Hiring Guide

Sales Manager

Specific duties of a Sales Manager can vary from business to business — along with factors like company culture, work environment, and team dynamics — it’s vital to tailor any job description and interview content to your company’s needs and expectations.

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Why you should hire a Sales Manager

Sales Managers or senior sales leaders help companies achieve success by overseeing the operations of the sales department. They develop and manage strategies to meet sales quotas/targets and manage the performance of the team and individuals to grow profits and ensure long-term success.

In this hiring guide, we'll provide everything you need to hire a great Sales Manager.

Top skills for Sales Managers

Sales Strategy Development

Strategic Thinking
Strategic Sales Planning
Business Acumen

Sales Performance Management

Team Management
Market Knowledge
Critical/Analytical Thinking

Leadership and Navigation

Motivating Others

Talent Acquisition and Retention

Performance Evaluation
Training Others

Sample Sales Manager job description

Sales Managers are primarily responsible for hitting a company’s sales targets and achieving growth by effectively managing a company’s sales team. They do so by implementing a strategic sales plan that involves setting sales goals, monitoring progress, and updating goals to ensure optimal performance. Their primary goal is usually to expand a custom base in order to grow company revenue and help the company be competitive and innovate. Sales Managers are also responsible for a team of sales representatives. They hire, set objectives, coach, and manager performance to help them grow professionally and achieve success for the company.

Sample interview questions for Sales Managers

Question 1

What are some specific ways you would manage your sales KPIs as a sales leader here at [insert company]?

Rebecca Train portrait image
Rebecca Train
Director of Sales — 9 years professional experience

What does this question reveal?

Candidate has the knowledge and ability to set and track sales targets for sales team/department.

Answer tips

  • Specifies core KPIs (e.g. login-deal ratios, call numbers, average deal size)
  • Reviews KPIs on a structured and systematic basis (weekly, monthly, quarterly)
  • Analyzes data to identify and respond to issues when metrics are not reached
  • Incentives team to go above-and-beyond by rewarding exceptional performance

Question 2

Sometimes sales associates/consultants don’t start aggressively going for their sales targets until the end of the month. How would you deal with a sales team like this to motivate them to have a more consistent monthly sales cadence?

Rebecca Train portrait image
Rebecca Train
Director of Sales — 9 years professional experience

What does this question reveal?

Candidate has the ability to implement tactics that ensures sales efforts are consistent throughout a defined period

Answer tips

  • Focuses on tactics to promote accountability among team
  • EX: Structures detailed performance expectations for specific time periods
  • EX: Clearly communicates the recipe for success (e.g. # of calls, emails, etc.)
  • Suggests implementing a mid-month target day (e.g., 40%) 
  • Incorporates discussions about sales patterns in employee performance reviews

Question 3

Imagine a scenario where the sales pipeline you implemented is not as effective between different members in the team. How would you identify and address the issue?

Alycia Damp's portrait image
Hireguide I/O Psych Validated
Alycia Damp, PhD IRHR

What does this question reveal?

Answer tips

  • Considers whether reps are dropping inactive or dead leads that waste resources
  • Determines root cause (e.g. inefficiencies, bad pricing/product, poor support)
  • Reviews targets to ensure they are achievable and tracks progress
  • Coaches reps who need performance improvements
  • Uses initiative to try new creative sales approaches