Everything you need to know about a career as a Director of Sales
The Director of Sales plays a crucial role in shaping the sales team as well as the company’s revenue.
As a senior-level sales executive, they are responsible for leading all sales managers and their direct reports such as Sales Development Representatives (SDRs), Account Executives, and Account Managers.
While they typically have extensive sales chops negotiating and closing big deals, it’s often their energy, charisma, and people management skills that helped them land this director-level position. This comes in handy when it comes to rallying the troops, setting sales goals, and motivating the team (especially during change). The result is that the impact of a great Sales Director can not only help shape the culture of the entire sales team, but of the entire company.
As you can see from this Google Trends graph, this is an established role. Companies of all sizes and across hundreds of industries have been hiring sales directors for decades.
The Sales Director will either report to a VP of Sales, a Chief Revenue Officer, or directly to a founder or CEO.
Sales Directors don’t exactly come cheap. As a senior-level director position, they often expect a low six-figure salary with some equity or profit-sharing. As such, it doesn’t make sense to hire a director until you have started to scale your sales team.
Here are some signs that you’re ready to hire a Sales Director:
According to our report, the Director of Sales in San Francisco, Chicago, and New York City earn the most. They net an average of $130,000 – $180,000 in base salary and $200,000 – $360,000 OTE.
|San Francisco, CA||New York, NY||Austin, TX||Chicago, IL||Los Angeles, CA|
|Base | OTE||Base | OTE||Base | OTE||Base | OTE||Base | OTE|
|$150-180K | $300-360K||$130-180K | $260-360K||$100-135K | $200-270K||$130-180K | $260-360K||$130-180K | $260-360K|
Their day-to-day responsibilities may include:
As a sales leader, the majority of the KPIs for a Sales Director should be around how effectively he or she is leading the team.
These metrics can include:
One of the biggest mistakes that companies make when hiring a Director of Sales is overvaluing sales experience. Yes, this person should have proven sales chops. However, what separates a mediocre director from an exceptional one is people management and leadership skills.
Here are some skills to look for:
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