How do I Become a Financial Sales Manager?

Paul Woods

Becoming a financial sales manager typically entails earning a university degree, receiving an offer to work with a financial services firm, establishing a record of success as a sales person and demonstrating leadership skills. Some financial sales firms will expect a degree in a business-related filed such as finance, but many firms also recruit sales professionals, and potential managers, with varying academic backgrounds. In almost every instance, acquiring required licenses to sell financial products or offer financial services is also required.

A financial sales manager giving a presentation.
A financial sales manager giving a presentation.

The first step in becoming a financial sales manager is to earn a university degree. Most financial services firm require a degree of some kind to enter the sales force. Financial services firms that target lower- to middle-class customers, who often are not college educated, sometimes do not require a degree or, if they do require it, allow the degree to be from unrelated fields such as the liberal arts. Financial firms that solicit more affluent clients usually require a university degree with a concentration in business.

An aspiring financial sales manager should have the ability to motivate and lead others.
An aspiring financial sales manager should have the ability to motivate and lead others.

Taking the next step toward being a financial sales manager entails passing all license exams for the type of financial products being sold. In most countries, federal and regional authorities regulate the sales of financial products such as investments, life insurance with investment components and banking services. Firms usually can face criminal or civil penalties for allowing representatives to offer products without required licenses. These licensing exams can be difficult, and in many instances prep courses are recommended and often paid for by the hiring firm.

Succeeding in sales for the financial firm is the third step in becoming a financial sales manager. Often, highly skilled financial experts handle the actual investing of client funds, but it is the members of the sales force who bring clients to the firm. Managing a financial sales force usually requires that the financial sales manager has experience, understanding and success in selling.

Many successful financial sales people are not suited to management. It can be that these people do not desire to be a manager or that they are not suited to the task. To become a financial sales manager from among the number of successful sales representatives requires the prospective manager demonstrate a number of non-sales skills. These skills can include the ability to motivate others, leadership skills, problem-solving ability, the capability to make good hiring decisions, and the attention to detail required to ensure the team is in compliance with company policies and procedures.

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