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Director of Sales Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

Last updated: December 10, 2022

A Director of Sales, or Sales Director, manages and oversees the sales operations in an organization. Their main duties include designing plans to meet sales targets, developing and cultivating relationships with clients and evaluating costs to determine their products’ pricing when selling to customers.

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Director of Sales duties and responsibilities 

Directors of Sales manage and oversee the sales of a company. They often have the following responsibilities: 

  • Develop and execute strategic plans to achieve sales targets.
  • Create and communicate sales goals and ensure C-level executives are informed on the progress of those goals.
  • Build and maintain long-lasting, strong relationships with customers while partnering with them to better understand their business objectives and needs.
  • Understand industry-specific trends and landscapes.
  • Effectively communicate value propositions through presentations and proposals.
  • Report on forces that shift strategic directions of accounts and tactical budgets.
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What does a Director of Sales do? 

A Director of Sales is the head of a company’s sales department. They lead the sales team by developing and implementing sales plans to increase the company’s profit and motivating their employees to hit these sales goals. Directors of Sales also conduct research on the competition and supply and demand costs to determine how much their products are worth. This helps them develop reasonable product pricing that fits within the customer’s budget and brings in a great profit. 

At the end of the month or quarter, the Director of Sales drafts a report and presents on it to the executive team. They’ll use the leadership team’s feedback to add adjustments and improvements to their current sales target strategies.

Director of Sales skills and qualifications 

Directors of Sales use a variety of soft skills and industry knowledge to manage their duties effectively. These skills can include: 

  • Excellent written and verbal communications skills
  • Proven ability to drive the sales process from start to finish
  • Excellent listening, negotiation and presentation skills
  • Proven ability to articulate the distinct aspects of services and products
  • Knowledge of how to develop client-focused, differentiated and achievable solutions
  • Understanding of how to position products against competitors

Director of Sales salary expectations 

A Director of Sales makes an average of $117,790 per year. Salary may depend on a candidate’s education, experience level and geographical location. 

Director of Sales education and training requirements 

Most employers require Directors of Sales to have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field such as marketing or business administration. Some employers may prefer candidates with a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree. Completion of an MBA program demonstrates a candidate’s knowledge of concepts in sales management and strategic operations. While prior industry knowledge is helpful, employers can provide some degree of company training during onboarding to help the Director of Sales understand the specific needs of the role in a particular industry.

Director of Sales experience requirements 

Directors of Sales typically have 7 to 10 years of sales experience in an executive-level position such as a Sales Manager, Marketing Director or similar role. These professionals may have gained relevant training and knowledge of the field during their degree. Any relevant experience in a leadership or managerial position is helpful.

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Frequently asked questions about Directors of Sales


Who reports to a Director of Sales?

The Sales Manager reports to the Director of Sales. They work directly with the sales employees and report any updates or concerns about the sales’ team’s performance to the Director of Sales. The Director of Sales usually works closely with the executive team to determine the sales needs for the company and provides any high-level announcements or important sales information to the Sales Manager, who then relays these details to the sales team. 


What's the difference between a Director of Sales and a Sales Manager?

The Director of Sales and Sales Manager both oversee the performance of the sales team, but still have different responsibilities in their roles. Directors of Sales often work above Sales Managers, completing high-level tasks that keep the sales team productive and efficient. 

Sales Managers usually work closely with the sales team each day, providing hands-on training, recruiting and assistance as needed to build a strong sales team. The Director of Sales is responsible for the entire sales department and works with leadership to develop sales strategies that the Sales Manager and their team must follow. 


What makes a good Director of Sales?

A good Director of Sales is great at communicating and listening to the needs of many parties, including the sales team, Sales Manager, executive members and customers. They should also be self-motivated and committed to setting and reaching sales targets that increase the company’s profits and boost performance. Directors of Sales should have extensive experience working in sales to develop a strong knowledge for how the sales department operates, which helps them build achievable and impressive sales strategies for their sales team to hit.  


Do Directors of Sales have different responsibilities in different industries?

Most Directors of Sales share similar responsibilities wherever they choose to work, but must have advanced knowledge on that specific industry to help them effectively understand their product and the customers’ wants and needs. 

Directors of Sales in the medical industry travel to different hospitals and healthcare facilities selling medical tools and equipments to Office Managers according to the facilities’ needs and specialties. Some Directors of Sales work in retail, developing strategies and plans to sell products directly to consumers. Others work in business-to-business industries, selling a service or product to other organizations and establishing long-term relationships with them.  

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