DentalPost takes a look at what are the salary and outlook of a Dental Sales Manager.
As a sales professional in the dental field, you can advance from a representative role into management. Working in dental sales management affords you potentially higher pay, but it comes with increased responsibility and requires experience in sales and skills in leading and communicating with members of your sales team and dental professionals.
Below, we provide guidance on the salaries you might expect and how to find jobs in dental sales management.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports salary information for sales managers overall rather than specifically for those in dental sales. For these managers, the national average salary stands at $141,690 per year. The median figure registers at $126,640, with the top one-fourth of earners making at least $177,830.
In the manufacturing sector, sales managers earn on a median basis $134,830. The figure stands at $126,400 for those in wholesale.
As with sales representative salaries, commissions and bonuses weigh significantly in the compensation of dental sales managers. Although there are not figures specifically for dental sales managers widely available, PayScale reports that representative salaries average $40,695 per year, with bonuses running between $1,000 and $45,000. According to PayScale, dental sales reps have garnered commissions from $3,000 to as high as $11,000.
As a manager, you are a supervisor, planner, analyzer and account manager. All of these roles help you guide dental sales representatives and other players on your sales force.
Dental sales managers perform these functions:
Your duties do not confine you to an office. To meet with the staff of a dental office may require considerable travel and overnight stays. Even video and other remote conferencing, along with the other duties, contribute to the full-time and often over-time nature of the job. According to the Occupational Information Network (O*NET), nearly 86 percent of sales managers log more than 40 hours per week.
The career path to management in dental sales follows that of becoming a dental sales representative. That means if you are already a dental sales representative, you’re on your way to achieving your place in sales management.
As a general rule, you should earn a bachelor’s degree in a business-related field. Relevant majors include business administration, sales, economics and marketing.
Given that you will deal with dental implants, dental equipment such as x-rays and chairs, dental tools and dental supplies, majoring or having coursework in chemistry or biology will help you have the knowledge base for dealing with dentists and professionals in dentistry. Fill your curriculum with classes such as economics, math, statistics and finance, as these courses will help develop needed knowledge and skills for dental sales management.
With some employers, you might find that a high school diploma combined with the right experience or educational exposure will suffice to qualify you.
Most dental sales managers have been dental sales representatives or worked as a sales specialist, customer service representative or in other sales jobs. Dental supply and device companies require or strongly prefer that their managers have prior sales experience. The level of desired experience typically ranges from one to five years. That experience plus performance can prime you for roles to earn beyond sales representative salaries.
If you have worked as an outside sales representative, you have familiarity with the rigors involved with territory sales — the travel, overnight stays away from home and demonstrations of products. Even as an inside sales representative, you gain experience in persuading the dentist, dental hygienists and other staff in a dental office of the benefits of your products. You also know what it takes to maximize sales — and representative salaries.
Some employers may consider office managers of dentists’ offices and purchasing agents in laboratories that make dental implants and other dentistry products as viable candidates. If you have bought dental products, you have likely heard some of the sales pitches. More importantly, buyers in the dental field understand what dental professionals find effective for treating patients and growing practices. To that end, a dental hygienist possesses the perspective and knowledge to pursue a career path in dental sales — including management.
Managers set the tone and agenda for their teams. This requires you have the ability to convey clear and definite strategies and standards to those under your charge. Leadership skills also include encouragement, identifying employees’ skills, placing representatives and other team members in the best position to succeed and taking corrective action when needed.
You not only lead representatives, but you may have to assume the role as a customer service representative. Dental sales managers must have skills in listening to and answering questions from dentists and resolving customer disputes.
Your job description contains the element of interpreting sales revenue, expenses and surveys of dentists’ satisfaction with products and your company. Analytical skills help you identify the short-term and long-term trends in sales and demand for your specific products or spending in general on dental treatments. With an understanding of the data comes the ability to develop or adjust sales approaches.
Technology features prominently in the work of dental sales representatives and dental sales managers. You email employees, your own supervisors and those in dental offices. Knowledge of video conferencing technology, spreadsheets and databases aid your ability to communicate with others, organize customer lists and deadlines and analyze data. Dental sales managers may have to use publishing and social media apps to deliver messages about their company’s products.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of sales managers overall in the United States should grow from 433,800 in 2019 to 449,200 by 2029, or by 15,400 new jobs by that time. While online shopping has a prominent place in the retail sectors, the products you and your dental sales representatives handle require specialized knowledge and expertise. Also, the business-to-business (B2B) nature of dental sales supports the demand for sales manager jobs.
You will find dental laboratories that produce appliances and implants and manufacturers and wholesalers of dental supplies, equipment and machines hire dental sales representatives and managers.
Job seekers for those who aspire to be dental sales managers can use online job search directories. If you use one, consider entering an alternative job title such as business development manager and account manager. You can also find job postings directly from the companies’ online sites. Be sure to sign up for job alerts whatever search methods you employ.
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