Land that dream Sales Manager job with a skill-enhanced resume!

When you're seeking a Sales Manager job, it's essential that your resume include the skills and proficiencies required to get past those pesky applicant tracking systems while also capturing the attention of hiring managers. 

But how do you determine the right skills to add to your resume to meet these goals?

In this Sales Manager skills guide, we provide insights into why skills are important, with examples of the various types of Sales Manager skills to include. 

What does a Sales Manager do?

A Sales Manager's job directly impacts the bottom line of an organization. Their role includes setting sales goals and leading the sales team to meet those goals. Other essential job functions of a Sales Manager include:

  • Developing an organization's sales strategy

  • Negotiating and securing new client contracts and accounts

  • Recruiting and training new sales team members

  • Analyzing and reporting sales and performance data 

  • Overseeing customer relationship management systems

It's necessary that your resume represent the skills to meet these and the many other job requirements that fall under a Sales Manager's purview. 

Why are Sales Manager skills important for a resume?

Sales Manager skills serve three main purposes for a resume. They:

  • Grab the attention of hiring managers

  • Help you bypass an employer's applicant tracking system: ATS

  • Effectively showcase your abilities

Grab the attention of hiring managers

Hiring managers quickly skim over the resumes that cross their desks. What are they looking for as they skim? They want to see the required skills for the job pop off the page, which prompts them to keep reading. If they don't see the right skills represented on your resume, your resume will find itself in the trash bin. 

Help you bypass an employer's ATS

Applicant tracking systems help employers streamline their hiring and onboarding processes. One role of the ATS in that process is to screen submitted resumes and weed out the ones that don't align with the job parameters. Your goal, then, is to create an ATS-friendly resume

Including the required skills you have outlined in the job description helps increase your resume's relevance, which in turn increases its chances of getting past the ATS screening parameters and into the hands of a human reader. 

Related reading: How to Check if My Resume Is ATS-friendly for Free

Effectively showcase your abilities

Your skills help highlight your ability to succeed on the job, making it vital to identify the best blend of skills to include on your resume.  After all, what hiring manager is going to call you in for an interview if they don't think you have the competencies for the role? 

Skills also help you tell the story of your professional experience since they support you in achieving work accomplishments. 

What are the main categories of Sales Manager job skills?

Sales Manager skills can be broken out into several categories, including:

  • Soft skills

  • Hard skills

  • Industry-specific skills

  • Functional skills

Sales Manager soft skills

Soft skills are one of the two main categories of skills we often refer to when talking about job skills. They are also referred to as people skills or behavioral skills. This category of skills is subjective in nature. 

Soft skills aren't easily taught or measured. Still, they're widely considered necessary for career success. When attempting to determine if a skill is a hard vs. soft skill, it's generally safe to say it's a soft skill if you can't list it with a measurement of capability or on a key performance indicator: KPI. 

Since Sales Managers interact with a range of people, from customers to employees to leadership teams, they need to have notable soft skills highlighted on their resumes. 

Sales Manager hard skills

Hard skills are also referred to as technical skills. Unlike soft skills, technical skills are objective in nature. They're measurable and allow you to meet the basic requirements of a job. Hard skills are typically learned through training, education, and certifications.

Sales Managers need several hard skills highlighted on their resumes, including technology requirements and business development talents. 

Sales Manager industry-specific skills

Industry-specific skills are also known as knowledge-based skills. These are the skills necessary for you to work in a particular field or industry. 

As a Sales Manager, for example, there are specific skills you have that are necessary for you to succeed in the field of sales, like sales enablement. However, a lawyer wouldn't need those same skills and, instead, would need a set of knowledge-based skills specific to the legal field. 

Industry-specific skills are typically acquired through education and certifications. It goes without saying that industry-specific skills focused on sales are necessary and should be highlighted on a Sales Manager's resume. 

Some Sales Manager hard skills would also fit into the industry-specific skills category. 

Sales Manager functional skills

Functional skills are often referred to as transferable skills. These represent skills that are easily transferable across a range of professions and career paths. 

As a Sales Manager, your ability to effectively communicate and lead, for example, would be transferable to many other professions. In other words, these are the types of skills that you'd focus on for your resume if you were to ever change careers. That said, functional skills should also be highlighted on any resume, as they're essential for success in most professions. 

Functional skills often overlap with soft skills. 

Where can you incorporate Sales Manager skills into your resume?

There are several areas where you can incorporate skills into your resume. They include:

  • Resume headline

  • Resume profile

  • Core competencies or skills list

  • Work history

Resume Headline

A resume headline is a brief one-liner that summarizes your skills and experience. Including the right skills in your resume headline can increase its effectiveness in grabbing the attention of the reader. 


  • Bilingual Sales Manager with Record of Exceeding Sales Goals by 15%
  • Dedicated Sales Manager with Record of Leading Award-Winning Sales Teams 

Related reading: What Is a Resume Headline?

Resume Profile

Your resume profile, or resume summary, is a brief three to five-sentence paragraph that sits directly below your resume headline. The goal of the resume profile is to succinctly summarize your most notable skills and experiences to entice the reader to keep reading. 


  • Dynamic Sales Manager with a track record of exceeding performance goals by 25%. Exceptional negotiation and persuasion skills to close deals and retain long-term clients. Proven ability to motivate sales teams to continually meet or exceed sales targets. 

Related reading: 27 Great Resume Summary Examples to Get Hired

Core competencies or skills list

It's common to include a core competencies list below your resume profile. By placing it near the top of your resume, it will be one of the first things a hiring manager sees, making it easy for them to see if you have the skills needed for the role. 

Include 9 to 12 skills in your list, focused primarily on technical skills. You can list a few in-demand soft skills, as well, though those are best described in your resume headline, profile, and work experience text. 


Sales Forecasting | Sales Planning | Sales Enablement | Market Analysis | CRM Data Analytics | Sales Strategy | Recruiting | Prospecting | Lead Qualification

Related reading: Seven Key Resume Sections and How to Organize Them

Work History

The Work History section typically makes up the bulk of your resume. For each job listed, you'll include four to five bullets that highlight your accomplishments, which include the skills that helped you achieve those accomplishments.


  • Negotiated terms of biggest client contract, coming out $10,000 over initial sales target. 
  • Designed a new sales strategy, incorporating social media ads and messaging, which led to a 40% increase in lead generation. 
  • Managed and trained team of 10 Sales Representatives who won the National Sales Competition out of 100 teams for the Eastern region.

Related reading: Work Experience for a Resume: How to Add It to Get Hired 

How do you determine which skills to include?

When addressing which skills to include in your resume, you want to focus on tailoring your resume to each application. Here's how to do that:

  • Refer to each Sales Manager job description and make a list of the required skills posted.

  • Match the skills you have to offer with the list of required skills from the job description to create your master skills list

  • Highlight the right keywords to include by choosing the skills from your master list that are most critical to the role and your top achievements. 

Expert Tip: You want to avoid keyword stuff, meaning don't add too many keywords. Also, ensure the ones you do add are included in such a way that they sound natural throughout.

  • Effectively incorporate your chosen keywords into your resume title, profile, work achievements, and core competencies list.

  • Use power verbs to emphasize your skills and how you used them to achieve the many work accomplishments highlighted in your resume profile and work experience sections. 

  • Include numbers as much as possible. What level of sales results did your skills help you achieve? How many employees do you manage? Quantifiable data helps to better show the hiring manager how your skills can be applied moving forward. 

Related reading: 100+ Keywords, Verbs, and Action Words for Your Resume

Sales Manager skills lists

Let's examine some of the Sales Manager skills employers look for in the candidates they choose to interview, divided into the four previously mentioned skill categories. 

Soft skills

Though it can be argued that the following list of soft skills are transferable to other professions, they're especially vital for a Sales Manager job. These soft skills are paramount to a Sales Manager's success:

  • Negotiation

  • Persuasion

  • Customer Focus

  • Delegation

  • Empathy

  • Relationship Building

  • Motivational

Hard skills 

Below are a few of the general hard skills necessary for a Sales Manager to effectively do their jobs.

  • Coaching

  • Process Management

  • Process Improvement

  • Budget Development

  • Recruiting and Hiring 

  • Microsoft Office

  • Business Performance Management

Functional skills 

The following functional skills support a Sales Manager in working well with others and creating a healthy working environment. 

  • Communication 

  • Organization 

  • Collaboration 

  • Leadership

  • Inspirational

  • Organization 

  • Works Well Under Stress 

  • Multitasking 

  • Adaptability 

  • Agility

  • Conflict Resolution

  • Problem-solving

  • Active Listening

Industry-specific skills 

Let's now take a look at a list of industry-specific skills that Sales Managers must have if they want to do their jobs to the best of their abilities. These skills are foundational to a sales team's success. 

  • Forecasting Sales Results

  • Market Knowledge

  • Product Knowledge

  • Setting and Meeting Sales Goals

  • Surveying Customer Needs

  • Sales Planning

  • Sales Enablement

  • Sales Strategy

  • Customer Relationship Management: software

  • Lead Qualification

Stand out among the competition

Now you know how to successfully incorporate Sales Manager skills into your resume to show that you're the perfect candidate for the job. Go forth and show hiring teams that you're ready to move ahead and take the reins of any sales team and exceed their performance goals. 

Does your resume include the right mix of Sales Manager skills throughout? Not sure? Why not submit it for a free resume review and find out what updates you might need to stand out? 

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