How Do I Become a Regional Sales Manager?

If you enjoy working in retail, have strong leadership and customer service skills and imagine yourself working in a managerial role, you may be wondering how to become a regional sales manager. Regional sales managers oversee the sales procedures and performance of a company within a specified geographical region. The professionals occupy senior supervisory positions within a business chain or corporation. They may play a role in setting goals, budgets, pricing and sales representative training procedures.

Like other sales managers, regional sales managers may have a variety of responsibilities. They may travel to store locations throughout their assigned region, making planned or spontaneous visits to check in on store managers, employees, and performance. Regional sales managers devise and implement special programs, like employee training curriculum and customer discount campaigns. They interpret sales performance data to forecast future product sales. As managers, they may establish department, store or company budgets and may authorize spending as needed. Regional sales managers may also field customer complaints and develop the sales pitches most likely to be successful based on customer feedback. As the job title implies, regional sales managers typically complete all of these tasks at a regional level. Though they may visit stores and assist the employees and managers by providing customer service as needed, their role is primarily managerial.

Obtaining a position as a regional sales manager often requires a combination of professional experience, education and strong customer service skills. Candidates for regional sales managers typically work for three to five years or more in an entry-level retail position, such as sales representative or, occasionally, purchasing agent. When sales representatives have acquired a proven record of sales success, they often seek a promotion to department manager, store manager or district manager. Gaining experience in these management positions helps aspiring regional sales managers acquire the skills and experience they need to ultimately move into the high-level regional management role. Candidates often spend several years working within the same company before being promoted to regional sales manager positions.

Though retail work experience is a large part of becoming qualified for a regional sales manager position, aspiring regional sales managers should also invest in their education. Some companies require that sales managers or even entry-level sales representatives possess a college degree. Though many programs of study offer opportunities to develop relevant skills, candidates may be especially well-prepared if they complete coursework in management, finance, economics, accounting, business law, marketing, statistics and mathematics.

With the increased responsibilities that regional sales managers hold, there is also an increase in earning potential. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that management occupations as a whole earn an annual median salary of $91,440. Regional sales managers can expect to earn more than department managers, store managers and district managers. If you have a passion for retail sales and aspire to a supervisory role, knowing how to become a regional sales manager could be the first step to beginning an exciting new career.

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