US News & World Report mentioned sales management jobs as one of the top choices for 2011. This position attracts the type of person who likes to be high-profile and who is comfortable with a lot of responsibility. These people are effective sales professionals looking for upward mobility, where they can motivate and educate other salespeople, not to mention hire and supervise the department. Sales managers are key problem-solvers who can effectively identify where bottlenecks exist and push people toward better efficiency. If you’re outgoing, disciplined, good with technology, and a great communicator, then sales management jobs are something to consider.
Sales management jobs are expected to grow 15 percent (by 51,800 positions) by 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Department. While a number of low-level sales positions were cut during the recession as desperate companies tried to slash costs, but the sales manager is seen as having a pivotal role in the company’s recovery. As you can imagine, competition can be fierce for sales management jobs.
Median annual wages for sales management jobs were $96,790 as of May 2009, although bonuses can add 10 percent or more onto these base salaries. The bottom 10 percent of managers earned $47,660 and the top 10 percent earned more than $166,000. The salaries paid depend upon the industry and manager’s responsibilities, not to mention the size and location of the company.
Sales management jobs are often described as “high risk, high reward” positions. Even though you have a lot of responsibility riding on your shoulders and you put in many long hours, you also work your way toward the inner echelon of the company and become a prime candidate for the highest profile jobs possible.
Sales management jobs are notoriously high-pressure and high-stress. Many professionals in this position find it challenging to just “turn off” their jobs at the end of the day, and instead, opt to stay plugged-in via cell phone to all the happenings out in the field. You need to be proactive and diplomatic, even when the going gets tough.
You will need a Master’s degree in business administration to be highly competitive in this field, but sometimes you can skate by with a Bachelor’s degree if you have the right sales experience.