What Does a National Sales Director Do?

Malcolm Tatum

A national sales director is a sales professional who is tasked with the responsibility of overseeing the activities of a large sales force located throughout a country. Often fully accountable to owners and executives for the success of the sales effort, the director will typically work closely with regional sales managers or directors to make sure sales initiatives are carried out, quotas are met, and that sales personnel are provided with the resources necessary to result in new and return sales from clients. The exact scope of national sales director responsibilities will vary, based on the culture and operational structure of the employer, with all assigned duties related to sales in some manner.

Sales directors are responsible for teams of people.
Sales directors are responsible for teams of people.

The typical national sales director is based at the headquarters of the employer and is considered a part of the executive management team. From this position, the director is able to work closely with counterparts in the marketing division, as well as any public relations personnel that are also based as the company headquarters. This vantage point makes it possible to have access to sales-related data from around the company while also being aware of what products are under development, impending enhancements to existing products, and any innovations that will shortly be included in the general marketing strategy. It is not unusual for directors to work closely with marketing and public relations to develop comprehensive programs that in turn lead to the creation of new sales collateral and changes to procedures that help to generate more sales.

In terms of administration and leadership, the national sales director will provide support, correction, and a steady flow of information from the corporate headquarters to each field in the sales structure of the business. The director will often manage this by using a communication process that includes all regional sales managers or directors, meeting with them individually and collectively to assess what is happening in their regions and make changes or adjustments as needed to enhance the sales effort. At times, the national sales director may also work directly with district or individual sales personnel on particular issues, often at the request of the regional director.

A national sales director will also often serve as the advocate for the entire sales team at the corporate level, seeking additional funding for sales support materials and training for qualified sales applicants, and generally making sure the sales team has full access to the resources necessary to generate revenue for the company. The director will often work hand in hand with financial officers and others to develop and monitor compensation packages that include salaries and commissions for salespeople, set quotas and goals that must be met in order to qualify for those commission plans, and even arrange for participation of salespeople at educational seminars from time to time. Directors will also take part in ongoing training, allowing them to develop additional skills that aid in overseeing and managing a large and dispersed sales force.

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