How to be a Sales Director | Career guide

Gerald Lombardo

Gerald Lombardo
December 12, 2022 4 min read

Sales directors drive modern commerce. Individually, the skills involved in great selling require both natural talent and dedicated practice. You may have met people who you instantly recognize as being a “born salesperson.” This isn’t really true. Yes, there are people with a predilection for sales. But to be GREAT at sales requires research, practice, understanding, and certainly experience. The best sales people, though, have a trick: They make everything APPEAR natural even if their skills are the result of hard work.

sales director

The role of Sales Director, in many companies, sits at the top of the sales pyramid. Sometimes Sales Directors run their respective departments, others they report to a VP of Sales. This depends on a company’s size and organization. Either way, being a Sales Director means leading teams, implementing strategies, and having a firm hand on the wheel of your business’s success. Sales Director is a fun, interesting, and rewarding role.

If you’re interested in becoming a Sales Director,  Popl is here to help. Here’s what you need to know.

What is a Sales Director?

A Sales Director is responsible for leading sales teams, implementing sales strategies, and overseeing sales operations. They are focused on achieving sales targets and developing new business opportunities. They must have strong interpersonal skills, sales acumen, and the ability to analyze sales data.

What do Sales Directors do?

The Sales Director is responsible for sales strategy and sales execution. In this role, they will drive customer acquisition, sales growth, and customer retention. They must have excellent salesmanship skills and be able to manage their sales team effectively. Additionally, the Sales Director should be comfortable with data analysis and forecasting in order to optimize sales performance.

Sales director job duties include:

  • Setting sales objectives and sales strategies
  • Developing sales plans to target new markets
  • Establishing sales processes and procedures
  • Managing sales teams
  • Analyzing sales data to improve sales performance
  • Developing relationships with key customers

Where do Sales Directors work?

Companies that hire Sales Directors include sales-focused organizations such as sales consulting firms, software companies, and sales process automation companies. They may also be found in traditional businesses that have a sales team or department.

Sales Director Work environment

Sales Directors, naturally, work in sales and sales operations departments, but may also be part of the company’s executive team. The sales environment can vary depending on the size and structure of the organization. In larger companies, Sales Directors typically report to a VP of Sales or Head of Sales. They are expected to interact with sales teams, customers, and other stakeholders throughout the sales process.

best sales directors

How to be a Sales Director

Becoming a sales director requires experience in sales and sales operations, as well as strong interpersonal skills. You should have direct experience leading sales teams, developing sales strategies, and analyzing sales data. Additionally, you must be able to communicate effectively with both customers and colleagues.

The key skill sets required by Sales Directors are:

  • Strategic thinking – ability to develop sales plans to target new markets
  • Interpersonal skills – excellent communication, collaboration, and negotiation abilities
  • Analytical skills – data analysis and forecasting skill
  • Leadership – proven track record of leading successful sales teams
  • Business acumen – knowledge of the industry, competitors, and trends

What does a Sales Director make?

The salary for a sales director can vary greatly depending on the size and type of company. They typically earn a base annual salary, plus sales and performance-based bonuses. According to  PayScale, the average sales director earns an annual salary of $90,954 per year. But in tech and other competitive industries that number is more like $150,000 per year and up.

Sales Directors often receive merit-based incentives in addition to salary which can include  stock options, sales commissions, and bonuses. Additionally, sales directors may qualify for additional benefits such as car allowances, travel reimbursement, health insurance, and retirement plans.

Sales Director jobs

Sales Director positions are advertised across a variety of job boards and websites. Look for sales director roles on sites such as Indeed, LinkedIn,  Monster, or Glassdoor.

VP of sales

Famous Sales Directors

Here are some famous Sales Directors you can look to for inspiration and guidance:

  • Trish Bertuzzi
  • Ian Moyse
  • Jordan Arogeti
  • Chantel George
  • Larry Long Jr.

Resources

Here are some of the useful sales books if you want to dive deeper:

  • The sales acceleration formula by Mark Roberge
  • Selling to Win by Ian Moyse
  • Challenger Sale by Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson
  • Start with Why by  Simon Sinek

How to be a Sales Director | Conclusion

Sales Directors play a critical role in sales organizations, leading sales teams and helping to increase sales performance. It’s an exciting job with ample potential for growth and success. To be successful in this role you need strong sales experience combined with leadership, interpersonal, and analytical skills. There are many resources available to help aspiring sales directors gain the necessary skills they need to attain success. With dedication and the right intention, you can and will reach your goal of becoming a Sales Director!

Best of luck on your sales journey, and don’t forget to consider a  digital business card. Using a digital business card is a great way for Sales Directors to close more deals, organize their team’s leads, and elevate their success.

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