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Sales manager

Sales managers organise, coach and lead teams of sales representatives to work towards agreed targets.

Annual Salary

£22,000 to £70,000

Average UK salary in 2023 was £34,963
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

38 to 40 a week

You could work: evenings / weekends; attending events or appointments

Future employment

There will be 2.9% more Sales manager jobs in 2027.

Day to day tasks

In your day-to-day duties you might:

  • recruit and train sales staff
  • allocate areas to sales reps
  • identify new business opportunities
  • develop sales strategies and set sales targets
  • provide feedback and coaching to team members
  • monitor the team's performance and motivate them to reach targets
  • compile and analyse sales figures
  • report back to senior managers
  • keep up to date with products and competitors

Working environment

You could work at a store, in an office, at a client's business or in a contact centre.

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly
  • training with a professional body

You could do a degree before joining a company as a graduate management trainee. Employers recruit graduates from a range of subjects. Particularly relevant subjects include:

  • sales and marketing management
  • business management
  • retail marketing

For some jobs, like selling hi-tech scientific or engineering equipment, employers may prefer you to have a qualification in that field.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
For more information

You could complete a sales executive higher apprenticeship before applying for a trainee manager job.

For sales manager roles selling to businesses, you could do a business to business sales professional degree apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship
For more information
Direct application

You'll need experience in sales and a record of achieving targets. Most employers will consider your sales and management experience, market knowledge and track record to be more important than your academic qualifications.

You could also be considered for specialist sales management jobs if you have a background in designing or manufacturing the products your team are selling.

Other routes

You could take a professional qualification like:

  • Level 4 Award in Managing a Sales Team
  • Level 4 Award in Finance for Sales Managers
  • Level 4 Award in Operational Sales Planning

More information

Career tips

In some jobs you could travel around the world to meet customers, so it may be helpful to speak a second language.

Further information

You can find out more about careers in sales through the Institute of Sales Professionals.

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With experience and a good track record, you could take on larger sales areas or be promoted to regional, national or international sales manager.

You can find out more about becoming a sales manager through the Institute of Sales Management.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • the ability to sell products and services
  • customer service skills
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • business management skills
  • leadership skills
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • persistence and determination
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
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