A career as a sales manager can be rewarding, with generous financial benefits. However, it is not as easy as it looks. A lot more is involved than just walking around directing other staff. Sales managers must have a number of key skills to effectively do their job.
Strategic thinking means seeing a forest where others see only trees. Sales managers must have a comprehensive knowledge of what they are selling. They must have the ability to strategize; monitoring customer preferences to determine where focus should be on sales efforts and advising sales staff on how to increase turnover. Sales managers must set goals and targets for their team and use strategies to motivate and guide the team to reach its full potential.
Sales managers must have a good grasp of customer service. They need to be polite and know how to effectively communicate with customers and offer help when needed. Sales managers must be able to keep a cool head, as they frequently run into unhappy customers. They must stay calm and maintain a professional attitude under all circumstances.
It is essential for sales managers to have administrative skills as they are required to do a lot of paperwork. Sales managers are responsible for recording staff performance, keeping records of inventory and sales, preparing budgets, analyzing reports and other related data, and so forth. Sales managers must have an adequate knowledge of administration to complete these tasks.
Sales managers must be self-motivated and have good initiative. Since they are directing others, they need to be confident in their ability and know how to get the job done. Early starts may be required to ensure everything is set up and running smoothly before their sales team arrives. They must have a high level of energy and be dedicated to their job. Self-motivation is a key skill in a sales management position as you must be motivated yourself to motivate your sales team.