Owners of retail businesses must hire employees to join the staff as sales professionals, as well as employees who will work in management. These two categories of employees differ dramatically, with management employees typically receiving higher base pay and more responsibilities than employees who work in sales. Conversely, sales employees often earn commission and work with the general public more frequently than management employees.
Sales professionals are individuals who work directly with a store’s consumers. They are responsible for answering questions, helping consumers make decisions and increasing overall sales for the store. Employees who work in management, on the other hand, are responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of subordinate employees, including the sales professionals. They train new employees, deal with complaints from consumers, create employee schedules and set goals for the sales team. Managers may also work with the store’s support staff to ensure that the store is clean and well-stocked.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, professionals working in management, earn a much higher salary than those working in sales. In fact, the average hourly rate for management professionals is approximately four times that of a salesperson. However, some stores offer commission to sales professionals in addition to their base wages, which supplements the amount of income they earn.
Training and Education
Because management professionals have more responsibilities than employees working in sales, they must typically undergo longer periods of training. Some stores require all management professionals to have at least a bachelor’s degree, while others may allow employees to move into management after spending a certain amount of time working in sales. Yet other stores require managers to have both a degree and a minimum amount of experience in sales. Sales professionals, on the other hand, can often find work with a high school diploma or less, as long as they have demonstrated the skills needed to succeed..
Stores typically hire more sales professionals than managers. While sales professionals may work full or part time, managers usually work full time. Managers may also work after hours and on days when the store isn’t open to the public, whereas sales professionals are on-the-clock only during business hours.