Sales Manager Salary

Being a sales manager is one of the most desired management jobs in today’s organizational landscape. Not only is the pay pretty good, but it also opens up the path for building a career of sound earnings and bonuses, as one advances up through the ranks. A manager supervises, manages and directs the teams of employees from the sales department. Setting new goals, analyzing data and managing training programs for other employees are also part of a sales managers tasks. The hours of the job can be quite demanding, but it is also quite rewarding as well; a sales manager life is full of exciting challenges like short-term goals or travelling to deliver new trainings to a different location.

Overview of a Sales Manager Salary

The median sales manager salary was $105,260 per year and $50.60 per hour in May 2012*. The median salary is not equivalent to an average value, but instead means that 50% of all active sales managers earned a bit less than this median value, and the other 50% of them earned a bit less. Again, these values were calculated for the year 2012, and it’s very likely that the present day values are a bit higher than those, though we lack the official statistics for the current year. (The BLS usually issues these national statistics once every few years).

After accumulating a bit of experience in general sales management for a smaller company (about 10 years, on average), a manager in the field of sales has a chance of being promoted as a regional sales manager in a large and important company, which is a better paid position due to the size of the new company they’d be working for (one which can afford having regional managers). A regional sales manager salary had a median value of $75,936 in May 2015**, while ranging from $45,067 to $113,182 per year. The salary isn’t the only compensation these regional sales managers receive: according to the same source, they also get more than $31K in yearly bonuses and more than $15K from their share in the company’s profits. It’s pretty tempting, right?

*According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS),

**According to, a good authority website which issued recent data, but still a bit less trustworthy than the governmental office of the BLS.

Earnings Factors of a Sales Manager Salary

There are multiple factors which can influence a sales manager salary for the better. First of all, there is the question of their position in the company’s organizational structure. The higher the management position held, the higher the financial gain, of course (like in the example of the regional sales manager salary presented above).

Another factor which can make a difference between the various salaries of sales managers is the industry branch in which they are activating. These were the median salaries of a sales manager in the top 5 industries which hire them, May 2012*:

  • Finance and insurance: a median salary of $132,070 per year;
  • Management of companies and enterprises: a median salary of $115,000 per year;
  • Wholesale trade: a median salary of $114,180 per year;
  • Manufacturing: a median salary of $109,550 per year;
  • Retail trade: a median salary of $74,870 per year.

*According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS),

Sales Manager Job Description

Being a manager in the field of sales involves complex tasks and a lot of personal initiative and strategic thinking, but the rewards are matching the challenges. Typically, a sales manager has to:

  • Prepare the department’s budgets and approve spending plans;
  • Resolve any potential customer complaints pertaining to their department;
  • Analyze sales statistics, assign sales territories and set quotas (strategy development);
  • Plan and coordinate training programs for their employees;
  • Develop plans for reaching and winning new customers and new market shares;
  • Monitor the preferences of their clients to reorient the sales team’s focus;
  • Project sales and calculate the profitability rates of various products and services provided by the company;
  • And many more similar tasks which may arise according to the company’s activity.

Sales Manager Outlook

The good news about this position is that its outlook is almost as good as its earnings; from 2012 to 2022*, the sales manager job growth is projected at 8%, about as fact as the average for all occupations. No matter how the industries may change as the future may deem some of them more profitable than the ones which are on top today, a good sales team will always have a firm place in any company, regardless of its niche. So even as the business landscape will change, the position of a sales manager will still remain quite central to evaluating and raising any company’s profits. If you’re thinking of becoming a sales manager, you can rest assured that the demand for this specialty will remain stable.

*According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS),

Sales Manager Education Requirements

In order to become a sales manager, you need a bachelor’s degree as a mandatory level of education (usually in a related field such as finance, mathematics, business law or statistics, but it’s not a must). Some managers also have a master’s degree, but this further studying is really entirely optional.

In order to become a manager in the field of sales, the previous work experience as part of a sales team is also mandatory. Since this is a position which entails high levels of responsibility and on-the-job training, the work experience tends to weigh more than the formal education in the eyes of any employer. So if you have ample experience as a sales representative but your bachelor’s degree is in a different field than the ones related to the job, rest assured that you may still hold a higher advantage when applying for a position in sales management compared to your less experienced peers.

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