Sales manager

lead sales representative
Retail and customer services

Career outlook for sales manager

UK Salary Ranges





Currently employed in Scotland


Salary information is provided by the "National Careers Service". "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures. Due to COVID-19 the jobs market is constantly changing. Some of the information may not reflect the current situation.

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


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.


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


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





Self employed


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  • Positive attitude
  • Cooperating
  • Verbal communication
  • Working with numbers
  • Respecting
  • Attention to detail
  • Managing resources
  • Delegating
  • Motivating others
  • Taking responsibility

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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.


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.