Sales managers supervise the customer service and delivery of products, as well as generate more customers for the products and items being sold. These sales workers eye prospective customers for future sales leads and oversee the sales activity of their companies. Students in associate's and bachelor's degree programs in sales or business management must complete general education courses as well as courses that give them a solid foundation in business principles and practices. An internship may also be required. Students in a Master of Business Administration (MBA) program often have the option of choosing a concentration in sales management. Students may also have the option to choose electives that mesh with their career goals.
To be admitted to an associate or bachelor's level program, students should have their high school diploma or equivalent. Associate's programs take 2 years to complete, while students can expect to spend 4 years in a bachelor's program. A bachelor's degree is required for admission to a master's program, which typically is comprised of 30 credit hours.
Associate Degree in Sales Management
Associate degree programs in sales management teach students the basic sales theories and concepts in customer service and sales markets. This program primes students for entry-level positions in sales, as well as to begin their education at the bachelor's level. In addition to general education requirements in English, math and sciences, students complete coursework in human relations, computer applications, marketing and workplace management. Other topics covered include:
- Effective business presentations
- Customer service
- Sales and sales management
- Financial accounting
Bachelor's Degree in Business Management
Bachelor's degree programs in sales or business management give students the tools needed to excel in several areas of business expertise. Coursework specializes in accounting, sales and management, finance and sales management. Students are trained in building clientele, leading sales representatives, assigning locations and improving sales performance, as well as leadership and strategic planning. The curriculum includes liberal arts courses in psychology, humanities and mathematics. Students also complete management specific coursework in operations management, team collaboration and ethics. Other classes may incorporate:
- Strategic staffing
- Master planning
- Change management
- Meetings and events management
- Business systems analysis
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Master's Degree in Business Administration
Students can develop their sales management skills further by enrolling in a master's degree program in business administration with a concentration in sales management. The coursework educates future business leaders on communicating with other business partners, planning finances and developing a working business plan. The program trains students in ways to improve sales management through computer technology, as well as organize strategic objectives. Students are enrolled in courses that focus on the practices, methods and ethical laws centering on business administration. Classes also provide advanced insight into selecting sales teams, as well as building and managing buyer relationships. Other subjects covered in the programs include:
- Fiscal resources management
- Managerial communications
- Group management skills
- Politics of leadership
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the projected growth for sales managers will be fast as average at 5% from 2014-2024 (www.bls.gov). The BLS listed average annual wages of $130,400 for sales managers as of May 2015.
Popular Career Options
Bachelor's program graduates have the theoretical knowledge and practical expertise for supervisory positions in business, government or retail, while graduates of a master's degree program have the advanced sales knowledge and experience to compete for high-ranking positions within sales companies and businesses. Popular career titles within sales may include:
- Division manager
- Sales manager
- Sales and marketing vice president
- Sales coordinator
The American Management Association offers seminars and training programs for sales managers to update their credentials and uncover advanced sales techniques. Seminars introduce topics in sales management, social media and sales tools. These seminars are designed for newly appointed sales managers, as well as experienced professionals.
Sales management is a very lucrative field that can be accessed more easily if an individual obtains a degree in business management related field. A student's specific interests and career goals will help them select the proper education path.