Sales, Marketing, and Customer Service
Required Education, Credentials, and Licenses
- Bachelor’s degree
- 1-5 years of experience
Preferred Education and Credentials
- Knowledge of HVAC/R products and markets
- Valid driver’s license
- Communication and presentation
- Customer service
- Build strong relationships
- Using computers
Sales managers are heads of entire sales teams, supervising and directing all activities related to selling products and services.
Excellent communication, customer service, and analytical skills are necessary for sales managers to effectively build trusting relationships with customers and understand their preferences and needs. Sales managers listen to feedback from their clients, apply technical product knowledge to solve problems that customers raise, and analyze sales data – information that they use to develop pricing plans and overall sales strategies and goals to increase their organization’s market share – as well as to set sales targets for the individuals they manage. Sales managers may also conduct market analysis and help develop and implement their employer’s marketing strategy.
Sales managers need to be strong leaders who coach and motivate their team to meet sales goals. They may use their own sales experience (e.g., presenting product demonstrations and recommendations, negotiating contracts and prices, influencing design choices) to guide more junior sales personnel. Organizational skills are necessary to effectively execute management duties, which include coordinating internal training, tracking and reporting the sales team’s performance, and handling the department’s budget. Sales managers need to be comfortable using computers as their duties may require working in word processing, spreadsheet, presentation, and customer relationship management software programs.
Sales managers not only need to establish effective working relationships with the individuals who report to them and customers, they may collaborate with other department leaders in their organization (e.g., marketing or engineering) to develop new business and grow sales, so teamwork skills are essential.
Working as a sales manager often requires traveling to meet with vendors and clients. The job is stressful at times, requiring working additional hours at night and on weekends, beyond a sales manager’s typical full-time schedule.
According to the New York State Department of Labor, there are approximately 23,200 sales managers in New York State and opportunities for employment are expected to be favorable through 2028 – the Department projects this occupation to grow by 1,530 jobs across all industries between 2018 and 2028.
Entering the Field
Sales managers typically need to have a bachelor’s degree in marketing, business administration, or management, along with at least several years of relevant experience in sales, and many employers seek to hire candidates who have worked in a related job for three to five years. Workers often build experience in roles as sales representatives or sales engineers before advancing to become managers. Some candidates without a bachelor’s degree, but with considerable work experience such as home improvement consultants, may also qualify for the job. In the HVAC/R field, employers value sales managers with knowledge of the systems and products – expertise that can be used to establish trusting relationships and provide superior customer service.
Sales managers who must travel to in-person meetings may need a valid driver’s license.
In New York State, the median wage for sales managers is approximately $190,800. Entry-level workers earn about $113,500 and experienced workers earn about $249,100.
Annual Wage (Q1 2021 dollars, rounded to 100s) – Statewide and by Labor Market Region
|New York State||$113,500||$190,800||$249,100|
|Central New York||$78,300||$127,200||$163,900|
|New York City||$135,200||$211,400||$270,600|
|Western New York||$83,500||$145,400||$187,000|
Source: New York State Department of Labor, Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics Survey, SOC Code 11-2022 (Sales Managers)
Sales managers are employed by companies that sell HVAC/R products and related services, which includes manufacturers, wholesale distributors, and retailers. Contractors whose work focuses on building equipment systems, such as boilers and HVAC/R systems, may also hire sales managers to build and support their client base.
The top three employers with the most online job advertisements in each region in 2020 are listed below. The most common job titles across these postings were sales manager, territory manager, and sales director.
Capital Region (All ads posted in 2020 were from two employers.)
- Janitronics Incorporated
- Johnson Controls Incorporated
Central New York
- Carrier Corporation
- Penn Power
- Calvary Robotics
- Isaac Heating & Air Conditioning
- Rinnai America Corporation
- T. Webber Plumbing, Heating, Air & Electric
- Altech Services
- Hudson Technologies Incorporated
Long Island (All ads posted in 2020 were from two employers.)
- Johnson Controls Incorporated
Mohawk Valley (Employers did not post any job ads online in 2020.)
New York City
- ABM Industries
- Emerson Electric Company
- Nexus Valve, Inc.
North Country (Employers did not post any job ads online in 2020.)
Southern Tier (Employers did not post any job ads online in 2020.)
Western New York
- Motivair Corporation
- Rinnai America Corporation
Source: Burning Glass Technologies: Labor Insight™. 2021.
Sales managers are typically not members of unions.
Education and Training Programs
Colleges and universities throughout New York State offer degree programs in business administration, marketing, and management. Institutions with some of the largest bachelor’s and master’s programs (based on the number of degrees awarded) that can prepare people to work as sales managers are listed in the table below. Other schools, including community colleges, offer associate degrees in these areas of study and the credits earned may be eligible to be applied toward a bachelor’s degree. Check with local educational institutions for additional program availability.
|Siena College||School of Business||•||•|
|SUNY at Albany||School of Business||•||•|
|SUNY Empire State College||School of Business||•||•||•|
|Central New York|
|Le Moyne College||Madden School of Business||•||•|
|SUNY College at Oswego||School of Business||•||•|
|Syracuse University||Whitman School of Management||•||•||•|
|Rochester Institute of Technology||Saunders College of Business||•||•|
|Saint John Fisher College||School of Business||•||•|
|SUNY College at Brockport||School of Business & Management||•||•|
|SUNY College at Geneseo||School of Business||•|
|University of Rochester||Simon Business School||•||•||•|
|Iona College||LaPenta School of Business||•||•|
|Marist College||School of Management||•||•|
|Mercy College||School of Business||•||•|
|Adelphi University||School of Business||•||•|
|Farmingdale State College||Business Management||•|
|Hofstra University||Zarb School of Business||•||•|
|Long Island University||School of Business||•||•|
|New York Institute of Technology||School of Management||•||•|
|Stony Brook University||College of Business||•||•|
|Hartwick College||Business Administration||•|
|SUNY College of Agriculture and Technology at Cobleskill||Business Administration||•||•|
|SUNY Polytechnic Institute||Business||•||•|
|Utica College||Business and Economics||•||•|
|New York City|
|Columbia University in the City of New York||Columbia Business School||•||•|
|CUNY Brooklyn College||Business Management||•||•|
|New York University||School of Professional Studies & Stern School of Business||•||•||•||•|
|Pace University||Lubin School of Business||•||•||•|
|St. John’s University||Professional Studies and Business Colleges||•||•||•|
|Clarkson University||David D. Reh School of Business||•|
|St. Lawrence University||Business in the Liberal Arts||•|
|SUNY College at Plattsburgh||School of Business & Economics||•|
|SUNY College at Potsdam||Business Administration||•||•|
|Binghamton University||School of Management||•||•||•|
|Cornell University||Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management||•||•|
|Ithaca College||School of Business||•||•|
|SUNY at Delhi||School of Business and Hospitality Management||•||•|
|Western New York|
|Buffalo State College||Business||•||•|
|Niagara University||College of Business Administration||•||•||•|
|St. Bonaventure University||School of Business||•||•|
|University at Buffalo||School of Management||•||•||•|