Most companies rely on sales personnel to help them grow. Sales departments are typically led by sales directors who are usually responsible for managing and leading entire sales teams. This job is comprised of a wide variety of duties. Specific job requirements may vary from industry to industry, but most sales directors are in charge of strategic planning, personnel management and account management.
Strategic planning encompasses a broad spectrum of activities and skill sets. No matter the industry, a successful sales director is usually responsible for analyzing market trends and identifying new opportunities. Someone in this position must work closely with other departments, such as operations and product development as well. Many people in this position must understand or grasp the concept of how technology affects new business and sales.
Sales directors typically determine market segments and business growth potential. Using this information, they create both short and long-term sales plans with set activities and goal benchmarks. They also identify the most effective methods to reach these goals. This usually includes creating both online and offline sales strategies. For example, the director might decide to overhaul the company website so that customers can place orders online.
The integral sales director role typically identifies, hires and manages the sales department staff. This responsibility includes building relationships with universities and associations in order to attract the best caliber of sales candidates. It might also involve creating hiring processes, such as implementing personality or behavioral assessments, as well as setting up job shadow interviews. After the candidates are chosen, the director must set up effective training modules to ensure that they are prepared and educated on the company’s products or services.
After the new sales personnel are acclimated to the company culture, it is the sales director’s responsibility to motivate them and retain top talent. This might include creating sales contests or bonus incentive programs. People in this position typically assign sales territories and monitor the salespersons' activities and results. The sales director also might coach salespersons when needed. Many directors set up standard sales processes and measurement systems to better manage sales personnel.
The sales director typically is responsible for his or her own pipeline of new sales and accounts as well. This means that he or she must bring in clients and meet sales goals. Most target large companies and high-level contacts, such as vice presidents or chairpersons. They seek to close deals and create new prospect lead lists for both themselves and their sales teams.