Sales manager

lead sales representative
Support

Career outlook for

Figures and forecasts for roles at the same level, which require similar skills and qualifications.

Average UK salary

Currently employed in Scotland

Jobs forecast

This information is supplied by LMI For All, where data is currently available for Scotland.

What's it like?

You would organise, coach and lead a team of sales representatives to work towards agreed sales targets.

You would be responsible for a team of sales representatives who are selling a product or service. You may specialise in a field such as business to business sales. You may also be the area manager for sales across a set area or sales patch.

You would:

  • Hire and train sales staff
  • Allocate areas to sales reps
  • Develop sales strategies and set sales targets
  • Check on the team’s performance and push them to reach targets
  • Give feedback and coaching to team members
  • Gather and analyse sales figures
  • Collect customer feedback and market research
  • Report back to senior managers
  • Keep up to date with products and competitors

In some jobs you may also handle some major customer accounts yourself, or you may be involved with marketing as well as sales.

Working conditions

Hours

You would usually work standard office hours, 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. Visits to customers and sales staff may often make your working day longer.

Environment

You would usually be based in an office but would also spend time travelling.

Travel

You may need to attend conferences, trade fairs and exhibitions which could involve working in the evening and at the weekend. This could involve spending time abroad. You may be expected to have a full driving licence.

UK employment status

Full-time

Part-time

Self employed

Here are some of the skills that people in this job would be most likely to have:

  • Communicating with people
  • Explaining things
  • Working as part of a team
  • Persuading people
  • Taking the lead
  • Using computers
  • Budgeting
  • Planning and organising

Build your skills

Your skills can help you choose the career that’s right for you. You can build your skills through work, study or activities you do in your spare time.

To understand more, have a look at what are my skills?

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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you’ll need.

Qualifications

There is no single entry route to this profession but previous sales experience, product knowledge and the ability to meet targets is often essential.

Many employers look for a Higher National Certificate (SCQF level 7), a Higher National Diploma (SCQF level 8) or a degree (SCQF level 9/10) in areas such as retail or business management.

You can enter a Higher National Diploma in Retail Management (SCQF level 8) with National 4/5 qualifications and one to two Highers or equivalent qualifications. 

To enter a degree in Retail Management or Marketing (SCQF level 9/10) usually requires National 5 qualifications and a minimum of four Highers at B or above or a relevant HNC/HND.

Employers also value relevant work-based experience and qualifications such as a Scottish Vocational Qualifications in Retail (SVQ level 2/3). 

Useful subjects

  • English (required by most employers)
  • Maths (required by most employers)
  • Social studies subjects such as psychology
  • Administrative subjects
  • ICT subjects
  • Business subjects such as business management
  • Design subjects such as fashion and textile technology or design and manufacture

You will also need

You will also need a driving licence for some jobs.

Helpful to have

Qualifications and experience in customer services and sales such as Skills for Work Retailing (SCFQ level 5) may also be of value when applying to courses or entry level sales jobs.

Once in a job you can work towards relevant qualifications such as a Scottish Vocational Qualification in Retail: Management (SVQ level 3) or Institute of Sales and Marketing Management (ISMM) management qualifications.