A vice president of sales is a top-level executive at a sales, marketing, or retail corporation, and is responsible for overseeing the sales team and the ultimate profitability of the company. The job description of a vice president of sales requires long hours, extensive travel, and excellent interpersonal and persuasive skills.
A vice president of sales oversees daily sales activity, meets with major clients, draws up sales reports, designs new and more effective sales strategies, and works to market and promote company products and services.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities of a Vice President of Sales
- Meets with existing clients to discuss a company’s products and services.
- Works to foster lasting relationships with client base.
- Locates opportunities to expand client base.
- Networks with prospective clients to persuade them to bring their business to the company.
- Sets specific quarterly or annual sales goals.
- Oversees the activity of junior sales associates.
- Draws up sales activity reports.
- Works to ensure sales and productivity goals are met.
- Presents information regarding clients and sales at company meetings.
- Devises new and innovative ways to market products and services.
- Attends national sales conferences.
- Assists in designing marketing and promotional materials both in print and online.
- Conducts independent research into target consumer base.
- Leads in-house seminars and workshops to help improve the effectiveness and productivity of the sales team.
Required Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
- Demonstrates detailed knowledge of the company’s products and services.
- Possesses knowledge of competitive products and markets.
- Exhibits strong interpersonal and customer service skills.
- Demonstrates ability to think creatively.
- Exhibits awareness of best sales practices and methods.
- Works well with a team.
- Demonstrates patience with reluctant or frustrated clients.
- Exhibits familiarity with Microsoft Word, Excel, Power Point, and Outlook.
- Communicates clearly and effectively.
- Possesses strong persuasive abilities.
- Demonstrates solid motivational and leadership skills.
- Maintains a professional but confident and outgoing demeanor.
- Is capable of conducting independent research.
- Demonstrates strong organizational skills.
Education and Experience
A vice president of sales holds, at minimum, a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance, Marketing, or Business. The majority of individuals in this position also hold Master’s Degrees in Finance, Business, or Business Administration. A vice president of sales is also required to have several years of experience in the sales and marketing sector, and should be able to demonstrate a successful sales record.
A vice president of sales spends the majority of working hours in an office setting, either working independently or meeting with team members and corporate boards in a conference room. Local and national travel to meet clients and visit satellite offices is also required. The job of a vice president can be quite stressful due to the large amount of responsibility and accountability associated with the position, as well as the long hours required; most VPs work sixty to eighty hours per week.
The average salary for a vice president of sales is approximately $125,000 per year. Salaries can range from $80,000 to over $250,000 depending on years of experience and the profile, size, and success of the sales corporation.