A general sales manager is the primary manager of sales at a company. The responsibilities associated with the job include managing employees in the sales staff, training staff members, and strategically planning an overall marketing approach. In some cases, a general sales manager may be the only kind of sales manager in a company, but in other cases, businesses may break sales management up into separate categories. Most sales manager jobs have extensive education and experience requirements, and it is the top position available in the sales department at many companies.
Most of the time, the average salesperson will report directly to the general sales manager, who will constantly be overseeing his work. Sales managers are generally judged by the performance of their sales representatives, and they may be rewarded for sales successes or punished for sales failures. The general sales manager will often work with sales representatives on an individual basis to find areas of weakness and improve their results. People in this position are also usually responsible for training new sales staff members while teaching them the company's basic approach and policies.
One of the most important parts of a general sales manager job is often strategic planning, and developing an effective overall sales approach for the company will generally fall under the list of duties. This often requires a good grasp of the entire company business model and a strong understanding of marketing principles. It is also usually important that people in this role develop an effective approach for using manpower, so that the best staff members are put to work on the most important tasks for maximum efficiency.
Sales manager jobs usually require some actual experience in sales, and often these requirements will be extensive. Once someone has experience as a sales manager, it is easier to move into a new company as an outside employee, but the first job in this position will often be a case of working up through the ranks. There is also usually a steep educational requirement for a general sales manager job, but that can vary a bit. For example, many sales managers are expected to have a business degree, but some companies may also require education in a particular field related to their product. The responsibilities of sales managers are usually very important to a company's overall success, and it isn’t unusual for them to be tapped for promotion to higher positions.