National sales managers must have worked as successful salespersons. In addition to being good salespersons, they must have leadership and managerial skills. Most of the time, they oversee area managers, regional managers, territory managers, district managers, and product specialists. They may also be required to perform direct sales.
They must be knowledgeable with the products or services that their company sells. They must be proficient in sales performance analysis. Since one of their duties is the oversight of regional sales offices, they must be willing to travel all over the country regularly. They must conduct regular video conferences in lieu of meeting with regional sales managers face to face. National sales managers must give timely feedback to people who are reporting to them. They must conduct job performance reviews on a regular basis, in accordance with their company’s guidelines, policies, and procedures. They must be ethical. They must have excellent presentation and interpersonal skills. They must have good oral and written communication skills. They must keep themselves up to date with relevant product trends in their industry. They may be required to mentor or coach junior sales managers.
Many employers hire only candidates with a bachelor’s degree in management, business, finance, marketing, or accounting. However, some companies may accept candidates with significant years of experience in lieu of a bachelor's degree. They are often required to be proficient in the use of Microsoft Office, as well as marketing software to be used for product and sales analysis.
National Sales Manager Tasks
- Ensure execution of the developed sales strategies, objectives, goals and targeted revenue generation.
- Manage key or specific customer accounts.
- Maintain business relationships with accounts and develop new opportunities.
- Maintain contact with key markets by visiting and investigating the operations and local conditions.