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.
Sales Manager Job Description
Sales managers are responsible for helping their reps meet individual quota, getting the team to hit quota, forecasting sales and running sales reports, providing mentorship and training, recruiting, hiring, and onboarding new salespeople, and more.
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:
Writing a job description to attract top-quality candidates can be difficult, but we'll guide you through the process. Want to get straight to a template? Click here. Looking to hire a different role on your sales team? Check out The Ultimate Guide to Sales Hiring.
HubSpot's Sales Interview Kit has a job description template you can use when hiring sales managers. Plus, we've also 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
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 Quota
The incoming sales manager should be expected to motivate their team of sales reps to hit (or exceed) the quotas set during each sales period.
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.
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.
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 factoring in historical data and your company’s business objectives.
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.
6. Design and Implement 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.
7. Continuously Iterate on Sales Process
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.
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 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, the person you can see in the role.
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 separate 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
Sales managers need to review data, see what's relevant, draw meaningful conclusions, and find actionable takeaways.
2. Strategic Planning Abilities
Once they've gathered the evidence, they need to identify the next steps. Most decisions involve making tradeoffs.
3. Strong Communication Skills
Sales managers must deliver information efficiently and accurately to the right people, at the right time, using the right medium.
4. Collaboration and Motivation Skills
They should be good at working with others — from their fellow managers to other department leaders. To keep their reps on-track and motivated, sales managers demonstrate a genuine passion for their team's mission.
5. Delegation Skills
Rather than trying to do everything themselves, sales managers know when to delegate to their team for maximum effectiveness.
6. Ability to Remain Calm Under Pressure
The role of a sales manager is highly challenging and always changing. Sales managers must be able to cope with daily stresses that come with the job.
7. Good People Skills
Sales managers should be able to effectively collaborate and work well with their peers, leadership, and direct reports.
Sales Manager Job Description Template
[Company] is looking for an experienced sales manager with experience in [X industry].
As our sales manager, you will:
Set a vision for the team
Provide a process
Coach your salespeople to use the process and achieve the vision
On a weekly basis, you will:
Meet with reps to provide feedback, support, and training
Accurately forecast on a weekly and monthly cadence to meet and exceed quotas
Track sales team metrics and report data to leadership on regular basis Lead weekly and/or monthly meetings with sales team and leadership
Implement performance plans
Develop sales contests and incentives to drive performance
Manage day-to-day performance of sales reps and deliver reviews
X+ years of management experience
X+ years of direct sales experience
Familiarity with [X type of sales process]
Excellent coaching skills; ability to observe, evaluate, and give meaningful feedback
Strong analytical skills
Familiarity with [X CRM]
Understanding of [industry/vertical]
[Existing relationships/strong network] in [industry/vertical]
Sales Manager Job Description Example
Here's an example of a real sales manager job description at HubSpot:
Hiring sales managers is an art — and almost as important as making your first sales hire. Source a great one, and you'll 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 Jul 28, 2020 1:00:00 PM, updated July 28 2020