Sales Director Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

Last updated: June 22, 2022

A Sales Director, or Director of Sales, oversees the operations of a company’s sales department. Their main duties include developing plans for team members to reach sales targets, creating sales reports and building profit estimates for products.


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Sales Director duties and responsibilities

Besides managing the sales team, here are some of the other responsibilities of the Sales Directors in a firm: 

  • Manage and exceed or reach the set business targets assigned within certain territories.
  • Develop, execute and oversee strategies and plans to achieve the set business targets.
  • Work to improve the customer base.
  • Build and maintain good and lasting relationships with clients.
  • Partner with directors in other fields to come up with better strategies.
  • Create and maintain accurate records and sales reports.


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What does a Sales Director do? 

Sales Directors are in charge of a company’s sales team to ensure they meet sales targets. They’re responsible for leading and motivating their team to make more sales and to improve their overall customer service skills with clients. Sales Directors will also build strategic plans and goals for their team members to closely follow to ensure they hit their sales targets. 

They’re also responsible for conducting research to help them determine what the sales team’s weekly, monthly and quarterly sales quotas and objectives will be. After quotas are met, the Sales Director will write detailed sales reports for leadership members to review. Sales Directors are also in charge of creating selling prices for products by assessing the competition, supply and demand and similar product costs.


Sales Director skills and qualifications

A qualified applicant for a Sales Director role should have the following prerequisite skills: 

  • Excellent communication skills
  • Well-developed math and business skills
  • Outstanding negotiation skills
  • Ability to plan and execute strong strategies
  • Good leadership skills and ability to motivate the sales team
  • Ability to manage and delegate the sales team
  • High level of understanding of the market
  • Ability to recognize and recruit sales representatives who will be successful 


Sales Director salary expectations

The average salary for a Sales Director is $117,073 per year but may vary based on geographic location, level of experience and specific requirement for the role. In addition to their base salary, Sales Directors earn an average of $42,500 per year in cash bonuses and $30,000 per year in commissions. The typical tenure in this position is one to three years.


Sales Director education and training requirements

The basic educational requirements for Sales Directors are a bachelor’s degree in business or marketing, but work experience is more important than education in some cases. Some optional certifications that can help candidates advance in the field include the Certified Sales Executive or Certified Sales Leadership Professional designations. A master’s degree in specific fields like information technology may also be valuable for roles in companies in the tech industry.


Sales Director experience requirements 

In the field of sales, results are typically measured in the number of sales. Therefore, to earn their positions, Sales Directors have to excel as sales experts in their fields. With time, they are then typically promoted to Sales Managers and move on to be the directors. To measure a person’s fitness for the Sales Director position, you should be able to prove them as one of the top sales resources for the company. 


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Frequently asked questions about Sales Directors


Who reports to a Sales Director?

There are several sales team members who will report directly to the Sales Director. Larger teams will typically have a Sales Manager who trains and guides the sales team to hit quotas developed by the Sales Director. The Sales Director will oversee the Sales Manager’s progress and leadership skills and will provide valuable feedback on areas to improve. 

Some Sales Directors who work on smaller teams may act as both the Sales Manager and Sales Director, meaning they’ll complete they’re high-level tasks and the training and management duties the Sales Manager usually completes. If this occurs, the sales team will typically report directly to the Sales Director for guidance and advice on how to improve their performance and effectively hit their quotas.


Who does a Sales Director report to?

Sales Directors will usually report to the leadership and executive teams for feedback, guidance and company updates. Larger companies may have a Vice President of Sales who works closely with the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operations Officer to develop big-picture company goals. 

The Sales Director will report to the Vice President of Sales to provide updates on the sales team’s progress and to receive any constructive feedback or advice to improve their work performance. In smaller businesses, the Sales Director may report directly to the Chief Executive Officer or even the stakeholders to share sales reports and receive approvals of product pricing. 


What settings do Sales Directors typically work in?

Sales Directors usually work in their own office, building sales strategies and conducting research on the competition and product prices. They’ll also spend a majority of their time in the sales department, communicating sales quotas to team members and motivating them to perform effectively. Some Sales Directors may travel to various companies to sell products to larger clients or to visit existing clients to ensure the company still has a strong and long-lasting relationship with them. 


What makes a good Sales Director?

A great Sales Director should have strong written and verbal communication abilities to draft sales reports and to collaborate effectively with employees and leadership members. Impressive leadership skills are also important to have, as they must motivate and guide team members to hit sales targets. 

Since they’re regularly making big-picture decisions for the sales department, Sales Directors should possess sound critical thinking and problem-solving skills. The ideal Sales Director candidate must also use strong time management abilities to prioritize the many tasks their given each day and to complete them before their respective deadlines.

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