How to Become a Sales Coordinator: Education and Career Roadmap

Learn how to become a sales coordinator. Research the education requirements, training, licensure information and experience you'll need to start a career as a sales coordinator. View article »

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  • 0:00 Should I Be a Sales…
  • 0:34 Career Requirements
  • 1:08 Steps to Be a Sales…

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Video Transcript

Should I Be a Sales Coordinator?

A sales coordinator, sometimes called a sales manager, coordinates the flow of products or services to the consumer. He or she divides sales territories among sales team members, sets sales goals, and arranges training sessions for sales representatives. A sales coordinator also develops good relationships with product distributors and maintains inventory requirements. Travel is generally required, and a high level of stress is innate in this occupation due to the responsibilities involved.

Career Requirements

Degree Level Generally have bachelor's degrees, and some sales also have master's degrees
Degree Field(s) Business, marketing, or related fields
Licensure and/or Certification Optional certification available from Sales and Marketing Executives International (SMEI)
Experience Typically 1-5 years
Key Skills Analytical, communication, customer service, and managerial skills; proficiency in software programs such as those related to customer relationship management CRM, database user interface, and query software, calendar and scheduling
Salary (2016) $40,393 (Median annual salary for sales coordinators)

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Job postings, Sales and Marketing Executives International, O Net Online, Payscale.com

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Steps to Be a Sales Coordinator

How can I become a sales coordinator?

Step 1: Complete a Bachelor's Degree Program

Though not a requirement, many employers choose sales coordinators who hold at least a bachelor's degree with a concentration in business, sales, or marketing. The curriculum should include classes in economics, business law, finance, and statistics. Some programs include classes in consumer behavior and marketing research.

While you're in college, complete a student internship. Many schools and universities offer a student internship in sales or marketing. While not required, internships offer many benefits. Students get hands-on experience in sales and marketing while gaining maturity, inside knowledge of how an organization works, and an introductory work history. Internships also offer networking opportunities.

Step 2: Get an Entry-level Job in Sales

Most potential employers require sales coordinators to have 1 to 5 years of experience working in a sales environment. Many entry-level sales positions offer on-the-job training under an experienced sales coordinator who provides one-on-one instruction.

Entry-level sales agents may also have the opportunity to attend formal training sessions. Sales agents who show leadership potential and strong marketing skills may eventually be promoted to higher positions in the field. The speed of career advancement may depend on the size of the company in which the sales agent works.

As soon as possible, join a professional organization. Some professional organizations, such as SMEI, offer continuing education seminars, conferences and networking opportunities for sales professionals. Participation in such educational and networking activities may increase the career potential and expertise of an entry-level sales professional seeking to advance.

Step 3: Consider Completing a Master's Degree Program

Completion of a master's degree program in marketing or business may give sales coordinator candidates a competitive edge. Some programs offer students recruitment opportunities by large companies throughout the country. While a master's degree is not mandatory for a sales coordinator position, earning such a degree may make a student more competitive with other individuals in the field who have earned a graduate degree.

You will want to consider participating in research projects. Students working towards a master's degree may choose to participate in advanced research projects. These projects may offer opportunities to develop creativity and analytical skills. They may also provide the student with opportunities to network with sales professionals.

Step 4: Get a Sales Coordinator Job

A sales coordinator has many opportunities for employment. Most large firms, including manufacturing, distribution, services, retail, and insurance firms all employ sales coordinators. Many firms prefer to promote in-house sales representatives with a track record of success to a sales coordinator position. Candidates usually receive some on-the-job training for advancement to the coordinator position.

Step 5: Get Certified

Certification is relatively new but may be beneficial for career advancement. One opportunity for certification is available through the SMEI, which offers the Certified Sales Executive designation. Earning certification can signify competency and professionalism. Candidates are usually required to be employed as sales coordinators and pass an examination. Certification is generally a measure of a sales coordinator's knowledge of the core areas of the profession, including management, personnel, sales, and ethics.

Sales coordinators are expected to be good communicators with customer service, analytical, and software skills appropriate for their positions. They usually have at least bachelor's degrees and sometimes master's degrees and they earn a median annual salary of $40,393.

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