What Does a Head of Sales Do and How to Be a Better Sales Leader

Samantha Pratt Lile
April 6, 2022
 min read
What Does a Head of Sales Do and How to Be a Better Sales LeaderWhat Does a Head of Sales Do and How to Be a Better Sales Leader
Table of Contents

So, you’ve mastered your sales skills, and now you’re looking toward the next step in your career. Or perhaps you’re just starting out, and want to plan your career trajectory in sales. One way to advance that journey is by becoming the head of sales in your organization.

Becoming head of sales is an admirable goal. After all, the average salary for the position is nearly $174,000 annually. With expected job growth of more than 20,000 new head of sales opportunities by 2028, there is ample possibility for which to strive. Even in lieu of that big promotion, the qualities of a sales director will serve any sales leader on their path to success. 

What is a head of sales?

What is the head of sales in a company? The answer is rather self-explanatory. The head of sales, also known as sales manager or sales director, leads the entire sales department. The job itself, however, isn’t as simple as its name or definition. In addition to supervising the entire sales department, the head of sales is responsible for helping sales teams meet their goals, tracking the sales department’s progress toward goals and developing effective sales strategies to boost results and close more deals.

How does a head of sales support a sales team?

How does a head of sales support a sales team? It’s never too early to start developing the skills that you will need as a future head of sales. Sales directors help their teams achieve more sales in a variety of ways, including:

  • Recruit outstanding sales leaders to complete sales teams – Heads of sales are responsible for hiring the sales reps to fill their teams and sell their products.
  • Train sales leaders to maximize their success – Sales directors are also responsible for training the sales leaders within their companies, both sharpening their skills and educating them on the brand, its products and its vision.
  • Motivate sales teams to drive more wins – Sales directors support their teams by motivating individuals to boost their performance and close more deals.
  • Provide sales teams with valuable sales collateral – Sales managers help lead their organizations by ensuring teams have all the content they need to close the deal. This might be content directed at informing and motivating them or educating and persuading a customer.
  • Equip teams with technology - Heads of sales also support sales teams by providing them with the technological tools they need to maximize sales. This could include customer data, CRM platforms or even PowerPoint-alternative presentation software like
  • Provide teams with sales enablement tools – Heads of sales support their teams by providing a variety of other sales enablement tools to help them close more deals and convert more leads into paying customers.  

What qualities characterize a better sales leader?

What makes an outstanding sales leader? Now that you have a goal of becoming the head of sales, what qualities do you need and what requirements must you meet to qualify for the job? It’s no surprise that the same traits that make someone a great sales leader will serve them well in their quest to become head of sales.

  • Leadership ability – Sales directors aren’t just the top salespeople; they must be able to lead others throughout the sales process.
  • Eye for talent – Heads of sales must be able to identify talent in order to recruit the best and the brightest sales reps for their organizations.
  • Mentorship ability – True leaders are able to model for and motivate those around them, while also helping their teams to succeed.
  • Strong personality – A sales director must have an assertive and confident personality in order to effectively lead an organization.
  • Education – If you aspire to lead a sales organization, you’ll probably need to meet minimum education requirements. Most sales directors have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree, with an education emphasis on subjects including business, economics, accounting and math.
  • Negotiation skills – Sales directors need strong sales and negotiation skills to develop strategies and sales funnels to help their teams succeed.
  • Communication skills – To become a head of sales, it’s important to sharpen your communication skills, both oral and written. Don’t forget that the ability to create a sales presentation and a pitch deck is vital to directing a sales team.
  • Sales experience – Don’t expect to rise to the top overnight. Even with the right educational background, a head of sales needs proven sales experience in order to effectively lead their teams.
Samantha Pratt Lile

Samantha Pratt Lile

Samantha is an independent journalist, editor, blogger and content manager. Examples of her published work can be found at sites including the Huffington Post, Thrive Global, and Buzzfeed.