Sales manager: job description + 8 critical skills

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Sales manager: job description + 8 critical skills

sales manager job description and 8 critical skills

Finding the right person to lead your sales team – those directly responsible for generating revenue for your company – is no small feat.

Your sales manager drives new business, manages key relationships, and trains the sales team to achieve the best outcomes, which means you can’t afford to make a substandard hire, much less a bad hire. 

Hiring the best person for the job starts with your sales manager job description and a comprehensive understanding of the skills they’ll need to execute the role effectively.

We’ve put together this guide to help you craft the best sales manager job description to attract top talent and provide an overview of eight critical skills every sales manager needs. 

How to write a sales manager job description

Writing a good sales manager job description is not just about capturing potential candidates’ attention; it’s more importantly about attracting the right candidates’ attention. 

With this in mind, we’ve put together this sales manager job description template to help you structure your job description properly and ensure you include everything you need to attract the ideal candidates for the role. 

what should i include in a sales manage job description

Here’s what you need to include:

1. A well-defined job title 

Forget “sales ninja” and “sales rockstar” – keep the job title simple and accurate. Nobody is searching for these types of buzzwords, and using them will potentially lose you top talent. 

Make sure your job title provides enough information about the role to entice people to apply. For example, specify whether the role is B2C or B2B-based, which country/region the role covers, and the industry of your organization.

Here’s a simple, direct sales manager job title to get you started:  Sales Manager (EMEA), B2B Automotive Brands 

2. A brief but compelling introduction to your company

Your “about us” section should outline what your company does, your business’s goals, the sector or industry, and your company culture and ideals. 

For example:

As a rapidly growing international company, we work tirelessly to give customers the best driving experiences possible.

Our ambition is to apply the quality and innovation embedded in our everyday work lives to set new standards and take the lead in the market. As a global business operating in diverse markets, we are committed to attracting, developing, and retaining talent that reflects the communities we serve.

3. An overview of the role

No two businesses have the same needs, and no two sales manager positions are the same. Provide a brief outline detailing your expectations of the role and what the sales manager position will entail at your company. 

For example:

We are looking for an outstanding sales manager to help us create and move deals through the pipeline, add new clients in the EMEA region, and have full revenue responsibility.

This role will handle both outbound and inbound leads for potential customers, be responsible for leading a team of 15 sales associates, and help us develop our overall EMEA business development strategy.

4. The sales managers’ duties and responsibilities 

The section outlining your sales manager's responsibilities and duties is incredibly important. Applicants need to know precisely what the role entails before applying, especially since the sales manager role differs significantly from company to company. 

What would their day-to-day life look like at your company? Are there any unusual or unique sales manager duties you’d expect them to perform? 

5. The skills, experience, and qualifications required for the role

Of course, any sales manager job description needs a list of the skills, experience, and qualifications required for the role. This list sets your expectations from the start and helps potential applicants determine whether they qualify for the role. 

For example, if your ideal candidate needs to be a Hubspot CRM whizz, have outside sales experience, or only a rudimentary understanding of Salesforce CRM, make sure you list these requirements upfront to avoid underqualified individuals from applying. 

6. Information on the company’s location and working hours 

As well as your company’s location, potential candidates want to know your stance on remote work and hybrid/flexible working arrangements, whether the successful candidate will be required to travel for business or work in the field, and your standard working hours.

7. Details about compensation, job perks, and benefits 

This section gives you a chance to highlight the perks of working for your company and provides your candidates with an idea of whether you meet their salary and compensation expectations. Detailing your perks and benefits also helps you stand out from your competition. 

8. Information about the application and hiring process 

An overview of your application and hiring processes gives candidates an idea of what they can expect from your assessment processes through to the interview stage.

You should also be upfront about any pre-employment assessments you might ask candidates to take. 

The 8 critical skills every sales manager needs

Now you know how to write a thorough sales manager job description, let’s take a look at what skills the ideal candidate should have to help your company succeed. 

critical skills every sales manager needs part 1

1. Leadership skills 

Leadership and people management are a big part of any sales manager role. As well as empowering and motivating the sales team, the best sales managers also take the initiative and guide their teams to reach the best outcomes. 

2. Communication skills

Sales managers spend most of their time talking to and dealing with a variety of stakeholders. The ability to collaborate and communicate in different contexts and mediums is a key skill, alongside active listening and empathy, for sales managers. 

3. Ability to coach, train, and motivate salespeople

Sales managers should be able to identify their team members’ strengths and any areas of opportunity to grow. They need to adapt to each salesperson’s learning style and provide them with the appropriate resources to help them develop. They should also be able to steer them in the right direction, encouraging and inspiring their team to hit their goals in the face of adversity. 

These skills not only help bolster the success of the sales team but also speed up the sales cycle, improve the team’s knowledge of what they’re selling, and reduce employee turnover

4. Strategic sales planning skills 

The ability to develop a clear sales plan for associates that details processes, scripts, templates, and ongoing training is an essential sales manager skill.

On top of this, the ideal candidate will be able to implement such a plan seamlessly, ensure that the entire team is following it, and know when to make changes. 

critical skills for sales managers part 2

5. Forecast sales results and analyze sales data

The ability to create in-depth reports that predict how well the team and company will perform weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annually is another key sales manager skill.

They’ll need to be comfortable using past performance data to create forecasts and analyzing sales data to identify weak spots and bottlenecks in sales processes. 

6. Negotiation skills  

Negotiation skills make up a large part of most sales manager roles. A sales manager worth their salt will be able to control and drive discussions, effect positive outcomes, and handle a variety of potentially high-pressure situations with humility, tact, and sensitivity. 

7. Organizational skills

A sales manager’s daily activities and priorities often change quickly, so they always need to be on the ball, remain highly organized, and have a keen eye for detail.

Between forecasting, planning, and selling, they’ll also need to find time to conduct comprehensive training and coaching for the entire sales team. 

8. Ability to delegate efficiently

Delegation is key to a successful sales team, and a good sales manager will know when to delegate tasks to their sales reps. They recognize that trying to do everything themselves will lead to lower efficiency and productivity losses. 

Identify the best sales managers with a pre-employment screening assessment 

A well-formulated sales manager job description and an understanding of key sales manager skills is a great start. But these can only get you so far when it comes to hiring the best available talent. 

Even the best job descriptions will attract unsuitable applicants; that’s why you need to incorporate skills testing into your hiring processes.

Role-specific tests, like TestGorilla’s Outside Sales (B2B) test, evaluate candidates’ skills in qualifying leads, managing opportunities, and closing sales to help you filter out those who don’t meet your requirements.   

With TestGorilla, you can rank each applicant by skill level, saving you from sifting through hundreds of resumes just to find a handful of potential hires. This streamlines the hiring process from the very beginning, meaning you can hire and onboard the perfect candidate quicker than ever. 

Ready to start hiring the best sales manager for your organization?

Get started with sales manager skills tests today by registering for a free TestGorilla plan.

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