The skills of a commercial director

Among the most mild figures among those involved in the research and selection of personnel, the figure of the sales manager undoubtedly represents the beating heart and the pivot of the management functions.

The figure at the top of the commercial direction

The skills of a commercial director

In fact, of any size, in any sector, a company that does not rely on a commercial structure cannot exist – in smaller companies the commercial direction can be taken by the same entrepreneur, even if it must be said that this can be feasible only in the most restricted productive realities. But what does the sales manager do?

Who is the commercial director?

What does this important executive do? Briefly explaining what the commercial director does is not at all easy because an extensive and varied literature has been created around this figure. As further confirmation of the market interest in this figure, we find frequent publications by publishing on the topic of sales and commercial organizations. Aspiring executives seek advice on how to become commercial directors, while entrepreneurs look for essays to find the perfect commercial director in essays written by headhunters and recruiters.

What does the sales manager do?

In summary it could be said that the good commercial manager is the one who is able to listen to the customer’s needs and, based on them, propose and sell the best solutions produced by his company. Its goal is to implement the company’s commercial policies in the best way, by selling as many products and services as possible on the most profitable markets. The sales manager, however, is not a simple seller. We are still talking about a managerial figure, a leader, and it is for this reason that the head hunters, who are looking for him, must find candidates who can manage human resources efficiently. So here is, in principle, what the sales manager does: maximize company sales thanks to the effective management of his team.

Maximize sales while minimizing costs: this is the difficult task required of the best sales managers. It is fundamental, first of all, to be able to establish strategic objectives in line with the tools, financial resources and human capital available. We could hypothesize the case in which the short-medium term goal of a commercial manager is to enter a new national market, parallel opening a new channel for the distribution of its products. Well, to achieve these objectives, the first action of the manager must be to develop a plan, so as to establish from the outset the allocation of financial and human resources. The second step will then be to make the team participate, explaining to each component the respective operational indications and the goals to be achieved. Finally, it will be essential to monitor the progress of the project, so as to evaluate any strategic changes.

The difference between commercial director and sales director

Often within companies – and sometimes even within distracted and poorly targeted job advertisements – there is a tendency to confuse the role of the sales manager with that of the sales manager. But what does the sales manager do different than the sales manager? The latter, who in the Anglo-Saxon world is called sales manager, typically deals with sales and promotions. The sales manager, on the other hand, takes care of sales, but also of marketing and logistics. In other words, this crucial figure is responsible for the commercial strategy of a company, which cannot be said, however, about the sales manager.

How to become commercial director?

Once you understand what the sales manager does it is easier to understand what are the requirements to be considered by recruiters for this important role. The commercial manager must have:

Excellent knowledge of the product to be sold

Knowledge of the markets

Good financial culture

Good skills in economics, business communication and psychology

A wide range of skills, such as the ability to manage a budget, evaluate the results achieved, plan activities well in advance and analyze the data independently

Strong organizational ability

Good command of one or more foreign languages (mastery which must be excellent in case the company must deal with foreign markets)

Great soft leadership and problem solving skills

Furthermore, a sales manager must be an excellent seller: this means being able to listen to the customer, understand his problems and persuade him to rely on your company. It should be emphasized that, to become a sales manager, there is no single training course. Undoubtedly it is essential to have a degree in economics, sociology or psychology. In any case, it is necessary to attend university and / or post-graduate courses in economics and commerce, business economics, communication sciences, statistical sciences, social sciences and organizational psychology.

Published by Raffaele Felaco

I am an enthusiastic leader with strong background in direct and indirect sales with an exten- sive experience in both retail and wholesale business. I have been fortunate to have worked alongside teams in structured environments both in Italy and abroad over the last 20 years, en- abling me to develop strong leadership skills, a natural approach in effective communication, the ability of positively influencing others and master complex business negotiations.

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