A sales manager is responsible for the sales performance of a company, a department or a specific group of sales staff. The remit of the role can be defined by geography, specific skills or specific products.
While sales manager recruitment agencies don't report a clearly defined path into employment - as employers often develop their own approaches to recruitment according to the specific requirements of their business - the majority of them have worked their way up to the position, often from a position as a sales executive. Recruitment agencies are usually looking for candidates with proven sales skills, the ability to lead by example and excellent communications techniques. There may also be a requirement that sales managers have qualifications specific to their sales discipline.
Business to consumer sales includes the fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) sector, which is where the majority of employment can be found in the UK. Companies such as Kraft Foods, Coca Cola and British Imperial Tobacco are always recruiting talented personnel either directly or through a recruitment agency covering sales managers. The business to business sector has struggled in recent years, but a recent upturn in the economy has resulted in an increasing number of vacancies with companies such as HSBC Bank and Procter & Gamble.
The job of a sales manager usually requires some travel, so candidates must be prepared to spend time away from home. Excellent communication and delegation skills are required to succeed in the role, as well as the ability to performance manage sales executives. Candidates with proven track records in delivering results, extensive experience in their chosen field and a desire to meet targets are reported to earn anything between £40,000 and £120,000 in the UK by sales and management recruitment agencies. However, there is usually the opportunity to increase earnings through performance-related bonus schemes.