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REGIONAL SALES MANAGER
Alternate Career Titles:
Regional Director of Sales, District Sales Manager
Career Overview: Oversees album sales to wholesalers and retailers, implements sales campaigns and protocol and manages regional departments.
Career Salary Range: $35,000 to $85,000+
Become a Regional Sales Manager
The person in charge of selling the label’s products to wholesalers and/or retail outlets in a specific region is the Regional Sales Manager. Specific regions differ among record companies (looking for contacts at a record company?), but generally the divisions include the western region, the midwest region, northeastern region, the southeastern region, and the southwestern region.
New sales opportunities are also being created every day, thanks to the abundance of new online outlets. Depending on the company, these online venues may be considered part of a geographic region or may be assigned a specific sales manager entirely.
One responsibility of the Regional Sales Manager is to make sure quotas are met – meaning that a specific amount of merchandise is sold each month. These quotas can be quite massive, requiring that sales run into hundreds of thousands of dollars. Of course, this leads to a lot of pressure and stress as sales teams are told to meet these huge quotas. Thus, the Regional Sales Manager must work closely with both the Director of National Sales and also the Salespeople in the region.
Regional Sales Managers are also in charge of creating sales campaigns for his or her region, and designing these campaigns with the help of the National Sales Director. These sales programs include merchandise return policies and the number of albums a wholesaler is required to buy in order to qualify for volume discounts.
As a Regional Sales Manager (sometimes referred to as the Director of Sales) they are also responsible for interviewing, hiring, and training Salespeople. To make sure that goals and quotas are met, he or she then keeps tabs on how Salespeople in his or her region are producing sales. If they notice that results are not where they need to be, the Regional Sales Manager must find the root of the problem and then rectify the situation. If the situation calls for it, certain cities within regions may require additional promotion. They would then get in contact with the promotion department to see if a certain album needs an extended advertising push in order to boost sales. Whatever the sales problem may be, it is crucial that it is corrected rapidly, as loss of even one week’s worth of max sales will greatly affect quotas.
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A Regional Sales Manager at a major recording company can expect to do quite well financially. Their compensation is made up of a base salary and commissions from the products sold in his or her region. Depending on the size of the record label, the Regional Sales Manager can earn from $35,000 to $85,000 plus annually.
Because of the fact that most major record companies only have a certain number of Sales Management positions, prospects for Regional Sales Managers are limited.
Likewise, advance is fairly challenging for Regional Sales Managers. To advance, he or she would have to strive for a National Sales Director position, which is extremely hard to come by, even if the Regional Sales Manager were to try and move on with a larger label.
Education and Training
If you look around the industry, you’ll find that some Regional Sales Managers possess only a high school diploma but the majority possess a college or music college degree. College degrees that will provide relevant coursework and useful knowledge and information include music business and/or music merchandising. Record company internships also provide great experience.
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Experience, Skills, and Personality
To attain success as a Regional Sales Manager, he or she must be very familiar with the entire record industry and have a general knowledge of the music business. Of course, sales skills are a must, and a proven track record of successful experiences in sales are required. Being a management position, the Regional Sales Manager must have the ability to lead, direct, and work well with others, while working under pressure to meet deadlines.
Unions and Associations
Regional Sales Managers may belong to the National Association of Recording Merchandisers (NARM), which is an organization that offers a forum for people in the music industry. Individuals might also be members of the Country Music Association (CMA) and/or the Gospel Music Association (GMA).
Suggestions for Getting Started
- As with many careers in music, these positions are usually filled internally, so they are generally not advertised. Typically, Regional Sales Managers are chosen from Salespeople already employed with the company.
- Build your web of networks and utilize connections if you have them.
- Any type of sales experience will be beneficial.