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Sales Executive vs. Sales Manager: What Are the Differences?

Learn about the two careers and review some of the similarities and differences between them.

A sales executive and a sales manager are both responsible for overseeing the sales process and ensuring that targets are met. However, these job titles have different duties and responsibilities. In this article, we compare and contrast the job titles of sales executive and sales manager, and we provide information on the skills and experience you need to succeed in each role.

What is a Sales Executive?

Sales Executives are responsible for managing a team of salespeople and achieving sales goals set by their company. They develop and implement sales strategies, set quotas, and oversee sales training and development programs. Sales Executives also work with other departments within their company to ensure that their sales team has the resources they need to be successful. In some cases, Sales Executives may also be responsible for generating leads and prospecting for new business.

What is a Sales Manager?

Sales Managers are responsible for the overall performance and success of a company’s sales team. They develop and implement strategies to increase sales and grow the business. They also set sales targets and quotas and track progress to ensure that the team is meeting its goals. Sales Managers also provide training and support to sales representatives and help them to improve their skills. In addition, Sales Managers work closely with other departments within the company to ensure that the sales team has the resources it needs to be successful.

Sales Executive vs. Sales Manager

Here are the main differences between a sales executive and a sales manager.

Job Duties

Sales executives oversee large sales teams and manage the overall sales process for a company. They’re involved in major business decisions, like which products to sell and how to improve the sales process. Sales managers work with individual sales teams, providing direction and feedback on daily activities. They also help team members develop their skills and provide support when issues arise. While sales executives are mostly office-based, sales managers often travel with their teams to attend meetings and conduct training sessions with customers.

Job Requirements

Sales executives and sales managers typically need at least a bachelor’s degree in business, marketing or another related field. However, some employers prefer candidates to have a master’s degree as well. Additionally, many sales professionals pursue certifications through organizations like the National Association of Sales Professionals (NASP) or the American Society for Quality (ASQ). These organizations offer training programs that teach sales professionals how to use sales software and other tools they might need on the job.

Work Environment

Sales executives typically work in an office environment, but they may travel to meet with clients and attend conferences. They also spend time on the phone or emailing potential clients about their products. Sales managers usually work in an office setting, but they may visit different locations where their team is selling products. They may also travel to trade shows or conventions to promote their company’s products.


Sales executives and sales managers share some similarities in the skills they use on the job. Both need to be excellent communicators, have strong negotiation skills and be able to close deals. They also both need to be able to develop relationships with clients, understand their needs and build trust.

However, there are some differences in the skills needed for these two positions. Sales executives typically benefit from having strong research skills, as they often are responsible for identifying new leads and potential customers. They also need to be able to give presentations, as they may be required to give pitches to potential clients. Sales managers usually need to have strong management skills, as they oversee a team of salespeople. This can involve setting sales goals, developing strategies and managing budgets. They also need to be able to resolve conflicts and provide coaching and feedback to their team.


Sales executives earn an average salary of $73,028 per year, while sales managers earn an average salary of $83,778 per year. Both of these salaries can vary depending on the size of the company, the industry in which you work and the level of experience you have.


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