How do I Become a Sales Director?

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  • Written By: Anna B. Smith
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 10 November 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
    Conjecture Corporation
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To become a sales director, interested parties should complete a Bachelor's Degree in business management or administration, and seek a job as a sales representative with the opportunity to advance on to lower tier management. Pursuing this type of career allows the employee to demonstrate to his future hiring company that he can perform the standard duties associated with a director's position. These duties can include managing a small sales staff, setting monthly goals, and holding team members accountable. Employees can also benefit from pursuing additional educational measures that are particular to the trade they are in, such as maintaining a current real estate license.

A bachelor's degree from a traditional four year university in a related field is typically required for this type of upper management position. Students hoping to become a sales director at some point in their careers may wish to focus their studies in the areas of business management, administration, marketing, and real estate. This position is often crucial in driving a company's annual profit revenue, and some hiring agencies may prefer that applicants also have acquired a master's degree in business management or administration.


Companies also tend to look for individuals with sales experience when searching for an adequate candidate as their next sales director. Any type of sales experience is generally looked upon favorably, and more credit may be given to jobs in which the employee was paid by commission. Most upper level sales jobs pay team members a base salary and an at risk salary which is based on the amount of product sold monthly. Target goals are set by the sales director, and each team member is excepted to hit and exceed those goals to receive their full at risk salary. Employees who have experience working within a similar commission structure can demonstrate to prospective employers that they understand how to set, reach, and exceed a targeted sales goal on a monthly, quarterly, and annual basis.

Management experience is highly valued in prospective sales directors. Employees on the career track to become a sales director should look for a management position that places them over a minimum of four or more employees. This type of experience allows the manager to demonstrate that he knows how to set daily tasks for multiple individuals, and supervise them towards achieving one overall company goal. Management in a sales environment combines both types of experience in one job setting and places candidates high on a company's list to become a sales director.

Applicants may benefit from deciding early in their career what type of sales in which they are interested, and focusing any future educational endeavors in that area. Those who wish to become a sales director for a financial investment firm should be adequately certified in any related financial advisory standards. Directors for property management leasing firms often need to maintain a valid real estate license. Many companies, in addition to requiring a certain level of education and a number of years of experience, tend to set these further requirements on a case by case basis, depending on the needs of the internal and external sales staff.



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