How Much Can You Make in a Sales Management Career?
Countless industries rely on sales managers to bring in new clients, manage relationships with existing ones, and build a substantial roster of buyers to support the activities of the business. Some individuals may feel drawn to working for a local, boutique company while others may be more interested in working for a large, multinational company with clients around the globe. Regardless of your interests, there is likely a position available.
When reviewing jobs profiled in the following section, remember that no degree guarantees a particular career or salary, but those discussed below are commonly held by those who earn a sales management bachelor's degree online.
- Sales Manager
Sales managers oversee members of an organization's sales team. They provide direction and set sales goals as needed. They also develop training programs for new sales associates, analyze sales reports, provide information to other members of the company, create overarching plans for attracting new clients and developing new markets, and demonstrate the use of various selling techniques.
Median Annual Salary: $124,220
Job Growth (2016-2026): 5%
- Advertising and Marketing Manager
Advertising and marketing managers create engaging content to bring potential buyers to the company. They oversee market coordinators, graphic designers, and advertising agents to create a cohesive and strong brand that accurately reflects the organization's products and services. They also plan and launch marketing campaigns, handle contract negotiations, hire freelancers when needed, and commission studies to better understand the market.
Median Annual Salary: $132,620
Job Growth (2016-2026): 8%
- Sales Engineer
These professionals sell advanced tech and science products to other businesses for use in commercial ventures. They need an extensive, nuanced knowledge of complex topics and can explain them in an accessible way. They also work with designers to modify products to meet client needs and work in research and development to create new items.
Median Annual Salary: $101,420
Job Growth (2016-2026): 6%
- Market Research Analyst
Market research analysts use their advanced skills in statistical analysis to understand the needs, interests, and behaviors of customers. They may work in house for a single company or in a freelance or consulting role. They forecast sales trends, analyze the effectiveness of promotional campaigns, and gather information on competitors.
Median Annual Salary: $63,120
Job Growth (2016-2026): 20%
As you review the data around salaries, it's important to remember that factors such as experience, level of degree attained, industry, and geographical location can affect those rates. Location can play an especially significant role; for instance, sales managers in New York make an average wage of $198,390 per year -- far above the national average. Other states paying top salaries include Delaware, Virginia, New Jersey, and Rhode Island. States with the highest concentration of jobs include Massachusetts, California, Illinois, Connecticut, and Minnesota.
What Courses Can Be Taken for an Online Sales Management Degree?
Courses taught in a bachelor's degree in sales management online program cover an array of topics to ensure students possess foundational knowledge of all relevant content areas. The following section takes a look at some of the most common classes taught in these programs, but degree-seekers should review the plans of study for individual degrees.
Students learn to discuss the benefits of a particular product or service to persuade potential buyers. They also learn about catering to different types of clients and audiences.
Sales Management and Leadership:
This course reviews effective strategies for helping sales associates meet and exceed sales goals and ensure they stay motivated and focused.
Strategies in Selling:
This course covers some of the more popular strategies for making a sale, with emphasis on several common and effective theories, methods, and models.
This class explores some of the cultural, sociological, and psychological factors that influence how consumers behave in the market, why or why not they make purchases, and how to work with these influences when attempting to make a sale.
This course introduces students to SalesForce, a consumer relationship management system. It covers how to use the software and maximize its impact.
How to Choose the Best Online Sales Management Program
Before you invest significant time and money into an online sales management school, it's natural to have questions about the process. Students must consider factors like cost, accreditation, faculty qualifications, degree availability, and reputation in order to make an educated decision. We rounded up some of the most frequently asked questions to help you feel confident and knowledgeable throughout this process.
Q. What strategies should I follow in choosing my sales management courses?
A: When you enroll in a bachelor's degree in sales management online, it's important to remember that every program requires students to move through a core set of courses that help them build industry knowledge. Beyond that, students should consider things like the industry in which they want to work and whether they're interested in pursuing administrative positions, and choose courses in those topics.
Q. Should I have any concerns about completing this degree online?
A: In a word: No. Nothing about sales management degrees inherently requires them to be taught in person. Distance learners can watch pre-recorded lectures, interact with peers and professors, complete readings, turn in assignments, and participate in group projects through a learning management platform without ever leaving their homes.
Q. How do internships and field placements work when you study online?
A: Internships for online programs work in the same way as they do for brick-and-mortar campuses. Students living close to the school can usually consult a list of pre-approved field placement sites, while those living further afield must find a location and seek approval from the internship coordinator or program director.
Q. What should I pay attention to when reviewing faculty profiles?
A: Faculty profiles can offer tremendous insight into both the school and the quality of teachers. As you review these, ensure that the school has faculty who specialize in an area of the discipline you find interesting. Also review whether the professors possess relevant industry experience, as those who moved straight from being a student to leading a class may struggle to provide practical examples.
Q. Should I seek out a specific curricular focus?
A: The majority of online sales management schools at the bachelor's level do not offer specializations or concentrations. Rather, they prefer to provide a more generalized education. However, programs that reserve significant hours for electives can be a great fit for students who want to focus on a particular topic. Use these hours to create your own concentration.
Q. How does a sales management degree help me reach my goals?
A: When looking at job postings and information provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), it is clear that the vast majority of employers require prospective sales managers to possess a bachelor's degree. In addition, these programs also instill the knowledge needed to be skillful and confident sales professionals.
Q. Should I consider advanced study in this area?
A: After working in the discipline for a number of years, some professionals feel ready to take the next step. To do this, many pursue an advanced degree. Some students stick with a sales management focus, while others pursue an MBA with a focus on sales. There are plenty of options available, so take your time to research potential programs.
Scholarships and Financial Aid for Sales Management Programs
Given that the cost of completing a college degree continues to rise year after year, most learners look for ways to lessen their costs and avoid taking on student debt. Many turn to grants and scholarships, which do not require repayment. We highlight a few top scholarships below, but be sure to check with state and local governments, professional associations, local businesses, and schools to find more options.
- Mark Beaumont Scholarship
Provided by the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences, this award is granted to students interested in the interactive entertainment business and sales. The scholarship provides a one-time award of $2,500 to a student with a minimum 3.3 GPA who is enrolled full time. Learners must submit their applications by July to receive consideration.
- MarketingEDGE Scholarships
MarketingEDGE provides up to $7,000 to students enrolled in an undergraduate business or marketing degree who can demonstrate a commitment to advancing the field. Applicants need a 3.0 GPA and must have participated in at least one MarketingEDGE program at the time of applying. Students must also provide letters of recommendation, transcripts, and answers to essay questions.
- Golden Key Scholarships
This organization provides scholarships aimed at helping learners with demonstrable financial need and a passion for business leadership. Applicants must be able to provide a professional letter of reference, official transcripts, and a personal statement. Scholarship recipients receive a one-time award of $5,000. Applications are due October 1.
- Scarlet Family Foundation Scholarships
This award is available to students living or planning to study in Tennessee who can demonstrate that they come from a low-income family by providing a 1040 tax form. The learner must be enrolled full time and plan to study a topic related to business at the undergraduate level. Awards range from $2,500-$25,000, dependent on demonstrated level of need. Applicants must possess a GPA of 2.5 or higher and submit all application materials by October.
- Abbott and Fenner Scholarship
This $1,000 award is available to high school seniors and students currently enrolled at an accredited four-year institution. Applicants must demonstrate a passion for both business and leadership. They must also write a 500-1,000 word essay on their educational and life goals and provide official transcripts, a letter of recommendation, and evidence of a 3.0 or higher GPA.