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The duties & responsibilities of a sales supervisor

Updated February 21, 2017

Employees working in a sales supervisor role face a number of job responsibilities each day. The wide range of duties can create challenges that a successful supervisor must overcome. To excel in the position, a sales supervisor must understand company objectives, possess leadership abilities and work with a keen business sense to produce desirable sales results.

Recruiting and Hiring

In many organisations, a sales supervisor is responsible for developing a profitable and productive sales force. Building an effective staff starts with hiring the right employees. According to CareerOverview.com, an employment reference website, sales supervisors must recruit, interview and hire employees into the sales organisation. In larger companies, a sales supervisor may work with the human resources department to attract candidates. But the final hiring decisions are made by sales supervisors and their managers.

Coach and Motivate

To produce the most effective sales staff, a sales supervisor must ensure employees receive quality training. They must then monitor employee performance and deliver constructive criticism when necessary. Improving employee sales abilities occupies a significant amount of a sales supervisor's time, according to the management reference website HRVinet.com. Some sales supervisors must develop and deliver innovative sales tactics for employee use. In some organisations, sales supervisors track employee sales performance through reports and statistics. A successful sales supervisor must be well versed in interpreting, understanding and sometimes creating sales reports.

Manage Employees

In addition to monitoring employee performance and providing feedback, a sales supervisor must take an active role in managing her employees. Management responsibilities can range from day-to-day oversight to scheduling, inspecting employee presentations and even ensuring employees maintain a neat work area, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics. Sales supervisors, according to the bureau, must develop and implement departmental policies, sales objectives and procedures for their respective departments. Some sales supervisors must work with the company's human resources department to discipline employees who fail to comply with procedures or who routinely fall short of sales goals.

Customer Service

Because their employees typically interact directly with customers, sales supervisors must often serve as a point of escalation when customers become unhappy. According to HRVinet.com, sales supervisors must handle customer complaints and work directly with customers to resolve outstanding issues. Sales supervisors may wield some authority to offer discounts or refunds to unhappy customers. When a customer's problem goes unresolved, a sales supervisor must escalate the issue to the sales manager and work with that individual to bring the problem to a close.

Liaison With Sales Manager

In many organisations, according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, sales supervisors must work with departmental or regional sales managers to coordinate activities, establish promotions and achieve company directives. A sales supervisor must maintain a close working relationship with the sales manager. The sales supervisor should feel comfortable escalating unresolved problems and customer feedback to the manager's attention. In some organisations, a sales supervisor must work with the sales manager to terminate ineffective employees or to promote successful ones.

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About the Author

Keith Evans has been writing professionally since 1994 and now works from his office outside of Orlando. He has written for various print and online publications and wrote the book, "Appearances: The Art of Class." Evans holds a Bachelor of Arts in organizational communication from Rollins College and is pursuing a Master of Business Administration in strategic leadership from Andrew Jackson University.