Candidates for this certification learn how to maximize brand equity and value as well as customer relationship management. This certification is excellent for demonstrating to employers that you are knowledgeable about brand management.
  • Certificate in Analytical Skills – Hiring managers are always looking for executives with good analytical abilities. The American Management Association (AMA) offers three levels of analytical skills certificates.
  • Google Certifications – Google offers several certification programs, including Google Analytics and Google AdWords. When doing demographic analysis and enhancing search engine optimization and digital advertising, a firm grasp of Google Analytics and AdWords is essential.

Becoming a Sales Director

A mix of education and appropriate professional experience is essential to acquiring the position of Sales Director. Many Sales Directors advance to their present employers’ executive-level positions through promotions. Just the same, consider the following a checklist for achieving the goal of becoming a Sales Director:

  1. Obtain degree – Sales Directors should have a bachelor’s degree in business, marketing, communications, or a related profession. Many companies prefer MBA-holders.
  2. Gain experience – If your school offers internship opportunities, you should try to take part. Internships help you get crucial sales and management experience. Many businesses prefer applicants with 3-5 years of managerial experience and 10+ years of sales experience.
  3. Demonstrate proven skills – Many sales directors are promoted from inside the company, so it’s crucial to show your leadership and management qualities early on. Use your current position to show you are organized, can accomplish your work, demonstrate good attendance, be a problem solver, and make proactive decisions.
  4. Make your intentions clear to management – Express your desire to become a Sales Director. Discuss your function and contributions to the company with senior management and ask them how you can improve your Sales Director skills.
  5. Have positive relationships with colleagues– Sales directors must maintain good relationships with the people they hope to one day motivate, lead, and provide feedback to. Use your current role to show your employer your communication skills and professional demeanor.
  6. Be certified – Certifications aren’t essential, but they can help you stand out to hiring managers.

Being a Sales Director Is Within Your Reach

Sales Directors supervise every sales activity the sales team engages in. They serve as the head and nervous system of any business’s sales department. They need to be able to strategically develop and launch new products and services, ensure that the company continues to provide excellent customer service, motivate the sales team, and ensure that the sales team meets its predetermined sales goals.

This takes knowledge, experience, and confidence in one’s own abilities. With proper preparation and experience, becoming a Sales Director is a worthy and rewarding goal.

If you are a technology company looking for a new Sales Director to join your team or are looking for a new sales career opportunity, let Rainmakers help! Sign-up now to get started.

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