The sales manager role is critical to an organization because of the individual's direct influence on revenue-generating activities. Your sales reps need someone to hold them accountable, review their performance, and coach them on how to grow their skills.
But before you can start interviewing candidates, you need to draw them in with a well-written, accurate, compelling job description that describes the role, the necessary qualifications and experience, and your culture.
How to Write a Sales Manager Job Description
Here's the anatomy of a sales manager job description so that you can get started finding the right person to take your organization's sales goals to the next level:
HubSpot's Sales Interview Kit has a job description template you can use when hiring sales managers. Plus, we've thrown in sales interview questions and a candidate scorecard for a more universal interviewing process. Click here to download the kit for free.
Sales Manager Responsibilities
Hit sales quotas.
Mentor and train sales reps.
Recruit, hire, and onboard new salespeople.
Create sales forecasts.
Analyze performance data.
Design and implement a scalable sales strategy.
Continuously iterate on and improve upon sales processes.
The "Responsibilities" section of a job description is critical because it paints a picture of what the role will be like. Applicants will then be able to decide if they see themselves in the position.
The key is to describe the objectives and tasks you expect the sales manager to successfully complete on a weekly or monthly basis.
Here are some sales manager responsibilities to add to your job description.
1. Hit sales quotas.
The incoming sales manager should be expected to motivate their team of sales reps to hit the quotas set during each sales period. Quotas are the backbone of any sales team — without them, your sales reps won’t feel motivated to sell. Your sales manager should not only strive to hit these quotas but exceed them on a weekly, monthly, or quarterly basis. They’ll even gamify the process for sales reps, ensuring that your team is driven to succeed.
2. Mentor and train sales reps.
The candidate should understand their responsibility to help their team of sales reps develop their skills. This should include facilitating regular performance management reviews with their reps to provide feedback and coaching. Screen potential candidates for prior mentoring experience. Even if this is their first managerial role, they should have had experience mentoring, teaching, or coaching a coworker.
3. Recruit, hire, and onboard new salespeople.
Sales managers are often responsible for building their own teams (or for working alongside HR to build their team). In many roles, sales managers are in charge of recruiting, interviewing, extending job offers to, and training new salespeople for a smooth transition into the team. If a candidate doesn’t have recruitment experience, ask them whether they’d be willing to undergo training.
4. Create sales forecasts.
Forecasting is critical for setting sales goals that drive business growth. Experienced sales managers should understand how to create realistic sales forecasts after factoring in historical data, market conditions, and your company’s business objectives. A good sales manager will also unite these forecasts with marketing acquisition objectives and continuously engage with the marketing team.
5. Analyze performance data.
Effective sales managers are able to analyze performance metrics to make data-driven decisions and provide effective coaching to their team. They’ll also use this data to create accurate sales forecasts and find opportunities for improvement or growth.
6. Design and implement a scalable sales strategy.
Providing strategic direction for their organization is a key function for sales managers. A candidate should demonstrate the ability to create, implement, and measure the success of a sales strategy. Not only that, but they should have experience articulating this strategy to stakeholders and have experience expanding into new markets or verticals.
7. Continuously iterate on and improve upon sales processes.
Having a sales process in place can streamline the daily responsibilities of every member of the team. The organization’s sales manager should be the ultimate champion for their team’s sales process, ensuring the process is followed and striving for continuous improvement. They won’t settle for any process — if they can make an improvement, they will. Ask candidates whether they have experience improving a process at their company and find out how their changes drove results for the business.
Want a more interesting — and often more comprehensive — way to communicate these responsibilities beyond the typical bulleted list? Describe a "week in the life of" your sales manager.
Here’s an example.
In a typical week at [company], here are some of the things you’ll do:
Get coffee with a new salesperson to talk about how they’re doing.
Have a meeting with Product to share customer feedback and discuss the product roadmap.
Present quarterly sales performance to the executives.
Have a team huddle to announce the new contest.
And so on.
Sales Manager Qualifications & Requirements
The "Qualifications" section is where you outline the candidate you think will do the above job the best.
Because this role is crucial to the bottom line, you want someone with experience coaching teams and analyzing performance. At the same time, sales is a field where soft skills are critical, so you don't want to discourage interested candidates from applying. In the qualifications and skills sections, applicants will be evaluating who you're looking for and how they match up.
Consider separating qualifications into "required" and "desired." Companies tend to view job descriptions as wishlists, while candidates see them as "must-haves." Noting which credentials aren’t mandatory increases the odds someone who’s 90% perfect will apply.
Defining Your "Must-Haves"
As you consider your organization's needs, identify the minimum qualifications that a candidate would need to be considered. These will be your "must-haves."
Use these four parameters to help you define your "must-haves" list:
Technical: Familiarity with CRM and other necessary software
Leadership: Prior management roles or willingness to receive management training
Education: How much education or prior training is required to be successful in the role
Experience: How much prior experience (required and desired) is needed to be successful
Try to steer clear of bland, generic phrases in this section. Who doesn’t describe themselves as a hard-worker or goal-oriented? Being more specific makes your job description stand out; plus, the right personalities will find you more easily. For instance, you might write, "We’re looking for someone who’s comfortable joking around with their team while maintaining professional boundaries."
Defining Your "Nice-to-Haves"
In this section, consider the attributes, skills, or experiences that would make a candidate stand out from the rest. These would be your "nice-to-haves." Including such a list gives applicants more information to help them sell themselves more effectively when they submit their cover letter to you.
Here are some ideas for your "nice-to-haves" list:
Industry: Healthcare, tech, hospitality, education, etc.
Region: West Coast, Latin America, Midwest, etc.
Sales Manager Skills
Strategic Planning Abilities
Strong Communication Skills
Collaboration and Motivation Skills
Ability to Remain Calm Under Pressure
Good People Skills
Great sales managers check the majority — if not all — of these boxes.
1. Analysis Skills
A sales manager needs to review data, see what's relevant, draw meaningful conclusions, and find actionable takeaways. Without strong analytical skills, your sales manager might not be able to glean insights from all the data in front of them, which will preclude them from creating accurate sales forecasts for future sales periods.
2. Strategic Planning Abilities
Once they've gathered the evidence, a sales manager needs to identify the next steps. Most decisions involve making tradeoffs, which is where strategic planning skills come in. Your sales manager should be able to create a strategic sales plan that minimizes losses, maximizes profit, and creates sustainable growth for your company.
3. Strong Communication Skills
A good sales manager will deliver information efficiently and accurately to the right people, at the right time, using the right medium. Not only that, but they should be able to communicate effectively with customers in case a customer requires to speak with a manager. If they don’t have strong communication skills, they might end up making the situation worse, so make sure your candidate has a proven track record of communicating effectively and empathetically.
4. Collaboration and Motivation Skills
A sales manager should be good at working with others — from their fellow managers to other department leaders. To keep their reps on track and motivated, a sales manager must demonstrate a genuine passion for their team's mission. Additionally, sales teams must often collaborate with marketing teams, so your candidate should have experience aligning sales efforts with the efforts of an external team. Without this required connection, the two departments can be too misaligned, preventing revenue growth.
5. Delegation Skills
Rather than trying to do everything, a great sales manager will delegate tasks to their team for maximum effectiveness. This not only creates growth opportunities for other sales reps, but helps your sales manager grow in their leadership skills. By learning not to micromanage and to let others take initiative, they become a better leader whom your team wants to work for.
6. Ability to Remain Calm Under Pressure
The role of a sales manager is highly challenging and always changing. A sales manager must be able to cope with the daily stresses that come with the job. Meeting quotas, handing out constructive feedback, and dealing with pressure from stakeholders are all stresses that your candidate will deal with daily. Screen for prior experience in high-pressure environments.
7. Good People Skills
A sales manager should be able to effectively collaborate and work well with their peers, leadership, and direct reports. Not only that, but they should foster an inclusive environment and empathize with all of their peers equally. Be sure to ask targeted questions about their experience managing diverse teams, or ask them whether they’d be willing to undertake training.
Feeling stuck? Let’s take a look at a sales manager job description you can use for your company. You can also find a similar template in our free sales hiring kit.
Sales Manager Job Description Template
Our company is looking for an experienced Sales Manager to oversee our sales team and create a scalable sales strategy. You’ll be directly responsible for managing a team of sales reps, training and coaching them to exceed monthly quotas, sales forecasting on a weekly and monthly cadence, tracking sales team performance metrics, and reporting data on a regular basis to our Director of Sales.
We’re looking for someone with demonstrated success driving revenue growth and improving established sales processes. A strong analytical background and a customer-centric attitude are must-haves for this role.
Sales Manager Responsibilities
Foster a culture of achievement in the sales team by encouraging reps to hit or exceed their quotas
Mentor and train sales reps to improve performance, reduce turnover, and provide on-the-job support
Grow our sales team by recruiting, hiring, and onboarding new salespeople
Analyze previous sales periods to create accurate forecasts
Track performance metrics across the team and create revenue reports for stakeholders
Design and implement a scalable sales strategy that can grow with the business and result in at least 3% growth YoY
Continuously iterate on and improve upon sales processes as the business evolves and expands into new markets
Sales Manager Required Qualifications
BA/BS in busines administration or a related field
3 to 5 years of experience managing a high-performing sales team
2 to 3 years of experience providing mentorship and coaching to individual team members
Proven track record in creating sales forecasts, identifying new areas of growth, and accurately analyzing sales performance data
Still feeling stuck? Here's an example of a real sales manager job description at HubSpot.
The Perfect Sales Manager Job Description Will Attract the Right Candidate
Hiring sales managers is an art and almost as important as making your first sales hire. By creating a job description that accurately represents the role and shows them how they can grow, you can attract a stellar candidate — and be well on your way to building a high-performing sales team.
Editor's note: This post was originally published in October 2019 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.
Originally published Apr 29, 2021 2:45:00 PM, updated April 29 2021