Sales and Marketing Employment Insights Series – National Sales Manager

Hunter Campbell’s Sales and Marketing Insights Series offers a comprehensive look into roles within the sector. Leveraging our specialised recruitment market knowledge, we provide valuable insights into the roles currently in demand, shedding light on market trends, salaries, and sought-after skills.

In today’s article, Sindy Ward, Director at Hunter Campbell, shares her expertise on the role of a National Sales Manager—a position currently highly sought after in the market as organisations strive to bolster their revenue through refined sales strategies.

So, what exactly does a National Sales Manager do?
This pivotal role is often referred to by various titles such as Head of Sales, Head of Revenue, or National Sales Manager. The choice of title often hinges on factors like the company’s size, portfolio, and revenue magnitude.

In the organisational hierarchy, the National Sales Manager typically reports to the Chief Sales Officer or Sales Director in larger enterprises, while in smaller businesses, they often report directly to the General Manager or Director.

Regardless of the company’s size, the core responsibilities of this role remain consistent:

  • Effective end-to-end sales activity to drive business growth
  • Direct and indirect management of the sales division
  • Forecasting and budgeting
  • Planning of sales activity and allocation of budget for customer spend, advertising spend, promotional and event spend
  • CRM management and direction of activities based on data
  • Usually oversees both key accounts (customers) and is responsible for directing customer activity in the field and other fragmented accounts
  • Represents the brand in the market and presents at Trade shows to showcase the product and/or service
  • Build a cohesive culture and communicate effectively to keep everyone on track to achieving the annual sales budgets
  • Team Management: indirectly through regional managers or directly in smaller businesses

What about the key performance indicators (KPIs) for a National Sales Manager?
Given the inherently sales-driven nature of this role, specific KPIs and targets are set. These typically include monthly, quarterly, and annual sales budgets established in collaboration with the board, directors, or owners. Additionally, accurate forecasting and planning are paramount.

Key Skills and Qualifications
In terms of qualifications, experience is the primary differentiator for National Sales Managers. The depth of experience often correlates with the scope of the role and the relationships cultivated within customer groups. While a university degree is usually not mandatory, industry-specific knowledge is highly valued. Many individuals start in junior roles, like sales engineers or subject matter experts, and gradually work their way up. Those transitioning from other industries often rely on their management or sales leadership experience.

In addition to technical skills, softer skills play a crucial role in achieving success in this role. National Sales Managers should possess strong leadership abilities, adeptness in process management, and a knack for nurturing customer and supplier relationships. Integrity, honesty, analytical thinking, interpersonal skills, organizational prowess, and effective communication are also essential qualities.

Recruitment Forecast and Career Prospects
Looking ahead, the recruitment landscape and career prospects for National Sales Managers are influenced by economic conditions. In times of recession, expect increased pressure to meet sales targets and navigate business revenue challenges. Building resilient teams through empathetic leadership, fostering learning and development, and collaborating with marketing teams are key strategies in such periods. The market for senior sales roles in 2023 has seen a slight dip, but these leadership positions remain vital for business revenue streams.

As for salary considerations, there are currently 55 National Sales Management or similar level roles advertised on Seek in New Zealand, with salaries ranging between $150,000 and $240,000. While this is fewer than in previous years, it reflects ongoing movement in this job category. Salaries have stabilized, and the wage inflation experienced in the past two years has subsided.

Most job briefs received by Hunter Campbell for National Sales Managers fall within this salary range, with limited movement above the upper threshold. Notice periods typically range from 1 to 3 months, which is slightly longer for larger organizations. The recruitment process generally takes 6 to 8 weeks to fill these roles.

For National Sales Managers eyeing career progression, several paths are available, including transitioning to roles like Sales Director, Chief Sales Officer, Head of Sales, General Management in SMEs, Head of Sales and Marketing, or expanding into international markets.

In terms of salary expectations, National Sales Managers can anticipate a base salary ranging from $170,000 to $220,000, complemented by benefits such as a car and an annual bonus that typically constitutes 10-30% of the base salary. In some SMEs, long-term incentives (LTI) or share/equity options may also be part of the compensation package.

National Sales Managers find themselves under increased operational scrutiny this year, with a focus on efficiencies, processes, and structure. Those who can enhance training and development, demonstrate proficiency in forecasting and reporting, and excel at remote team management and culture building will stand out. Investment in technology and CRM systems is essential for optimising team performance and customer relationships.

To provide a practical perspective, here are some examples of National Sales Manager roles recently filled by Hunter Campbell:

Hella: Head of Sales & Marketing

360 Autoparts: National Sales Manager

Mico Plumbing: Head of Sales

Numero Agency: Head of Account Management (reporting to Head of Sales)

Mico Plumbing: Head of Sales

Glow Lab: National Business Manager

Beiersdorf: National Business Manager

DB Breweries: National Business Manager

DB Breweries: Sales Commercial Manager

Frucor Beverages: Revenue Growth Manager

These examples illustrate the diverse range of opportunities within this dynamic and crucial role.

If you are looking to hire a National Sales Manager or are looking for your next opportunity in this space, get in touch with Sindy Ward to chat through these insights and available opportunities.

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