Telephone Sales Manager Careers: Salary & Job Description

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What are the pros and cons of a telephone sales manager career? Get real job duties, career prospects and salary info to see if becoming a telephone sales manager is right for you.
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A Telephone Sales Manager Career: Pros and Cons

Working as a telephone sales manager requires managing a telephone sales team for a company. Check out the pros and cons tables below to find out the details about this career.

Pros of Becoming a Telephone Sales Manager
Ranked in U.S. News and World Report's Top 50 Best Jobs of 2012 (Ranked #34)*
Business-to-business positions are expected to see good job growth (8% between 2012-2022)**
Excellent earning potential (mean annual wage as of May 2014 was $126,040)**
Low chance of being outsourced**

Cons of Becoming a Telephone Sales Manager
High stress occupation (required to meet deadlines and goals)*
Requires long work hours (may include weekends and evenings)*
May require frequent travel*
Job transfers within the company to other locations are common*

Sources: *U.S. News and World Report, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Career Information

Job Description and Duties

A telephone sales manager organizes, manages and directs the telephone sales team for a company. In this career, you'll be responsible for setting sales goals, managing sales teams and ensuring performance is meeting expectations. You'll also handle training programs to ensure the telephone sales teams are properly prepared for their jobs. While you won't directly manage sales teams, you will oversee the managers of each team. Through communications with managers, you can ensure each team is meeting the overall company goals. Your job will also involve handling any complaints through the sales department, preparing budgets, approving expenditures, monitoring customer satisfaction and analyzing sales statistics.

Most of your work will be done in an office. You may be required to travel to meet with other managers within your company or to handle sales management duties at other company locations.

Job Growth and Salary

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected an 8% job growth for sales managers in the 2012-2022 decade (www.bls.gov). The best opportunities will be in business-to-business sales, because business-to-customer sales are expected to decrease as the number of online sales increase. Additionally, managers should see stability in their jobs with little risk for outsourcing because of the important nature of their jobs, which makes it difficult for the job to be handled by someone not skilled in sales and management.

In May 2014, the BLS reported managers in the 10th-75th percentile range earned $53,000-$160,000. The median annual income was $110,660.

Career Skills and Requirements

Typically, a bachelor's degree is the minimum requirement for a job as a telephone sales manager. However, a master's degree may be required by some employers, and 1-5 years of work experience in sales is also usually required. Typically, employers reduce the amount of education required for applicants with more sales experience. You may earn a degree or get formal training in areas such as management, accounting, finance and marketing. Becoming a manager usually requires skills and qualities that include:

  • Analytical abilities
  • Communication skills
  • Customer service skills
  • Management skills
  • Ability to handle large amounts of responsibility
  • Work well under stress

Job Postings from Real Employers

The main requirement in the below job postings from March 2012 is for experience in sales and management. Employers were looking to hire people who were ready to step up to the challenge of managing a sales team without a need for any further training. Review the following posts to find out additional requirements.

  • A California home improvement company needed to hire a manager who could focus on reaching weekly sales goals and motivate the sales team to excel at their jobs.
  • An executive search group in Nebraska was seeking someone with five years of experience in inside sales management and the ability to mentor new account executives.
  • A shipping supply company in Illinois was looking for a customer-focused manager with the desire to travel to domestic and international locations.

How to Get an Edge in the Field

Getting an edge in the field of telephone sales management is based largely upon your background and training. You need to focus on gaining experience and excelling as a sales representative. Improving your computer skills can also help you to stand out from competitors.

Since many sales manager positions are filled from within a company through promotions, the company may offer you ways to stand out from other candidates. If your company offers sales training, then take part to increase your sales skills and knowledge of the company's sales procedures and policies. Some companies offer certification for sales staff, which may also help you to earn a promotion.

Alternative Fields

Market Research Analyst

Market research analysts study the conditions of the market to determine how well a product will sell. They also create reports that enable a company to determine the need for a product and how well it will be received by potential customers. To enter this field, you need at least a bachelor's degree. The BLS reported a 41% job growth from 2010-2020.

Demonstrator/Product Promoter

A product demonstrator or promoter helps to drum up public interest in a product through offering free samples, coupons or other items to promote the product. They travel to different locations to present the products. You don't need any formal training beyond high school to enter this career, but you may have to undergo company training. The BLS projected a job growth of 18% for this field from 2010-2020.

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George Mason University

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The Art Institutes

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  • Fashion Retailing (C)
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Kaplan University

  • MBA: Marketing
  • BSBA in Sales Management
  • AASBA in Sales

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Argosy University

  • Business Administration (DBA)
  • Business Administration (MBA)
  • Bachelor - Business Administration
  • Business Administration (AS)

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Saint John's University

  • Master of Business Administration: Interdisciplinary Business

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Herzing University

  • MBA
  • B.S. - Business Management With No Concentration
  • Associate of Science - Business Management

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American InterContinental University

  • Master of Business Admin: Marketing
  • Bachelor of Business Administration - Generalist
  • Associate of Arts in Business Administration

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Northcentral University

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  • PhD in Business Admin - Marketing
  • MBA - Marketing
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