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Advancement Opportunities for Sales Managers

Jul 17, 2018

Sales managers play an important role in businesses. They may wish to consider advancing to top executive roles such as a director of analytics, vice president of sales, marketing manager, or CEO.

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Career Growth Opportunities for Sales Managers

Sales managers are responsible for the work of sales teams within businesses. They might prepare budgets, train new sales representatives, and assign territories and goals to salespeople. After working as a sales manager, some professionals may wish to grow their career prospects. By using the experience they've gained in sales and possibly completing additional education, these managers may expand to other types of leadership positions.

Job Title Median Salary Job Growth (2016-2026)** Education or Experience
Director of Analytics $125,346 (2018)** 23% (market research analysts) Master's degree and experience
Vice President, Sales $137,756 (2018)** 8% (top executives) Sales management experience
Marketing Managers $132,230 (2017)* 10% Experience
Chief Executive Officer $183,270 (2017)* -4% Extensive experience

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), **PayScale

Career Information

Director of Analytics

As a sales manager, professionals must be knowledgeable about the market and customer demand. These skills could translate into a role as a director of analytics. These professionals supervise teams that collect and analyze data regarding what customers are looking for and how competitors are functioning in the market. They must create forecasts and then prepare reports, tables, and graphs. Frequent collaboration to share this information with management will be required. Candidates for a position as a director of analytics will be most competitive with a master's degree in mathematics or statistics, along with managerial and analytic experience.

Vice President, Sales

Some sales managers may aspire to an upper-level executive position in their companies. They might prepare for a position as a vice president of sales. The vice president of sales typically reports directly to the board of directors or CEO of a company and has supervisory responsibility for the sales managers. A vice president of sales will work to develop an overall sales plan for a company and then oversee the implementation of this plan. They typically take responsibility for a large region, or for the national sales strategy of the company. They work collaboratively with marketing professionals to be sure that a consistent message is portrayed to customers in order to drive sales and ensure that profit is being maximized for the company. Sales directors typically have a minimum of a bachelor's degree and extensive experience as a sales manager.

Marketing Managers

Sales managers may have experience in advertising their stores or products. Those who wish to capitalize on this skill at a higher level may wish to consider a role as a marketing manager. Marketing managers work in companies to develop the strategies that will be used to advertise products and build a brand throughout a range of platforms. They identify emerging markets for a company's product and ensure that pricing strategies are competitive. Typically, employers prefer marketing managers to possess a bachelor's degree in marketing and have extensive experience in the field.

Chief Executive Officer

Sales managers who strive to achieve the height of their profession may wish to prepare for a position as a chief executive officer, or CEO, who provides overall management and direction to a corporation. They must develop and implement strategic plans across all areas of the company. Chief executive officers must frequently confer with subordinates, board members, and a range of other professionals. Typically, CEOs would enter their position with extensive levels of management experience, and a Master of Business Administration could make a candidate even more competitive.

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