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Director of Sales

Education and Training: Bachelor’s Degree
Average Salary: $$97,260
Job Outlook: Fair

The director of sales is in charge of a company’s sales force. This could include local, regional, national, or worldwide teams of people who sell products and services to clients. The duties of a director of sales vary, and could include organizing sales territories, setting and meeting sales goals, creating training programs for employees, advising sales reps on how to improve performance, and maintaining contact with clients. They also analyze statistics and methods to see if a company is performing its sales operations at maximum efficiency.

Education and Training Requirements

The director of sales usually has at least a bachelor’s degree, and may have advanced degrees like a master’s or law degree. It is recommended that students take classes in business, law, management, math and statistics, along with training on how to improve sales performance. The director of sales must be well-versed in computers, and software programs like spreadsheets and databases. They must also have excellent communication skills because they are dealing with the public on a daily basis in an effort to maximize sales. They must be able to clearly deliver sales pitches, be persuasive, answer questions about products, and make adjustments to help sell. Classes that focus on critical thinking and analysis are also recommended for directors of sales.

There are a number of on-the-job training programs for sales reps, depending on company and industry. Many organizations hold yearly sales events that bring together the sales force to work on improving performance and learning new sales methods.

Getting the Job

Most people who obtain director of sales jobs do so in one of two ways. The first is to work for a company or organization for a period of time as a sales rep, and gain experience that will allow them to eventually move into a management position. It is also possible to build a reputation as a good sales rep and move from one company into a management position in another. Internships are helpful to get a start in the sales industry.

Job Prospects, Employment Outlook and Career Development

Growth for the director of sales position is expected to be as fast as the national average. This growth will occur because of the need for companies to compete when selling products to clients. Sales managers are some of the most important people to a company because they directly generate revenue. Because of this, the positions are less likely to be affected by downsizing, corporate cutbacks, and the economy. However, individual industries could see slowdowns in demand for goods and services, which could jeopardize the director of sales position at certain companies in the industry. Most of the positions will open because someone else is leaving the occupation or company, though new companies will also need directors of sales to sell products. Directors of sales have the ability to move to a number of higher-level executive positions. They can also open up their own businesses, do consulting work, and teach.

Working Conditions and Environment

The director of sales works in an office setting, often in close consultation with top executives. This is a stressful position, as quotas and deadlines must be met on a regular basis. The director of sales may be forced to travel a lot, and is known to work long hours.

Salary and Benefits

The median salary for the director of sales position is $97,260. The salary range can depend on a number of factors, including responsibility, length of service, education level, size of firm, and location. Certain industries will pay higher salaries for the director of sales than others. These positions are also eligible for a complete bonus package and a number of corporate perks like bonuses, stock options, and expense accounts.

Where to Go for More Information

National Association of Sales Professionals
555 Friendly St.
Pontiac, MI 48302
(866) 365-1520

The Sales Association
2460 W 26th Ave., Ste. 245-C
Denver, CO 80211
(720) 259-1250

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