The recruitment of the Sales Manager
The search and selection of a Sales Director is a complex process, since he or she is a figure with a great responsibility, whose main task is to ensure the achievement of sales budgets planned and agreed with top management. He or she is a key figure in all companies, but he or she acquires a decisive role in those organisations that are more market-oriented, i.e. that do not only focus on product quality to develop sales, but also on a series of well defined sales policies and structured and consolidated marketing strategies.
This is why when searching for and selecting a Sales Director it is necessary to evaluate a series of aspects that also depend on the type of company for which such a professional figure is required, be it a small or a large company. For small companies, in fact, a Sales Director often plays several roles, also related to the promotion of products according to different commercial strategies and according to the type of market of reference. Of course, in this case it becomes necessary for this figure to be familiar with the study of these markets and with the different techniques for defining the possible commercial strategies to be used. In reality, on the other hand, the duties of the Sales Director seem to be reduced while the organisational commitments aimed at achieving sales objectives increase.
We can therefore summarize what the main skills needed to apply for the role of Sales Director should be:
- knowledge of the markets, in particular those related to the reference company context;
- marketing skills;
- management skills;
- skills in the management of human and economic resources;
- language and IT skills.
Obviously, in the previous paragraphs, no precise rules have been defined, but generic guidelines, which may vary from company to company depending on the size and the reference market.
Knowledge of markets
Unlike other professional figures of lesser responsibility, that of the Commercial Director is a role that is usually reached after a certain age. The motivations are often linked to the acquisition of extra-curricular skills, i.e. linked to previous experience in sectors that allow you to acquire extensive knowledge of general markets and some in particular. If, in fact, the research and selection of a Sales Director must focus on a series of characteristics and skills, given the particular role that he plays within a company, it is essential that his knowledge in specific markets, i.e. those closely related to business activities, is excellent. A degree in economics, linguistics or similar disciplines or the presence of titles related to the type of work performed are certainly fundamental elements but, often, they may not be sufficient if you do not have continuously updated skills in the specific sector of reference.
One of the main tasks of a Sales Director may be to develop marketing plans through which the use of the resources for which he is responsible must be defined. Of course, in order to carry out this activity with competence, it becomes necessary to present high skills in data analysis, which allow to recognize and evaluate any problems related to the sales policy adopted. Such an executive must be able to objectively recognize what the results achieved are, setting time targets to be defined according to the characteristics of the company, the sector in which it operates and the markets themselves. Data analysis therefore becomes a fundamental tool for evaluating the performance achieved and, therefore, also the effectiveness of the strategies adopted.
The characteristics of a Sales Director are above all those related to versatility, i.e. the ability to deal with different markets in order to better define the commercial strategies to be adopted. He or she must have knowledge of how to promote the company’s products, whether through classic channels or through the network. In order to be able to plan the best sales strategies, i.e. to guarantee the sale of the company’s products in an efficient and fruitful way, it must be able to draw up action plans concerning the organization of human and economic resources, it must provide the right directives to the individual components of the company’s sales network, and organize and analyze the different steps to be taken to achieve the intermediate objectives capable of bringing sales to the set target. In addition, it must always have the objectivity to evaluate the routes taken in such a way as to understand any errors during the journey and be ready to modify a strategy that is not able to guarantee sales suitable for what is required for the success of the company.
The Sales Director is responsible for the economic resources to be used both for the growth of its employees and for the strictly commercial aspect, using the resources available to increase distribution channels, expand the clientele or even enter new markets.
When searching for and selecting a Sales Director it is necessary to evaluate the leadership skills of the candidates. A good Sales Director, in fact, must know how to manage the human resources operating in his sector and, at the same time, must know how to motivate them to create a close-knit, competent and competitive team. For this reason, he or she will be able to stimulate his or her collaborators towards curiosity and training, for regular updating in the various areas of competence.
Knowledge of English is one of the most important requirements when sending an application to a company: even if not all companies have foreign relations, it cannot be denied that most of the news and information about the markets that you find on the web or in major magazines is in English. For this reason, in order to be up to date and able to understand the market trends in your sector, knowledge of the language is a must. Among the most appreciated languages in the business sector are certainly Chinese, French, German and Spanish, but as you can imagine the need to know one language or the other is closely related to the type of market in which the company operates.
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