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 (2018)*||$124,220 for sales managers|
|Job Growth (2016-2026)*||7% for sales managers|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
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).
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 7% growth in job opportunities for sales managers during the 2016-2026 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 2018 that the median expected annual salary for a sales manager in the United States was $124,220.
Alternate Career Options
Here are some other career choices in management and marketing:
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 10% was predicted for these managers by the BLS between 2016 and 2026. That same source also reported their annual median earnings as $134,290 in 2018.
Market Research Analyst
A much faster than average spike in available positions was projected for these analysts, with 23% growth expected from 2016-2026, 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 2018, they earned an annual median salary of $63,120, according to the BLS.