How Do I Become a Field Sales Manager? (with picture)

K. Kinsella
K. Kinsella
A field sales manager giving a presentation.
A field sales manager giving a presentation.

A Field sales manager is responsible for overseeing the sales activities of a company within a particular region as well as the day-to-day activities of field sales agents. Someone wishing to become a field sales manager should have both prior sales experience and possibly a college degree. Additionally, while some firms simply require managers to have general sales experience, many firms only higher individuals with prior experience selling particular types of products and services.

Generally, those wishing to become a field sales manager must have successfully completed high school. In many instances, firms prefer managers to have a college degree in business administration, management or a related topic of study. Some colleges offer non-degree sales management programs and completing one of these courses may enable an individual to land certain types of managerial jobs.

While some sales agents are office-based employees, field sales agents spend the majority of their time meeting clients at different locations. Successful field sales agents must have good interpersonal and organizational skills. Additionally, since these agents have very little daily interaction with managers of co-workers, people filling these roles must be self-motivated and reliable employees. Most firms require field sales managers to have some experience of field sales as opposed to office-based sales. Some companies prefer to promote existing employees into managerial roles because these individuals have knowledge of the market in which their employees must work.

Aside from prior experience in field sales, someone wishing to become a field sales manager should also have some prior industry relevant experience. Automobile dealers prefer to hire managers who have prior experience working in the automobile industry while travel companies tend to hire managers with experience working for resorts or tour operators. In the absence of industry specific experience, some firms consider applications from candidates who have completed industry related degrees or study programs.

Certain types of industries are subject to government regulations which require salespeople to pass industry related examinations and to obtain licenses. In many countries, anyone wishing to become a field sales manager for an insurance company must pass an exam that is administered by an insurance regulatory authority. Individuals selling securities must pass licensing exams and pay a fee to obtain securities licenses. Regardless of prior experience, no one can work as a field sales manager in one of these industries without obtaining a license.

Many companies attempt to increase revenues by expanding into foreign markets. Field sales managers are often among the first company employees to be sent overseas. Someone wishing to become a field sales manager based overseas must have second language skills. Many companies even require international sales managers to have completed a foreign language college degree.

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    • A field sales manager giving a presentation.
      A field sales manager giving a presentation.