What Is a Sales Supervisor?

sales-supervisor Credit: Greg Ceo/Stone/Getty Images

A sales supervisor oversees and directs the work of a company’s sales staff. Sales supervisors are employed by retailers, by direct-sales and telemarketing companies and by wholesalers and manufacturers.

In addition to the basic work of supervising employees, a sales supervisor often has responsibilities in areas like work scheduling, budgeting, hiring and planning. Sales supervisors also play an essential role in motivating sales staff to achieve and exceed company sales goals. In addition, the role includes enforcing health and security policies. Many sales supervisors also develop and implement training programs to address employee or staff-wide deficiencies.

According to O*Net Online, in a 2010 survey of retail sales supervisor jobs, 40 percent require a high school diploma, 26 percent require at least some college and 15 percent require an associate’s degree at minimum. Many sales supervisors begin as sales representatives and work their way up to a supervisory position as they develop their skills on the job.

Wages for a sales supervisor depends on education, experience and performance; wages may vary from industry to industry. O*Net Online reports that the median wage for a retail sales supervisor in 2012 was $17.70 per hour, or $36,820 per year. This figure does not include performance bonuses or commissions, only base wages.