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Sales Operations Manager: Job Description & Career Requirements

Discover what type of work a sales operations manager performs. Learn about employment outlook and salary in addition to education and skill requirements to determine if this is the right career choice.

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Career Definition

Sales operations managers often have an overarching perspective of company sales strategies, departmental structure and overall revenue growth. Some sales operations managers have leadership roles within the sales team, while other managers work in an adjunct role. Managing sales processes and identifying emerging market opportunities are also major components of a sales operations manager's position. Typical duties include facilitating data review and reporting and developing sales strategies. Often a 'sales ops' manager will have some freedom to define their role within a company.

How to Become a Sales Operations Manager

Required Education

Many entry-level sales positions are open to graduates with bachelor's degrees, and individuals with the necessary traits and dedication may use these opportunities to advance toward sales operations manager positions. Applicants with a master's degree and several years of experience in the field may snag competitive positions and higher salaries in sales operations management.

Skills Needed

Sales operations managers must have advanced negotiation and sales skills. Leadership skills, familiarity with reporting and process management and effective communication skills are also needed to successfully pursue a career in sales operations management.

Career and Economic Outlook

The annual median salary for sales managers is $105,260, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), but there is a great deal of variance in salaries based on location, company and experience level. For the decade 2012-2022, the BLS expects sales manager employment to grow 8%.

Alternative Careers

Marketing Manager

Those interested in designing pricing strategies and market research endeavors at a company should consider becoming a marketing manager. Marketing managers explore what consumers are interested in, research the competition, oversee the activities of marketing staff, determine effective pricing and provide input during the development of products.

Entering this profession requires a bachelor's degree in a business field, and usually work experience in a lower position such as marketing analysis is essential. Based on BLS reports from May of 2012, approximately 180,000 marketing managers worked in the U.S. and received a median annual wage of $119,480. Job opportunities for these professionals are projected to increase by 13% during the 2012-2022 decade, as stated by the BLS.

Fundraising Manager

Also working in a type of sales position, a fundraising manager tries to convince people or businesses to support a cause or organizational activities through monetary donations. After assessing needs and exploring what fundraising procedures may be most effective, they design campaigns, organize events, talk with donors, oversee staff and fill out grant applications.

Related work experience and a bachelor's degree in fundraising, communications, or a similar field is necessary to find employment in this profession. However, some employers prefer candidates with a master's degree. CFRE International also offers the Certified Fund Raising Executive certification that may provide a competitive advantage when applying for jobs.

The BLS predicts the employment of fundraising and public relations managers will grow by 13% between 2012 and 2022, resulting in 8,000 new positions. In 2012, the BLS estimated that the median salary for fundraising managers was $95,450.

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics