How to Write the Ultimate Sales Manager Job Description

By George Lucas | Leadership

Feb 28
Female Sales Manager Leading a Meeting

Excellent news. Your business has grown to the point that you need a sales manager but now you have to go through the hiring process. Before engaging executive recruiters, interviewing candidates or extending offers, take time to write a sales manager job description. A well thought out, concise job description sets expectations and provides a blueprint for a successful hire.

In this post, we’ll walk through the steps to identify your ideal sales manager and how to write a job description that attracts qualified candidates that can be used as a selection guide during the hiring process.

1) Identify your goals

One goal, if not the primary goal, for a sales manager is consistent revenue delivery and predictable sales growth over time. However, what components of revenue delivery and growth are unique or challenging to your business?

Do you see revenue achieved through new customers, or cross-selling/up-selling existing customers, or a combination of both? Additionally, what is your average sales cycles? Is it short and measured in minutes, hours and days or longer spanning months if not years? Determining revenue acquisition strategy and sales cycles may mean the difference between hiring a sales manager more skilled in the feel of the one on one customer conversation as opposed to designing the optimal sales strategy across a complex buying organization.

Beyond revenue, you may be looking for other key outcomes from your sales manager. Maybe you need to build a complete sales team from the ground up. Or turnover of your sales team may be an issue and you need a sales manager to revise or implement compensation plans, career paths, coaching/mentoring programs or other programs to help stabilize the sales organization.

Integrating sales with other internal organizations may also be vital to your business and an effective sales manager can help build trust and communication throughout your business. Therefore you may look for a candidate with cross-functional or matrix management experience and expertise in other non-sales business functions outside.

Improving customer experience and satisfaction is another area that your sales manager can help with outreach and follow up programs or by increasing consistency in customer interactions. In this area, key account management or customer 360-degree program development may be key the job description for the sales manager.

Finally, inconsistent or wide open sales territories and channels may cause friction between your sales representative and creating confusion amongst your customer. A sales manager may define territories and channels and manage these efforts through an ongoing process.

2) Convert goals to responsibilities

With the list of goals identified, we now look to define the sales manager’s responsibilities. Previously we identified revenue delivery, team growth, integration, customer experience, and territory or channel management as potential goals. Let’s look at example responsibilities for each goal.

Revenue delivery

  • Develop and manage a sales process and pipeline report across the sales team to consistently achieve or exceed monthly, quarterly and annual revenue goals
  • Improve customer acquisition by increasing customer outreach activities, sales quotations, sales orders and other leading indicators
  • Ensure the sales team maintains the accuracy and thoroughness of the customer relationship management system

Team growth

  • Hire, train and manage a team of 6 to 8 inside sales representatives
  • Coach and mentor sales team to high levels of performance consistently achieving and exceeding quotas
  • Develop and manage compensation packages

Sales integration

  • Provide weekly and monthly updates to business stakeholders regarding sales performance, challenges and overall health
  • As sales manager, participate in cross-functional initiatives, business reviews, meetings, and updates
  • Represent the business at customer meetings, trade shows, conferences and other external events

Customer experience

  • Establish and maintain collaborative relationships with key customers
  • Craft a customer outreach and follow up program to ensure customer satisfaction at the highest levels
  • Ensure effective and efficient handoffs from sales to delivery and services
  • Provide Voice of Customer feedback to marketing, product management, services and billing departments

Territories and channels

  • Assign and manage territories to maximize revenue potential and customer satisfaction
  • Establish channel strategies, identify relevant channel partners, recruit partners and drive channel growth

3) Identify skills and qualifications

Next, we want to confirm the skills and qualifications needed for our sales manager job description. In this area, we want to manage our time by discouraging unqualified candidates from applying for the position.

Required skills for a sales manager can be numerous and extension. However, this list can be shortened to 5 Essential Skills which align with the goals and responsibilities that we defined earlier. These skills are:

  1. Coaching
  2. Business Acumen
  3. Hiring
  4. Performance Management
  5. Leadership

A starting point for qualifications is about previous experience in sales management or leadership. Are you looking for someone who has already been there and managed a sales team or are you willing to cultivate an up and coming sales representative to become a leader? By default, we assume a sales manager has previous experience in sales but that may not always be the case:

  • 3+ years of sales management experience leading a regional or national sales team
  • 8+ years of enterprise sales experience, preferably with SaaS solutions

We may want to layer track record into the qualifications

  • Documented track record of meeting or exceeding annual target of at least $5M for the past 3 years

We may also want to add in specific market experience to the sales manager job description:

  • 8+ years of enterprise sales experience to energy companies and electric/gas/water utilities
  • 4+ years selling managed healthcare solutions in the US Northeast

The role we’re looking to fill may require extensive travel

  • Ability to travel up to 40% throughout the US

And of course education or technology requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree required, MBA preferred
  • Working knowledge of Salesforce, Siebel or other CRM software
  • Solid skills in Microsoft Office applications: Powerpoint, Word, Excel

4) Create a summary

All right, we’re finished with the sales manager job description… wait, not yet.

So far, we’ve been writing the sales manager job description to discourage unqualified candidates and to focus in on the attributes of a qualified candidate. We want to encourage highly qualified candidates to read our job description and we do that by writing an impactful summary placed at the beginning of the job posting. Here is our opportunity to sell the company and role. The summary should be about 2 to 4 sentences long, to the point and at the same time motivational.

Writing your sales manager job description may seem time-consuming. Investing that time will help save time during the hiring process and help attain your revenue goals sooner.

At Lucas Select, based in Raleigh, NC, we are passionate about technology startups and about sales and marketing as professions and have built extensive national networks of top-performing executives and managers. Unlike typical staffing agencies and headhunters, our recruiting services ensure that your company maintains a sustained growth model that is supported by strong sales management, talent recruitment at scale balanced by on-going people development while aligning with your Company’s core values.

About the Author

George Lucas has over 26 years experience in sales, staffing and consulting with B2B technology-based companies. He enjoys building and growing teams and careers.

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