The person who helps ensure their organization's automotive sales force operates at peak efficiency is the automotive sales manager. The supervisor helps set the tone for the salespersons working the showroom and lot, and they may be called in to try to resolve disputes and negotiate deals to ensure customers have a high-quality sales experience. Working under the dealership's general manager, the sales manager typically is involved in controlling car inventory; this includes knowing current inventory, being aware of new product in the pipeline, and accurately forecasting demand and trends to properly gauge the supply and types of vehicles to be sold. Additionally, the sales manager often has final say in placement and display of vehicles and sales materials.
The sales manager also has hiring authority and writes the schedules for the sales staff. They must ensure their organization has the right number of sales personnel during shifts; having too few people working sales on a busy day can result in lost sales, but having too many means idle time, high labor cost, and potentially losing talented salespeople to competitors. Additionally, the sales manager is responsible for training and supervising the sales force at the dealership. They must adhere to any protocols set down by the automotive brands represented, as well as work with the general manager on training and implementing procedures. They also ensure the sales force stays current with all models, options, and technical specifications of the cars on the lot.
The key requirement to work as an automotive sales manager is practical experience selling cars. Almost every dealership requires at least three to five years of sales experience. Because of the accounting work in inventory management, dealers may prefer to hire individuals for this position who have strong math competency as well, perhaps favoring candidates who have experience as assistant managers and are familiar with the inventory-management aspect of the job.
Sales Manager (Automotive) Tasks
Assist with customer financing, verify credit information.
Coordinate, manage, and work with sales team.
Maintain and establish relationships with customers and vendors.