National sales directors are leaders who oversee their companies' sales operations countrywide. These types of professionals supervise the work of regional sales managers and look at industry trends and competitors’ actions to determine how their companies can better capture their markets on a national scale. A person who desires to become a national sales director should complete at least four years of college training and work his or her way up from an entry-level role to a manager role and then to a director position.
If you want to become a national sales director, you should earn a four-year degree in a subject area such as business administration and focus on the area of marketing. Getting into this type of bachelor’s degree program requires that you fill out a college enrollment form and submit your high school transcript along with your high school diploma or the equivalent certification. You also must be prepared to share your most recent standardized exam results with your potential school’s admissions team.
In addition to focusing on a degree in marketing, you also should try to take additional classes in a specialty area in which you would enjoy directing sales. For example, if you want to become a national sales director who works in the computer industry, technology classes will prepare you for this specialized field. Meanwhile, healthcare-related classes will serve as a suitable addition to your marketing-focused degree if you want to do national sales directing for a medical device company.
While studying marketing, an aspiring industry director needs to take basic sales and business courses. Courses include those on professional selling, which teach you how to effectively sell various products and services by developing customer relationships and learning how to negotiate. A class on sales management is also valuable for a person who wishes to become a national sales director, as this type of course explains how to recruit and select salespeople in addition to training them and paying them adequately.
Before serving as a director of sales at the national level, you must begin as an entry-level salesperson at a company. While fulfilling your entry-level role, you need to work on mastering your personal sales skills so as to achieve a high volume of sales for the company, which is necessary to be promoted to a regional sales manager role. You then can become a national sales director if you acquire a few years of experience in the sales manager role. During these years, you should practice managing field sales employees, developing regional sales plans, and preparing regular sales reports.