A job in sales is exciting, with plentiful career opportunities and development paths. As you grow, you may have the opportunity to progress into a sales director role.

In this position, you’ll be responsible for growing profit and overseeing the sales team’s operations. In this article, you’ll learn what it takes to become a sales director, what skills you need to be promoted, and what the role involves.

This article will cover:

Depending on the company size, there may be one or many sales directors. In smaller organizations, a sales director will likely oversee the entire sales force. Meanwhile, at larger enterprises, there might be multiple directors, each managing a specific sales team.

The specific role of a sales director differs based on the company’s size and industry. However, responsibilities usually include

There isn’t a single career path that will be your golden ticket to becoming a sales director. Often, people in this role are former account, regional, or national sales managers.

Still, if you were to look at a few LinkedIn profiles of sales directors, you’d see that some of them went down a less sales-oriented career path. Plenty of sales directors have started in other departments, like marketing or human resources.

Ben began his journey at HubSpot as a principal business development fepresentative (BDR). For seven years, he held various roles, before ultimately becoming a sales director. Here’s a more detailed look into Ben’s career path:

You don’t have to be the top seller to be promoted to sales director. It takes much more than sales aptitude to be a good leader and inspire others to do their best work.

That being said, you still have to act as a role model and have extensive sales experience and knowledge. Without authority, you won’t be able to lead a team toward success.

Sales directors should:

As far as major is concerned, unsurprisingly, 35% of today’s sales directors graduated in business. Other common majors included communication and marketing.

Let’s see what these requirements look like in practice. Here’s a job ad for a strategic sales director at Vimeo:

As you can see, the person who lands the role will need to have most of the abilities and experiences discussed above. These include solid sales experience, great communication skills, and industry knowledge. Plus, a Bachelor’s degree is also preferred.

These salaries are a reference point, as pay will vary depending on your industry and the type of services and products you sell.

The track to entering a sales director role isn’t linear. Many professionals in this position go down a sales-only career path. Others pivot to it from departments like marketing and recruitment.

Ultimately, you don’t have to hit record sales to be promoted to a sales director role. However, you need will need good sales expertise, superb communication skills, and self-discipline.

Become an expert in these basics with HubSpot’s sales training manual and template. You can use this resource to level up your own sales abilities and mentor members of your team to demonstrate your leadership skills.