How to Become a Sales and Marketing Director

How to Become a Sales & Marketing Director

Like many careers, there are many different paths you can take if you want to become a sales and marketing director. The best path however, is to have an education in business, combined with a few years worth of progressive experience in the field. 


This work would involve developing and implementing budgets, developing and implementing sales and marketing plans, overseeing subordinate staff, and keeping abreast with industry and economic trends.  


This field also offers diverse opportunities for advancement, great pay, the opportunity to make a lot of professional contacts, and the opportunity to use your analytical, management and creative abilities.


If becoming a sales and marketing director sounds like it might suit you, then read on below; we’ll fill you in on the details, such as how you can get into this profession, how much you could earn, and of course, what you’d be doing once you get there.



Education and Experience Needed

To become a sales and marketing director, you typically need a bachelor’s degree in sales, marketing or business administration combined with a few years of related work experience, including progressive management experience.


Some employers will accept work experience in place of formal education, provided you have an exceptional track record, whereas others may accept a graduate degree in place of formal experience. 


Success Tip: Ideally, you will have relevant education and relevant experience.




Example of a Career Path

Although there are several routes you could take to get into this profession, a traditional career path might include:


Getting a degree, then getting a job as a marketing assistant or sales representative… moving into a marketing coordinator or sales supervisor role… moving into a marketing team lead or sales management role… becoming sales or marketing manager… becoming director of sales and marketing. 



Who Creates Jobs for Sales & Marketing Directors?

As a sales and marketing director, you could be employed by almost any type of private and public organizations that sells a product or service, such as:


• Manufacturers

• Retailers

• Wholesalers

• Service sector businesses

• Non-profit agencies (for example: charities) 

• Not-for-profit agencies (for example: sports leagues and trade organizations)

• Market research organizations

• Advertising, marketing and public relations agencies



Is This Career Right for You?

You should have the following attributes if you wish to become a sales and marketing director:


• Creative and energetic personality 

• Leadership and decision making skills

• Tact, diplomacy and communications skills

• You enjoy leading and motivating others

• You’re well organized and can develop and implement a budget

• The initiative to develop and maintain key industry relationships

• You’re willing to work long and irregular hours if necessary

• You're willing to be accountable for the performance of marketing and sales plans, and subordinate staff




Career Advancement Possibilities 

If you display competence and dedication in your work, career advancement opportunities will open themselves up to you. Examples of career advancement opportunities in this field include (but aren’t limited to):


• An increase in earnings through higher salary, commissions or bonuses

• Becoming a part owner of the firm/company/agency

• Moving into an executive leadership position with a large organization

• Starting your own sales, marketing, advertising or management consulting firm


Success Tip: Having post-secondary education in a relevant field (such as marketing) can be of great value in advancing to the top of this field.








Details of the Career Itself: General Job Description & Duties

As a sales and marketing director, you would be responsible for planning and implementing sales, marketing and product development programs, both short and long term, that are targeted toward existing and new markets. You would do so by performing the following duties personally or through subordinates.


• Developing and implementing strategic marketing plans and sales plans and forecasts

• Developing and managing sales/marketing operating budgets

• Planning and overseeing advertising and promotion activities including print, online and electronic media

• Developing and recommending product positioning, packaging, and pricing strategy

• Achieving satisfactory profit/loss ratio and market share in relation to preset standards and industry trends

• Taking corrective action to guarantee that achievement of marketing objectives falls within designated budgets

• Overseeing and evaluating market research and adjusting marketing strategy to meet changing market conditions

• Monitoring competitor products, sales and marketing activities

• Establishing and maintaining relationships with industry influencers and key strategic partners

• Guiding preparation of marketing activity reports and presenting to executive management



Salary Level of Sales & Marketing Directors

The salary level you could earn as a sales and marketing director can vary greatly, typically depending on the following factors:


• Your professional qualifications (levels of education, experience, etc.)

• The size and budget of your employer

• The region in which you work

• The scope of your job duties and functions

• The type of remuneration package you are offered (such as if you are entitled to bonuses, sales commissions or partial company/firm ownership)


Sales & Marketing Director Salary in Alberta: According to the 2015 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, Albertans in the Advertising, Marketing and Public Relations Managers occupational group earn an average salary of $105,400 per year.


Salary in Canada: According to Service Canada, the average salary level of Canadians working in the Sales, Marketing and Advertising Managers occupational group is $85,800 per year.


Salary in the United Kingdom: According to the National Careers Service, experienced Sales Managers can earn between £25,000 and £55,000 per year, with top salaries being over £70,000 a year. The NCS also states that senior Marketing Directors can earn over £50,000 per year.


Salary in the United States: According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary of Americans working in the Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers occupational group is $124,850 per year.



Get Your Degree!

Find schools and get information on the program that’s right for you.

Powered by Campus Explorer



Work Environment You Could Expect

Working Hours: As a sales and marketing director, you'd likely work regular, weekday working hours. It wouldn't be rare to go into work early, stay late, or go in on weekends in order to complete tasks and projects, or attend meetings, conferences, or other events.


Work Setting: You would be based out of an office, but would often travel to attend meetings, trade shows and conferences, or to visit your company’s local, regional, national, and international offices, or branches.


Work Conditions: Depending on the size of your company/firm/agency, you would have numerous subordinates that report to you, and whose work you would oversee. Your work would be very demanding and stressful because of the intense pressure to achieve company goals. But if you thrive in under these sorts of conditions, then no sweat! 



Careers Similar to ‘Sales & Marketing Director’

Listed below are occupations in our database that have similar responsibilities, and/or require similar skills, or are in the same sector of industry, as Sales & Marketing Director:


Advertising Account Executive

• Advertising Manager

• Business Development Officer

• Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

• District Sales Manager

• Marketing Consultant

• Sales Representative



References for this Guide

The following resources were drawn from in the preparation of this How to Become a Sales & Marketing Director career guide:


Occupations in Alberta: Marketing Manager.” (March 31, 2018). ALIS website - Alberta Learning Information Service. Retrieved January 13, 2020.

Management:Sales Managers.” (September 4, 2019). Bureau of Labor Statistics - United States Government website. Retrieved January 13, 2020.

Management:Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers.” (September 4, 2019). Bureau of Labor Statistics - United States Government website. Retrieved January 13, 2020.

Explore Careers:Sales Manager.” (n.d.). National Careers Service website. Retrieved January 13, 2020.

Explore Careers:Marketing Manager.” (n.d.). National Careers Service website. Retrieved January 13, 2020.



Scholarships for Becoming a Sales & Marketing Director 

The Applicable Majors section below shows fields of study relevant to a career as a sales and marketing director. You can search for scholarships matched to that/those fields of study on the following pages:


Business Administration Scholarships

Marketing Scholarships

Organizational Leadership Scholarships

Sociology Scholarships


Success Tip: Be sure to apply for any scholarships that you even barely qualify for, as there are millions of dollars of scholarships that go unused every year due to a lack of applicants!



Becoming a Sales & Marketing Director: Applicable Majors

Studying one of the college/university majors listed below can be helpful (or necessary) for becoming a Sales & Marketing Director. Click on the links to find out what else you can do with these majors!


Top Banner Image: