Sales Director Job Description


Here we dive into the different elements of a sales director job description and uncover the core elements of the sales director role. This guide is designed to help employers shape their sale director recruitment strategy and assist candidates in honing their career development.

This guide covers the components of the sales director role, skills and qualifications needed, and how businesses and candidates can be matched.

Duties and responsibilities of a sales director

The best sales directors are strategists and planners, skilled at motivating others, managing figures, and business acumen. It is a high-pressured role that suits energised, focused, business-driven individuals.

On a daily basis, the sales director is responsible for managing the entire sales function and, specifically, the sales force. As part of this, they will need to report regularly on the sales function, including estimating profits and working with price margins. They will need to create, develop and execute strategies so that the business can meet and exceed sales targets.

Part of the sales director’s role is to undertake competitor and market research and analysis for the purpose of product/service improvement and market expansion. It is the sales director whose skill and acumen often sits behind business growth.

Duties and responsibilities include:

  • Increasing and maximising new business development potential.
  • Creating strategic plans to align sales with business objectives.
  • Working with profit targets to execute sales plans.
  • Forecasting quotas and determining sales objectives.
  • Developing business sales tactics in line with strategy.
  • Market awareness to capitalise on opportunities in target markets.
  • Market analysis to monitor competitors as well as supply and demand.
  • Serving as a figurehead at business events, conferences and other networking avenues.
  • Communicating the organisation’s value propositions to different stakeholders.
  • Developing customer satisfaction programmes and loyalty.
  • Management of the sales function including supporting sales training.

Sales director qualifications and skills

Qualifications for sales directors are often seen as less important than proven success in the sales arena. Employers should expect candidates to prove their value through quantifiable evidence and candidates should be willing to supply this information. Experience is essential, along with industry expertise. A sales director job description needs to cover qualifications, experience and skills.

Qualifications may include:

  • Business-related degree e.g. in business management, sales or marketing.
  • Level 6 Executive Diploma in Strategic Sales and Account Management (ISMM)
  • Advanced Certificate in Sales Management (CIM)
  • Intensive Diploma in Strategic Sales Practice (CIM)
  • Full valid driving licence

Experience should include:

  • Proven experience in a senior sales-based role, usually 7-10 years.
  • Relevant industry experience
  • Demonstrated success in achieving sales targets and quotas
  • Management and leadership
  • Multiple project management
  • Value proposition development
  • Ability to demonstrate past client-focused solutions
  • Demonstration of ability to competitively position products/services

Skills required:

  • Exceptional sales skills
  • Outstanding negotiating skills
  • Excellent communication skills (both written and verbal)
  • Excellent customer service skills
  • Business acumen
  • Planning ability and strength
  • Leadership
  • Initiative and enthusiasm
  • Ability to achieve and lead under pressure
  • Budgetary knowledge
  • Reporting skills
  • Market analysis and competitor research

Job description must-haves

The sales director job description should also cover the basics of the role. Standard contracts usually cover a 9-5 working pattern, in essence, but at this level additional hours are likely to be needed, especially for event attendance.

In addition, the working location should be established. For sales directors, there is usually a central location, typically within head office. However, travel is almost certainly required in most sales director roles.

Hybrid models of working should be established.

Sales director salaries

Sales director roles are notoriously wide ranging in terms of scope and, therefore, salary. It depends on the sector and organisation size. The correct market value for your next sales director can be determined with the guidance of a headhunter.

Sales directors typically have highly attractive benefits schemes, including a KPI related bonus scheme.

How to find your sales director candidate or role

Any senior leadership position is a high-value acquisition. The stakes are high for finding the best candidate and ensuring an exceptional match between business and candidate. Often seen as the figurehead of the organisation, the chosen candidate needs to be personally aligned with the business goals and values.

Standard recruitment is rarely successful when hiring candidates for sales director roles. This is because the best candidates are currently proving themselves successfully in role for competitors. Headhunters, especially those that accept direct application from potential candidates, are able to source ideal candidates and ensure they are strategically moved into position.

Discover more about how a headhunter can help you find your next sales director.

Potential career paths

Sales directors are typically previously working at director or senior leadership level elsewhere, or may come from management level. Sales directors may go on to become Managing Director or CEO.

Sales director recruitment FAQs

How do we get the best sales director?

Using a headhunter will help you to refine your sales director job description and then identify and entice suitable passive candidates with industry expertise. Standard recruitment practices, such as job boards, are not recommended for senior leadership roles of this calibre.

What qualities make a good sales director?

Importantly, the prospective candidate should be aligned with the business branding. Beyond this, the best candidates are passionate and enthusiastic about the industry and your product/service. Furthermore, they don’t just possess exceptional business acumen but they are skilled at coaching others to success within this. Their emotional intelligence is usually exceptionally high, paired with remarkable communication and negotiation skills.  

What should we look for when choosing a sales director?

Take time to create a sales director job description which matches your specific requirements. Your headhunter can help with this. Then assess potential candidates against this, matching specific duties and responsibilities against evidence provided by the candidate.

How long does it take to fill the sales director role?

Sales directors are senior positions and the best candidates are often passive candidates working elsewhere. You can expect candidates to have 12 week notice periods. A headhunter can help ensure the source to offer process happens efficiently, so that candidates can be brought on board as quickly as possible, without mistake.

Why do I need a sales director job description?

The job description helps employers to identify the best candidate for their specific role and also helps candidates showcase their relevant experience, qualifications and skills.