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What does a National Sales Manager do?

By Lily Ruha
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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A national sales manager is an experienced salesperson with managerial skills and responsibilities. The duties of national sales managers may include direct sales, sales reporting, inventory control, sales performance analysis, and oversight of regional sales offices. Sales managers may find work in both retail and non-retail settings selling goods and services. The necessary qualifications for these managers vary based on employer. Some employers hire experienced managers with no degree, and others require a degree in business, marketing, or accounting.

The duties of managers vary significantly based on the specific positions. In all cases, positions require a familiarity with sales procedures. Some national sales manager positions require extensive travel to regional offices for oversight of local sales managers and sales processes. Other sales managers engage in direct sales by developing sales strategies and attending meetings with prospective clients. Some managers monitor product inventory, analyze nationwide sales performance, and develop and distribute sales reports.

These jobs may be found with companies whose sales processes occur on a national level. A national footwear supplier might hire a national sales manager to monitor footwear inventory and to track its nationwide sales performance. Managers hired by a construction company might serve as a liaison between company engineers and clients. A national television network might hire a sales manager to lead its sales efforts and to build relationships with smaller networks and advertisers.

The salary varies based on employer, years of experience, and skill level. Some salary structures include base pay and commission. In this case, the sales manager’s income rests on his ability to increase company business. Many positions, however, are strictly salaried positions. Compensation is generally based on qualifications as well as sales and managerial experience.

National sales manager educational requirements vary by position and by industry. Some employers require a bachelor’s degree and numerous years of sales and managerial experience. Preferred degrees are generally in business, marketing, or accounting. Other employers will hire individuals with no degree but with significant industry-specific experience.

The required characteristics of national sales managers include excellent communication skills, solid interpersonal skills, and strong business acumen. Managers must be able to communicate clearly and effectively with prospective clients, regional managers, and other company personnel. They may be required to make sales presentations and be comfortable speaking in front of groups. With a high-level national position in a business, a sales manager must think strategically and exercise sound judgment in business practices.

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