Sales manager

Sales managers organise, coach and lead teams of sales representatives to work towards agreed targets.

Average salary (a year)

£22,000 Starter


£70,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

38 to 40 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends attending events or appointments

How to become a sales manager

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly
  • training with a professional body


You could do a degree before joining a company as a graduate management trainee. Subjects include:

  • sales and marketing management
  • business management
  • retail marketing

For some jobs, like selling hi-tech scientific or engineering equipment, employers may prefer you to have a qualification in that field.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 to 3 A levels for a degree

More information


You could complete a sales executive higher apprenticeship before applying for a trainee manager job.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent qualifications, for a higher or a degree apprenticeship

More information

Direct application

You'll need experience in sales and a record of achieving targets. Most employers will consider your sales and management experience, market knowledge and track record to be more important than your academic qualifications.

You could also be considered for specialist sales management jobs if you have a background in designing or manufacturing the products your team are selling.

Other routes

You could take a professional qualification like those offered by the Institute of Sales Management.

Qualifications include:

  • Level 4 Award in Managing a Sales Team
  • Level 4 Award in Finance for Sales Managers
  • Level 4 Award in Operational Sales Planning

More information

Career tips

In some jobs you could travel around the world to meet customers, so it may be helpful to speak a second language.

Further information

You can find out more about becoming a sales manager through the Institute of Sales Management.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • the ability to sell products and services
  • customer service skills
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • business management skills
  • leadership skills
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day duties might include:

  • recruiting and training sales staff
  • allocating areas to sales reps
  • developing sales strategies and setting sales targets
  • providing feedback and coaching to team members
  • monitoring the team’s performance and motivating them to reach targets
  • compiling and analysing sales figures
  • reporting back to senior managers
  • keeping up to date with products and competitors

Working environment

You could work at a store, in an office, at a client's business or in a contact centre.

Career path and progression

With experience and a good track record, you could take on larger sales areas or be promoted to regional or national sales manager.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Sales Apprentice

  • Wage : £188.00 Weekly
  • Location: Stockport SK7 5DP

Apprentice Sales Executive

  • Wage : £150.00 Weekly
  • Location: LONDON EC1N 8AN

Courses In England

NCFE Level 2 Diploma in Skills for Business: Sales and Marketing (QCF)

  • Provider: Heston Community School
  • Start date: 01 September 2020
  • Location: Hounslow

Diploma in Skills for Business: Sales and Marketing (QCF)

  • Provider: Barking & Dagenham College
  • Start date: 16 October 2019
  • Location: Romford

JobsIn the United Kingdom

The Find a job service can help you with your search for jobs and send alerts when new jobs become available.

Skills assessment

Take an assessment to learn more about your skills and the careers that might suit you.

Get help using this service

Call 0800 100 900 or use webchat

8am to 10pm, 7 days a week

More ways to contact us

Is this page useful?

Yes No