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The key to writing a great Sales Manager job description: articulate specific performance objectives and highlight how a candidate will advance their career at your organization. 

High performing sales managers are gainfully driving revenue for their employers and not perusing job ads. So if you need to hire one, you are going to have to be more creative than the average employer and your job ads will need to stand out.

No longer is it good enough to list an exhausting, yawn inducing set of requirements and experience levels in your job description. Instead, a job description must position the opportunity, intrigue the reader, and present an irresistible challenge to an achievement oriented individual, yet still include the skills and experience required to excel in your unique sales environment, as well as the performance objectives, and a ‘sales DNA’ profile that the successful candidate must possess in order to qualify for the role.

As hiring expert Lou Adler correctly states, including sections that articulate specific performance objectives not only has the direct benefit of differentiating your JD, but also has the indirect benefit of potentially becoming “the cornerstone of ongoing performance-management process by comparing real job requirements to what the person has actually achieved”.

Since job descriptions are a key ingredient in the recruiting process, here are the 6 must have sections that every sales manager job description should be comprised of, in addition to several examples of the responsibilities sales managers typically have.

Overview

The job description should begin with a brief overview of the company. It should include the organization’s recent successes, growth, culture, values, and why it is a great place to advance a career. Since high achieving sales people tend to be money driven, it must also include information on the compensation package being offered, including base salary, on-target variable elements, and company benefits.

Goals

Your organization’s strategic goals for the new hire should come immediately after the overview section since they are the ultimate benchmark in determining whether or not the prospective candidate would be up to the task. Begin the section with the key metrics that indicate how your company measures performance in this role. Adding specific information such as numbers and percentage goals to the description will not only help potential candidates understand how challenging the role will be for them, but will force your hiring team to clarify the expectations attached to the new hire.

Meet revenue guidelines and develop strategies for maintaining profit goals on a quarterly and annual basis.

• Responsible for overall sales growth of __%.
• Maintain sales costs within __% of the target identified by the executive team.
• Increase sales in direct and online distribution channels by $__.

Responsibilities

Responsibilities outline what the opportunity will be like on a day-to-day basis for the potential candidate. A compelling  job description states measurable tasks that are tied to the organizations’ sales strategy.
Qualified candidates for a sales manager position expect that they’ll be accountable for key performance metrics, so consider taking an opportunity in this section to add numbers that will demonstrate how challenging and exciting the opportunity is.

• Work with the senior management team to set revenue and sales goals on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis.
• Create and implement a comprehensive sales training program within __ months that will keep your sales team at the forefront of the industry and help each salesperson to reach their goal.
• Become a mentor to the sales team and nurture relationships with each associate in order to help them achieve their goals.
• Work with senior management to devise and implement innovative go-to-market strategies.
• In the next __ days, work with the sales team to upgrade lead-scoring criteria.
• Demonstrate an advanced understanding of our market, our competitors, and other economic indicators to steer our sales department with your forward-thinking vision.
• Create new programs to meet the needs of our channel partners and help them exceed revenue expectations with our products.
• Increase customer satisfaction ratings by __% and create innovative programs for upselling.
• Ensure accurate reporting on lead generation and sales efforts, including pulling data and metrics to provide detailed information about pipeline status.
• Lead (daily, weekly, monthly) sales meetings to motivate your work force, providing new and innovative training and information on an ongoing basis.
• Provide frequent updates to senior leadership and other departments as needed or requested, including high-level reports for our annual meeting and for our board of directors.
• (Daily, weekly, or as required) travel to meet with potential and existing clients, as well as field sales staff.

Experience

Hiring managers frequently use experience as a selection criteria when evaluating sales candidates. Relevant experience gives some indication of a particular candidate’s ability to perform certain tasks and can encompass a number of elements including buyer groups, technology, geography or territory, sales cycles, and deal sizes.
Companies seeking the very best sales management talent focus on experience that is aligned with the desired selling and management tasks stated in the responsibility section of the job description.

• Successful experience selling _______ (product/service or related product/service) to _____ (buyer/group).
• Successful experience closing __-figure deals.
• Successful experience monitoring and evaluating sales rep progress against stated expectations, in addition to aligning and changing behavior with performance expectations.
• Successful experience managing a team of __ + salespeople.
• Successful experience utilizing a CRM to manage team sales tasks, pipeline, and closing data.
• Successful experience hiring and onboarding sales representatives.
• Successful experience building and managing a territory (include geography if necessary).
Proven experience working within a __ (small, medium, large) company environment.

Skills

Successful sales managers have skills that set them apart from other average and below-average sales leaders so it is vital that a job description list the key skills required to be successful in your unique selling environment.

• Demonstrated ability to hire high performing sales people
• Strong ability to coach sales reps to higher performance
• Ability to accurately forecast future sales volumes
• Excels at selling intangible solutions into the B2B market
• Proficient at Target Account Selling
• Ability to analyze, establish and execute presales strategy
• Excellent qualification skills
• Skilled at building rapport, opening doors, and understanding business requirements of senior decision makers.
• Skilled at providing market recommendations and customer feedback to the executive team.
• Ability to elicit needs from key decision makers.
• Strong written and oral communication skills.
• Ability to influence others.
• Strong time management, qualification and negotiation skills.
• Ability to manage, optimize and identify opportunities with partners, members, process enhancement and program growth.

DNA

As mentioned in our article, Hiring The Right Salesperson: Sales DNA vs. The Resume, top performing sales people share certain traits. These traits drive top sales managers to consistently achieve their business and personal goals.

• Driven, energetic, professionally ambitious.
• Competitive.
• Sense of urgency.
• Confidence.
• Optimism, resilience and perseverance.
• Ability and need to influence others.
• Team player.
• Solution oriented.

Need more information on successful recruiting tactics and techniques? Download our book, Sales Recruiting 2.0, right to your Kindle.

Require more sales specific job descriptions? Check out these two articles: Job Description of an Account Executive, Job Description of a Vice President of Sales.

Photo Credit: pinprick via Compfight cc

Connect:

Keith Johnstone

Sales & Recruiting Expert at Peak Sales Recruiting
Keith spent his first years in the recruiting business helping employers find top performing sales executives and then worked his way up through the ranks, becoming a manager of marketing and an expert on B2B sales and hiring matters. A graduate from the University of Guelph, he regularly contributes to the Peak Sales blog.
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