What is a sales manager

What you need to be able to do as a sales manager

It is not easy to describe how sales managers work and what exactly is part of their tasks. Often the best salesperson is promoted to head of sales and must henceforth try to generate sales, manage employees and contribute significantly to the success of the company. He is exposed to the greatest possible pressure to succeed, much more than most other executives in the company.


Anyone who believes that sales managers run sales also believe that brimstone butterflies fold lemons.

As a sales manager, you have a key position in the company

In sales, the skills and qualities of a company come together like the rays of the sun in a magnifying glass and leave more or less strong marks on the market. Due to the increasing market requirements and the key role in the value creation process, the importance of the profession of sales and sales manager increases considerably. "(From the job description of the sales and sales manager BDVT)

It was urgently necessary to create a job description for this key position in the company. For this reason, sales trainers, sales experts and consultants from the professional association of sales promoters and trainers e.V. (BDVT) published a complete list of all tasks, qualifications and key competencies that are necessary to make a company's sales department successful for the first time.

You have to master these roles

1. The strategist

You and your sales team should achieve the goals set by the management. That means developing strategies and concepts so that the numbers are correct at the end of the year. You have to start building sales measures. Developing sales promotions and creating platforms for acquiring new customers are the tasks of the sales manager.



Breaking the sales down to salespeople and saying “do it”, as happens in many companies, is not enough.

2. The crosslinker

As a sales manager, you have an important interface function. You are the link between all areas of the company and mediator between your team and management. You need to translate the requirements from above for your employees, market your team's successes, and diplomatically sell the failures.

3. The leader

Leading employees, motivating them when things are not going well and empowering them when they are in the fast lane are also part of your job description. Sometimes it's not that easy. You almost have to be a psychologist. And also recognizing who is the right person for the new position or how you can really advance existing employees through further training are tasks for which know-how and experience are required.

4. The marketing professional

There is a lot involved: you have to analyze the competition and understand the positioning of your products. All sales activities are based on this. You are also required to narrow down the target group and implement a consistent price and discount policy. And trade fair and event planning, too, often rests on the shoulders of sales.

5. The coach

Who makes your employees do better in their day-to-day sales, if not you? Visiting with the sales force so that they can have even better sales talks in the future, select seminars for your employees and lead them with the help of goals, but also build them up again and again if something goes wrong - it's all your job.

6. The number turner

But that's still not enough. You have to play with your sales figures like a keyboard. However, you must not lose sight of the big picture. The management demands valid figures from you, you have to recognize deviations immediately and take effective countermeasures. It is assumed that you are a business administration specialist.

7. The philosopher

You also have a decisive influence on the ethical standards with which your employees sell. The BDVT says: “The sales / sales manager should be a mature, established personality with natural authority and a role model. He should have a constructive view of man. (...)

The sales / sales manager should be able to define and exemplify the sales process as a morally valuable, fair customer relationship, free of all sales tricks and persuasion techniques. Selling must be seen and presented as a winning-winning strategy and a worthwhile professional life task. "

The ideal image is used for orientation

As a sales manager, you should orient yourself towards this and define your individual development strategies. Seminars, coaching and specialist reading can help you systematically improve yourself on the basis of this guideline. You can download the complete "Job description of sales and sales manager BDVT" from www.bdvt.de.


 Expert advice


Create a personal development plan based on the job description. Improve one "role" at a time. Start with the role you are least able to master.

Franziska Brandt-Biesler