Career Development

What Does a Field Sales Manager Do?

Find out what a field sales manager does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a field sales manager.

Sales managers are responsible for overseeing the sales efforts of their company. They commonly work with a team of salespeople to ensure that everyone is working toward the same goals and objectives.

Sales managers may also be tasked with developing new sales strategies or plans, as well as managing the day-to-day activities of their team members. This might include things like scheduling meetings with clients, providing feedback on performance, and ensuring that everyone is following company policies and procedures correctly.

Field Sales Manager Job Duties

A field sales manager typically has a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Meeting with potential clients to identify their needs and develop solutions that meet those needs
  • Organizing and attending trade shows, conventions, or other events where they can meet with potential clients and promote their company’s products or services
  • Establishing and maintaining relationships with current customers to ensure repeat business and referrals to new clients
  • Developing a strategy for increasing sales and improving market share through new product launches, pricing changes, or other approaches
  • Conducting training sessions with new employees or managers who are taking over a new territory
  • Determining pricing strategies for products or services based on client needs and available inventory
  • Developing a plan to establish new accounts or increase sales with existing accounts in an assigned territory
  • Developing and managing budgets for each territory to ensure that goals are met
  • Communicating regularly with managers to provide progress reports on sales activities and respond to questions about specific accounts

Field Sales Manager Salary & Outlook

Sales managers’ salaries vary depending on their level of education, years of experience, and the size and industry of the company. They may also earn additional compensation in the form of commissions and bonuses.

  • Median Annual Salary: $85,000 ($40.87/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $162,000 ($77.88/hour)

The employment of field sales managers is expected to grow at an average rate over the next decade.

Employment growth will be driven by the need for sales representatives to sell products and services to customers in other geographic areas. However, some jobs may be lost to automation, as companies use technology such as e-commerce to reach more customers without increasing their sales forces.

Field Sales Manager Job Requirements

A field sales manager typically needs to have the following qualifications:

Education: A minimum of a bachelor’s degree is often a requirement to become a field sales manager. Some companies may prefer a candidate with a master’s degree in business administration (MBA). An MBA can provide a foundation in business principles and prepare you for a variety of sales roles.

Training & Experience: Sales managers typically have at least five years of experience in a sales position. They may have worked as a sales representative, sales associate, salesperson or sales manager. They may have worked in a variety of industries, such as retail, manufacturing, wholesale, real estate or finance.

Sales managers may also have experience in a managerial role. They may have worked as a supervisor or manager in a sales position. They may have managed a team of sales representatives or sales associates.

Certifications & Licenses: Certifications enable field sales manager candidates to prove their skills and qualifications to current and potential employers. Prospective field sales managers can earn certifications through professional organizations or their employer. Certifications can also expand the field sales manager’s network of professional connections.

Field Sales Manager Skills

Field sales managers need the following skills in order to be successful:

Communication skills: Communication skills are essential for sales managers, as they are responsible for communicating with their team, clients and other stakeholders. Effective communication skills can help you convey your ideas and messages to others, as well as listen to and understand what others are saying. You can use your communication skills to send emails, make phone calls and give presentations to large groups of people.

Product knowledge: Product knowledge is the ability to understand the features and benefits of a product. This is an important skill for sales managers because it allows them to provide customers with the information they need to make a purchasing decision. It’s also important because it allows sales managers to answer customer questions about the product.

Leadership: Leadership skills can help you motivate your team and encourage them to achieve company goals. You can use your leadership skills to guide your team through challenges, develop strategies to meet sales goals and encourage your team to develop their skills.

Problem-solving: Problem-solving skills allow you to identify challenges and find solutions to overcome them. As a sales manager, you may be responsible for resolving customer issues or addressing challenges that arise during sales calls. Your ability to solve problems can help you develop solutions that benefit your company and customers.

Relationship building: Relationship building is the ability to form connections with others. As a sales manager, you may use relationship building skills to build trust with customers and motivate your team. You can also use relationship building skills to build connections with suppliers and build a positive relationship with your company.

Field Sales Manager Work Environment

Field sales managers work in a variety of settings, including office environments, manufacturing plants, and retail establishments. They may travel extensively to meet with clients, attend sales meetings, or conduct training sessions for sales staff. They typically work long hours, including evenings and weekends, to meet deadlines or to take advantage of business opportunities. Field sales managers may experience a high level of stress due to the pressure to meet sales targets and deadlines. They must be able to handle rejection and be comfortable with making cold calls and meeting new people.

Field Sales Manager Trends

Here are three trends influencing how field sales managers work. Field sales managers will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Need for a More Agile Sales Force

The sales industry is changing rapidly, and businesses are now looking for sales teams that can adapt to new trends quickly. This means that field sales managers will need to be more agile and able to think on their feet.

Field sales managers will need to be able to quickly identify new opportunities and develop strategies to capitalize on them. They will also need to be able to work with a team of salespeople who may have different goals and priorities than they do.

More Focus on the Customer Experience

The customer experience is becoming increasingly important in today’s economy. Customers are more likely to buy from companies that provide a great experience, and they are less likely to stick with companies that don’t meet their needs.

As a field sales manager, you can capitalize on this trend by focusing on customer service. You should make sure that your team is trained in customer service skills, and you should also track customer feedback to see what they like and dislike about your company.

A Greater Emphasis on Digital Marketing

Digital marketing has become an essential part of any business’s marketing strategy. In order to be successful in today’s market, businesses need to be able to reach customers through digital channels such as social media, search engines, and online ads.

Field sales managers can utilize this trend by becoming familiar with digital marketing tools and techniques. This will allow them to better support the efforts of other members of the marketing team, and it will also help them to connect with potential customers in new and innovative ways.

How to Become a Field Sales Manager

A successful career in field sales management requires a combination of hard work, dedication, and persistence. It’s important to start by identifying the companies that sell products or services that you are passionate about. Then, find out how you can become a customer of theirs. This will give you an inside look at their business and help you develop relationships with key decision makers.

Once you have established yourself as a trusted customer, consider applying for a job as a sales representative. This is a great way to learn more about the company and its products or services, as well as the industry in general. As you progress up the ladder, take on additional responsibilities such as managing teams, developing new markets, and leading strategic initiatives.

Related: How to Write a Field Sales Manager Resume

Advancement Prospects

Field sales managers may advance to regional sales manager positions, in which they oversee the work of several field sales managers. They may also advance to positions such as director of sales or vice president of sales. Some field sales managers eventually start their own companies.

Field Sales Manager Job Description Example

The Field Sales Manager is responsible for managing a team of sales representatives who sell products and services to customers in a defined geographic territory. The Field Sales Manager is responsible for achieving sales targets and objectives within the assigned territory through effective leadership, coaching, and development of the sales team. The Field Sales Manager will also be responsible for developing and executing territory sales plans, managing customer relationships, and providing input on new product development. The ideal candidate will have a minimum of five years of sales management experience, with a proven track record of success in achieving sales targets.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Achieve or exceed quarterly and annual sales targets by developing and executing effective field sales plans
  • Recruit, hire, train, and manage a high-performing team of field sales representatives
  • Monitor individual and team performance against KPIs, providing feedback and coaching to improve results
  • Develop strong relationships with key accounts in assigned territory, acting as the primary point of contact for all account needs
  • Understand customer requirements and pain points, and work with internal teams to develop solutions that address them
  • Stay up to date on industry trends and competitor activity, and share insights with the broader team
  • collaborate closely with marketing on lead generation initiatives and campaigns
  • Manage budgets for field sales activities, ensuring efficient and cost-effective use of resources
  • Prepare reports on field sales activity and results, highlighting successes and areas for improvement
  • Participate in trade shows and other events as needed
  • Provide input on product development and enhancements based on feedback from customers and field sales reps
  • Perform regular field visits to observe sales rep interactions and provide feedback

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in business, marketing, or related field
  • 5+ years experience in sales management, with a proven track record of success
  • Experience developing and managing budgets
  • Excellent communication, presentation, and negotiation skills
  • Strong organizational and time-management skills
  • Ability to travel up to 50%

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • MBA or other advanced degree
  • 7+ years experience in sales management
  • Experience in the field sales industry
  • Working knowledge of Salesforce or similar CRM software
  • Familiarity with standard market research tools and methods

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