An international sales manager is someone who is in charge of a company's sales outside of his country. International sales managers work for everything from large corporations to small businesses, developing strategies, establishing goals and creating sales pitches to expand and maintain accounts. They also often hire, train and direct a staff of salespersons.
International sales managers spend much of their time traveling outside the country to meet with old clients and to obtain new ones. Oftentimes, they must demonstrate products and services, negotiating costs and offering special deals. Some even work in another country. Many receive a base salary, along with a commission based on what they have sold. On top of helping to earn income for their company, international sales managers are responsible for scheduling and motivating the rest of their sales force.
International sales managers must not only possess excellent communications skills, they often need to know a foreign language, enabling them to relay vital information about their merchandise around the globe. They should be professional, polite, confident and persistent. They also need to possess the stamina needed for travel and the leadership skills to delegate and organize a staff. International sales managers likely must own basic math and computer skills necessary for keeping track of accounts.
Most international sales managers need at least a bachelor's degree in marketing, with an emphasis on courses in advertising, business, administration, economics, communications and perhaps foreign language. Many also need to have spent time as members of the sales department, usually the international force. Others have worked in either the advertising or marketing departments. At the very least, international sales managers should have a successful sales record, strong work ethic and proven ability to lead.
Jobs for sales managers should be abundant during the next decade, with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projecting a 15-percent growth through 2018. That's a faster than average rate for all occupations. While those numbers aren't exclusive to international sales managers, their prospects are likely to increase at a similar rate to the rest of the industry.
Because international sales managers are paid largely by success, as well as the success of their team, much of what they earn is entirely up to them. That said, some are among the highest earners in the country. According to PayScale, international sales managers made anywhere from nearly $62,000 to more than $121,000 per year in April 2010.
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