Sales team leaders are not only in charge of leading a staff that helps a company reach, and even surpass, its sales goals. They also interview, hire and train members of the team, then assign territories and help manage existing accounts and develop new ones. Sales team leaders not only must oversee and schedule a team but also keep it motivated and working as a unit.
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Sales teams leaders must know their company's mission, as well as the products and services it offers, inside and out. They must be passionate about reaching sales goals, constantly aiming to instil a strong work ethic in their team members. When it comes to training, sales team leaders often must show how products and services are used, explaining the history and value of buying them. In addition to preparing a team, sales leaders often have to do some selling themselves. They also set up bonuses and incentives for members of a team to keep morale high.
Sales team leaders must be highly motivated, energetic, professional and possess excellent customer-service skills. They need to be confident and resilient in both directing members of the team and in meeting with consumers. Like all managers, sales leaders also need to be fairly patient as members of their team adjust to their jobs and make mistakes. Sales team leaders likely need to possess basic computer skills, as well as a knowledge of related software and programs. They also need to be able to effectively provide their team members with sales "pitches," or key points to highlight, when discussing products and services with potential clients.
Educational requirements to become a sales team leader vary by company. Some are required to hold a bachelor's degree, while others need no more than a high school diploma. Companies often favour candidates who display leadership traits and have an excellent sales record when promoting a team member to sales leader. In the event a degree is needed, sales team leaders often focuses on courses in marketing and business, as well as those involving the specific industry in which they work.
Since the success of every company centres around how much money it makes, sales team leaders have an extremely valuable role and are likely to be needed for years to come. As for the immediate future, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects jobs for sales supervisors to increase by 5 per cent through 2018.
Wages for sales team leaders are largely based on their experience and success, as many receive a base salary along with a commission, or a portion of the income they generate. According to the BLS, sales supervisors earned a median annual wage of anywhere from £22,750 to more than £63,700 in May 2008, depending on the industry.
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