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Global Sales Manager: Employment & Career Info

Global sales managers coordinate sales efforts for companies that conduct business in the international marketplace. They may supervise sales teams, generate new business, make presentations and build client relationships in the U.S. and abroad. Keep reading to learn about the training requirements, duties, salary and employment outlook to see if this occupation is the right one for you.

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Career Definition for a Global Sales Manager

Global sales managers oversee sales operations for companies that do business internationally. While they are often based in the U.S., their sales territories typically span the globe, often including domestic and global markets. They may generate sales leads, build and maintain client relationships, make presentations, write sales proposals and be the main point of contact for customers located around the world.

Depending on the size of the company for which they work, global sales managers may report to a director or vice president and lead sales teams based in the U.S. and abroad. Travel is often a key component of this job, with some global sales managers spending as much as two-thirds of their work hours on the road. They are employed in industries ranging from hospitality to manufacturing.

Education Bachelor's or master's degree in business or related field required, sales experience also important
Job Skills Customer service, communication, flexibility, computer skills
Median Salary (2015)* $113,860 for sales managers
Job Growth (2014-2024)* 5% for sales managers

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

Global sales managers often have a bachelor's or master's degree in business or a field related to the industry in which they work; however, sales experience can be equally important for many employers. Coursework in international trade, economics and foreign languages may improve job prospects. Global Sales Certification is available through the National Association of Sales Professionals (NASP).

Essential Skills

Global sales management requires excellent communication, sales and customer service skills, in addition to managerial and leadership ability. Multiple language skills are often required, and managers must also have in-depth knowledge of foreign trade regulations and the global economy. Global sales managers must be flexible and able to remain organized while on the road, often managing sales teams and contacting customers from remote locations. They must have excellent computer and Internet skills and be proficient in word processing and spreadsheet programs.

Financial Forecast and Career Outlook

The BLS predicts an 5% growth in job opportunities for sales managers during the 2014-2024 period; however, growth in global sales management may be affected by continued volatility in the global economy. In addition, compensation for sales positions can vary significantly by industry and bonus structures. The BLS reported in May 2015 that the median expected annual salary for a sales manager in the United States was $113,860.

Alternate Career Options

Here are some other career choices in management and marketing:

Marketing Manager

Often having a bachelor's degree in a field such as journalism or advertising, in addition to related work experience, marketing managers estimate product or services demand and identify potential markets. Faster than average employment growth of 9% was predicted for these managers by the BLS between 2014 and 2024. That same source also reported their annual median earnings as $124,850 in 2015.

Market Research Analyst

A much faster than average spike in available positions was projected for these analysts, with 19% growth expected from 2014-2024, the BLS noted. Normally earning at least a bachelor's degree in market research or a similar field, these professionals seek employment where they analyze market conditions to determine potential sales. As of May 2015, they earned an annual median salary of $62,150, according to the BLS.

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