A sales director is typically responsible for a team of sales staff on either a nationwide or regional basis. The role involves managing the performance of sales teams in order to meet the revenue targets of a commercial organisation.
While there are some exceptions - particularly in technical sectors - most sales directors have worked their way through the sales ranks of various organisations. Having achieved sales targets on a consistent basis, they gradually take on more responsibility until they are elevated to the senior position of director. While many recruitment agencies list a relevant degree as an essential qualification, experience and a demonstrable track record of sales achievement is just as important. Specific sales qualifications that can boost employment chances include the Advanced Certificate in Sales Management and the Level 6 Executive Diploma in Strategic Sales and Account Management.
Planning skills and the ability to influence others are essential attributes for sales director applicants. While most sales directors are based centrally, there is often a great deal of travel involved, so an acceptance of irregular and long working hours is also essential. Employment in this senior role also requires an eye for detail, the ability to performance manage field sales personnel and the ability to manage substantial budgets according to the priorities of the business.
Sales director roles currently exist in every sector, including retail, manufacturing and IT. Among the thousands of significant employers are companies such as Vauxhall Motors, GlaxoSmithKline and Oxfam, as well as hundreds of smaller organisations throughout the UK. Salaries of up to £150,000 are not unheard of for this role, but they are typically anything between £50,000 and £100,000 - depending on an applicant's track record of success and specific knowledge of the industry. Moreover, generous bonus schemes - based on sales performance - can boost salaries significantly.