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How to Become a Sales Director

If you’re looking for a leadership position in sales, becoming a sales director may be the job you’ve been searching for. Sales directors maximize revenues by increasing sales opportunities for their company. It is important for you to have a background in marketing or business administration to be considered a strong candidate for this role.

Sales directors are primarily responsible for managing sales operations and overseeing the sales staff. Some of your duties may include evaluating costs and competition, creating and implementing sales strategies and plans, and motivating staff to improve customer satisfaction. The sales director is accountable for helping the department reach its sales quota for the week, month, or year. 

This job opportunity requires excellent negotiation and marketing skills. It will be essential for you to understand the company’s target market and come up with unique ways to position its products against its competitors. Sales directors that continuously meet their goals will have opportunities to grow into higher positions, such as chief sales officer or VP of marketing.

Sample job description

Sales directors develop growth strategies and action plans to improve sales and meet or exceed sales targets. Sales directors must be able to build strong relationships and have a solid understanding of customer trends. They need excellent communication and negotiation skills and should be good listeners.  [Your Company Name] is searching for an experienced sales director with proven sales experience who can take our company to new heights. As an ideal candidate, you have in-depth knowledge of marketing techniques, strong leadership qualities, and the ability to effectively multitask.  

Typical duties and responsibilities

  • Forecast and set sales goals
  • Develop and execute a strategic plan for meeting sales goals and expanding client base
  • Understand market trends and recommend adjustments
  • Communicate sales plans and strategies to key stakeholders in upper levels of the company as well as sales teams
  • Implement sales training and orientation programs

Education and experience

  • This position requires a bachelor’s degree in business, marketing, communications, or a related field, as well as several years of experience and success in sales.
  • Employers typically prefer that candidates have a master’s degree in business administration, marketing, or a similar discipline, in addition to a proven track record of success leading a sales team.

Required skills and qualifications

  • Written and verbal communication skills
  • Proven leadership skills, especially relating to coaching and motivating
  • Experience forecasting sales and setting sales goals
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite or similar software, including spreadsheets and databases
  • Strong ability to develop and present data and strategies to C-level stakeholders
  • Expertise in organization and time management

Preferred qualifications

  • Excellent negotiation, leadership, and motivational skills
  • Strong communication skills
  • Experience in sales 
  • Ability to build strong relationships

Typical work environment

Sales directors typically work full-time during normal business hours in office settings. They may spend part of their day in meetings with the sales team or upper management. They may work overtime depending on the needs of the business. Travel may be required for some sales directors.   

Typical hours

The typical work hours for a Sales Director are from 9 AM to 5 PM in an office setting. They sometimes have to work additional hours or on weekends.

Available certifications

Sales directors can be found in many different industries, and many institutions offer certifications that can help enhance their skills. Here are two of the best certifications for sales directors: 

Certified Professional Sales Leader (CPSL) . The CPSL is designed for sales leaders and managers. It is a comprehensive, six-week online course that provides you with the strategies and behavioral training you need to succeed as a sales director. You will learn how to challenge sales professionals to grow, how to improve sales performance on your team, how to effectively speak to the specific needs of your team members, and how to motivate your team in the best way.

Certified Sales Leadership Professional (CSLP). The CSLP certification proves your knowledge, skills, and competencies in sales and business development. It demonstrates your competency in generating leads, closing deals, making effective sales pitches, and developing proposals that work. The certification shows you understand the basics of sales, effective communication, and the tools needed to deliver successful presentations. Certification is valid for 3 years and must be renewed to remain active.

Career path

The path to becoming a Press Operator begins with earning a high school diploma or equivalent. Some employers may prefer job candidates with a certification or associate degree from a technical program. It is common for Press Operators to advance to positions relating to machinery setup or maintenance. 

US, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook

SOC Code:  11-2022

2020 Employment397,900
Projected Employment in 2030425,800
Projected 2020-2030 Percentage Shift 7% increase
Projected 2020-2030 Numeric Shift27,900 increase

The Flexographic Technical Organization offers professional skill and knowledge development opportunities, such as modules covering pertinent topics and certification programs.