Sales Manager Vs Sales Director

Sales can often be a lucrative career field but it's usually a lot of hard work. Sales directors and managers are both leaders of company sales teams. This article discusses the difference between these two positions and what can be expected from both.

Comparing Sales Managers to Sales directors

Sales managers and directors do a lot of the same work for an organization. Sales managers run sales teams for a company or business while sales directors also run sales teams but could be in charge of specific type of teams or within certain areas of the country. Below is a comparison of these two sales careers and some interesting information about them both.

Job Title Education Requirements Median Salary** (2017) Job Growth* (2014-2024)
Sales Manager Bachelor's degree $64,273 (for all general sales managers) 5% (for all sales managers)
Sales Director Bachelor's degree $95,733** 5% (for all sales managers)

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **

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Responsibilities of Sales Managers vs. Sales Directors

Sales managers and sales directors in many instances could change positions and most people would not see the difference. However, the men and women who have sales jobs under them would be able to tell. Both of these professionals stand out as leaders of sales teams for a company like an advertising firm. They are usually a part of the executive hierarchy and aid in the setting of a company's mission and profit goals. They help in the analysis of data as well as the training manifesto. Unlike sales managers, sales directors may be tasked with more training work of sales reps or traveling to coach a regional sales team.

Sales Manager

Sales managers often direct the distribution of services, goods, and sales regions. They set goals for the team and make sure sales representatives get the proper training as determined by the upper management sales organization. Managers may be asked to recruit, train and employ a regional sales team. They keep in close contact with their team leader as well as clients, distributors and dealers. Sales managers also study sales trends and advise their teams accordingly.

Job responsibilities of a sales manager include:

  • Organize the sales force for a business or organization
  • Meet with team to set sales goals
  • Take charge of any special training
  • Meet regularly with directors for updates
  • Review and analyze sales data periodically for success

Sales Director

Sales directors have very similar duties to those of sales managers. These directors are usually considered members of upper management. They drive the goals for their team as determined by the client and management. As a director, he or she may have sales managers in the field that keep close contact either by phone, e-mail or in person. Depending on the size of the organization, sales directors could be assigned multi-team campaigns and periodically report sales results to management.

Job responsibilities of a sales director include:

  • Meet with clients and management to create a sales campaign
  • Stay current on the latest research data and sales trends
  • Work with marketing and logistics to achieve results
  • Ensure sales strategies are followed
  • Study incoming sales data to make adjustments as needed

Related Careers

There are several careers related to sales managers and sales directors that might show some promise. For instance, a market research analyst studies sales trends and what people want versus what a company may want to sell. As a public relations specialist, you could be in charge of representing a company or campaign.

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