This post presents in-depth information on the sales supervisor job description and career, to help you learn the tasks, duties, and responsibilities that they perform.
It also shows how to become a sales supervisor, the requirements you will need to meet to be hired for the role, and the various career oppoertunities available to sales supervisors.
The sales business is often times viewed as a field of its own. That is true in some cases, but in many other cases it is a wrong idea.
Sales are most times subject to the same types of management structure as with other businesses. That structure often includes the contribution of a sales supervisor, the one whose responsibility is to work together and directly with a sales team.
What Does a Sales Supervisor Do?
The sales supervisor’s duties include acting as a liaison between the management and the team, leading the team to make its quotas, correcting any problem that comes up, and motivating the sales team.
To understand the job and role of a sales supervisor, it can be helpful when viewed from different positions on different levels.
On the lowest level for example, we have the sales team. While on the highest level, there is always a manager or Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
The supervisor is ideally one level above the sales team and he is usually many levels below the manager and the CEO.
The sales supervisor usually acts as the intermediary between the upper levels of management and the sales team.
In most cases, policies, decisions and other important matters are decided at the higher levels.
Therefore, it is the duty of the sales supervisor to make sure that such decisions or policies are implemented by the sales team.
When senior managers discover a problem, such as a salesperson not meeting targets or adhering to policies, they don’t confront such a person directly.
Rather, the supervisor will be notified and mandated to address such problems.
Solving this kind of problem could involve him taking disciplinary action like issuing a warning to the salesperson.
Solving problems relating to sales results often times involve the supervisor going extra mile to offer assistance and help the salesperson do better.
A good sales supervisor is usually involved in empowering and motivating his/her team. There are several ways they can do this.
For instance, they may organize regular sales meetings or try to develop a high level of product confidence in their team.
Sales Supervisor Job Description Sample/Example/Template
Below are duties, tasks, and responsibilities most companies would include in the job description of their sales supervisors:
- Formulate pricing policies.
- Determine daily coupons.
- Ensure pricing is correct.
- Work on store displays.
- Attend trade shows to identify new services and products.
- Coach, train, counsel, recruit and discipline employees.
- Evaluate on-the-job performance of sales team.
- Identify future and current trends that appeal to consumers.
- Ensure merchandise ready to be displayed clean.
- Approve contracts with vendors.
- Ensure items are in stock and maintain inventory.
- Keep up with fluctuating demand and supply.
- Analyze financial and operating statements for profitability ratios.
- Ensure promotions are in with company’s standards.
- Utilize ICT for data analysis, to record sales figures and forward planning.
- Monitor local competitors.
- Organize sales staff schedules.
- Preside over staff meetings.
- Assist sales staff in achieving sales targets.
- Manage different departments in the store.
- Handle customer complaints, questions and issues.
Sales Supervisor Job Description for Resume
To prepare a resume to be used in vying for the job of sales supervisor, the job description example given above can be utilized in creating the professional history section of the resume, as well as other sections.
Sales Supervisor Requirements: Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities for Career Success
To be effective and efficient working as a sales supervisor, you need to have the qualities shown below.
Most employers usually set the given skills, abilities, and knowledge base as minimum requirements for applicants seeking the position.
- A Degree with emphasis on sales or marketing or business.
- Excellent selling skills, including closing ability, strong negotiation, as well as excellent people skills.
- Ability to multi-task.
- Minimum of one or two years sales experience.
- Excellent communication skills.
- Strong organization skills.
Sales Supervisor Salary
A sales supervisor’s annual salary in the United States is $54229.
The highest paying states are: New York, $58,056; New Jersey, $55,588; Rhode Island, $53,822; Massachusetts, $53,130; and District of Columbia, $51,300 per year.
There are currently over 260,886 sales supervisors working in the United States.
Women make up 42.8% of all sales supervisors, while men make up 57.2%.
An employed sales supervisor is 42 years old on average.
White (65.1%) is the most common ethnicity among sales supervisors, followed by Hispanic or Latino (17.1%), Black or African American (8.4%), and Asian (6.6%).
Sales Supervisor Career Opportunities
A sales supervisor can grow their career by taking more responsibilities with time. Some of the careers a sales supervisor can explore include:
- Director of Sales
A director of sales is a key executive who is responsible for the growth, profitability, brand value, and performance of an organization.
A director of sales is able to manage both strategic revenue generation and tactical daily operations.
2. Business Development Manager
A business development manager manages and directs business development efforts by analyzing and structuring sales opportunities, implementing strategic marketing plans and soliciting new business from key customers.
3. Service Center Manager
A service center manager is responsible for a service center that offers a complete array of after-market parts to retail customers and also acts as a liaison between the service center and outside sales representatives.
The service center manager must possess good problem solving skills, strong leadership abilities, excellent communication skills, and the ability to multitask effectively.
4. Director of Sales and Marketing
A director of sales and marketing is a key executive who is responsible for managing the success of the entire sales organization.
A director of sales and marketing must possess advertising, marketing, finance and personnel skills.
5. Branch Manager
A branch manager is in charge of a branch or department that assists a larger company with its day-to-day operations.
The branch manager must be well-organized, have good interpersonal skills, superb technical knowledge, and exceptional people skills.
6. Sales Representative
A sales representative is an individual who is in charge of representing an organization by selling its goods or services to customers.
A sales representative must be a problem solver and can be flexible, creative and possess managerial skills.
7. Marketing Manager
A marketing manager develops marketing strategies, plans and campaigns to maximize sales and promote products and services.
Marketing managers often specialize in a certain area, such as product management, advertising or promotion.
8. Regional Sales Manager
A regional sales manager or area manager oversees the operation of a specified geographic territory.
He/she must take responsibility for the success or failure of the entire sales force.
9. Vice President Of Sales (VPS)
A vice president of sales is the second-highest level in a sales organization.
He/she can build and manage an entire department or sales team, with responsibilities that include: strategic planning, product development, management of personnel, sales forecasting, and allocation of resources to account for continued growth.
10. Area Sales Manager
Area sales managers are in charge of a specific market area, often for a business or organization.
They are responsible for maintaining relationships with current customers, as well as bringing in new ones.
They establish territory goals, set up sales operations, and manage sales representatives.
Challenges faced by Sales Supervisors on the Job
There are several challenges a sales supervisor might face on the job. Some of these are:
- Not having enough time to meet with each sales rep.
One of the main challenges of a sales supervisor, no matter the industry or position, is to set and meet goals.
No matter how simple the goal or how large the department is, there are only 24 hours in a day.
2. Not having enough time to manage direct reports.
The expectation from goal setting is greater responsibility.
A sales supervisor is responsible for holding his/her employees accountable and meeting set goals each quarter and year end.
Juggling all of the responsibilities of the sales supervisor with a long day is no easy feat.
3. Sales reps are not motivated to work as hard.
Sales reps are not motivated to work as hard as they should be working, sometimes because there’s a lack of discipline, and sometimes just because they believe that working hard is not making a big difference in their salary or compensation.
How to Become a Sales Supervisor
If you are interested in becoming a sales supervisor, here are steps you can follow:
- Get a Bachelor’s Degree
Most employers prefer candidates with a Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field for sales positions.
Marketing, accounting, economics, and finance are some fields to consider.
You might also want to take courses in business law, management, and mathematics.
2. Accumulate Relevant Experience
Gain valuable sales experience firsthand.
For example, you could work as a retail sales associate to hone your customer service skills or as a summer intern on a company’s sales team.
These experiences can help you prepare for entry-level sales positions and assess your interest in the industry.
3. Apply for Entry-level Positions
A sales supervisor/management position is not for the faint of heart, and it typically necessitates years of experience.
After earning a Bachelor’s degree, you can begin your career by applying for entry-level sales jobs.
4. Think about Getting a Master’s Degree
A Master’s degree isn’t always required for sales supervisors or managers, but it can help you stand out from the crowd.
A Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree typically takes two years to complete, and online or in-person programs are frequently available.
5. Obtain Professional Certifications
You should also think about obtaining professional certifications to demonstrate your qualifications.
These certifications can assist you in developing specific skills for sales managers, such as leadership techniques and sales strategies.
You can look into the certifications that are relevant to your industry or interests to see which ones best meet your needs, schedule, and budget.
Joining professional associations can also provide you with the opportunity to network with peers in your industry.
These organizations frequently provide member benefits such as training and development resources.
Major Benefits of a Sales Supervisor Career
Some of the main benefits of the sales supervisor career include:
Many people are attracted to the sales supervisor career because of the flexibility that it offers.
As a sales supervisor, you may have to take over-time or work weekends, which may be non-negotiable depending upon the industry.
You also must be willing to travel at times. By being flexible in these areas, you can enjoy many other benefits of the sales supervisor career.
2. Better pay.
Sales supervisors sometimes get paid better than other people in their companies.
Many people who join a company seeking to advance their sales career continue moving up the ladder past the entry-level position because they know they will earn better pay and benefits as a result.
3. Sales supervisors enjoy greater freedom in their work schedules.
Most sales supervisors have a good deal of freedom in their work schedules.
They can work days, nights, and weekends as needed.
Their job security is also very high, and they are unlikely to be laid off or fired for lack of sales.
These benefits mean that many people decide to become sales managers in order to enjoy the freedom that they get from this career path.
4. More career security than many other professions.
Sales supervisors work is highly-respected by people in the industry.
While some people sometimes think of sales as a “soft” job, it is actually quite a hard position that can bring in lots of money for good workers.
This means that sales supervisors have excellent career security.
They are unlikely to be fired or laid off regardless of the economy or their company’s future prospects.
5. Greater opportunities for promotion
As a supervisor, you might have the opportunity to take on higher-level leadership roles within the company.
This can be very rewarding both personally and financially.
It also provides you with a better chance of advancement than many other professions offer.
Many people make a conscious decision to become a sales supervisor because they are interested in expanding their responsibilities within the company and advancing their careers.
6. Stable company offers and better future prospects
Sales supervisors work for companies that tend to be stable, well-funded, and successful.
This is important because it means that you will have opportunities for promotion in the future.
It also ensures that you will be able to work for a company in the future that is likely to have a bright future.
7. The chance to work in a fast-paced, dynamic, and challenging environment
Sales supervisors work in competitive environments where they must be able to sell their products or services to customers.
Because of this, they are always looking for ways to improve their skills.
This can be very exciting and rewarding for people who enjoy challenge and do not want to spend their careers doing the same thing day after day.
Although it’s true that the sales supervisor career path is not for everyone, it does provide many benefits for people who are interested in becoming one.
The entry-level positions that you can take on will show you the ropes of the profession and allow you to decide whether or not you would like to further your career.
This post is helpful to individuals looking to become a sales supervisor, who wants to learn the duties and responsibilities of the role, to decide if that is the best career for them to take.
It is also useful to employers/recruiters in making a detailed job description for the sales supervisor’s position in their companies.