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Commercial Director Duties and Responsibilities

Commercial directors look at the big picture when it comes to a company's sales. While their role may vary based on their industry and the size of their organization, these are some of the key tasks they share:

Manage Employees As a senior manager, commercial directors typically oversee a team of fellow sales professionals. They may assign specific clients or duties to the account executives who work underneath them, in addition to setting sales goals for the entire team. They also keep their employees on a path toward long-term goals and boost morale, in addition to fostering talent and encouraging employee retention.

Develop Leads Commercial directors focus on growing the company's sales and customer base, and lead generation plays a key role in this strategy. They identify individuals and organizations likely to purchase goods or services from the company, then create a plan to secure their business.

Prepare Marketing Materials Part of boosting a company's business is getting word out to attract potential customers. Commercial directors contribute to this by creating promotional and marketing materials to give to current and potential clients.

Anticipate and Plan for Problems In their role as the company's key person for sales growth, commercial directors use their extensive experience and knowledge to identify potential legal, financial, or sales issues. At some companies they lead negotiations and conduct legal and financial research prior to meeting with clients. They also look for obstacles that could inhibit company earnings, then devise a plan to prevent problems.


Commercial Director Skills and Qualifications

Commercial directors combine analysis and measurement with creativity and the ability to adapt to changes that affect their company's revenue and client base. Employers look for candidates with in-depth business knowledge and the following talents:
  • Management experience - commercial directors develop an overall marketing strategy and then assign specific tasks to members of their team. Employers look for candidates with proven experience overseeing large teams
  • Legal knowledge - when working with new or potential clients, it's important to ensure that contracts are legal and that they protect both the company and the customer. Commercial directors perform legal research before and during the negotiation process
  • Marketing - to draw in more clients, commercial directors craft promotional materials that attract the attention of the company's target customer and encourage prospects to purchase from them
  • Goal setting - they also keep the team and the company on track, and must constantly set goals to maximize revenue, creating strategies for these goals and adjusting as necessary
  • Negotiation - commercial directors lead the effort to secure new clients. They draw on their persuasiveness and ability to establish rapport with the client to negotiate fees and contracts that benefit the organization and make the customer happy

Commercial Director Education and Training

Commercial directors need at least a bachelor's degree, preferably in a business-related field, although some employers will accept other majors. An advanced degree such as a Master of Business Administration can boost employment prospects. This is not an entry-level position, so candidates need at least two to five years of experience in functions like sales and account management, and possibly as a supervisor or team leader.

Commercial Director Salary and Outlook

Commercial directors, categorized as sales managers by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), earn a median annual salary of $121,060. The top 10 percent of commercial directors earn an annual salary of more than $208,000, and the bottom 10 percent make less than $57,590 a year. The BLS expects employment opportunities for sales managers to increase 7 percent through 2026, which is a similar rate of growth as the average for all other professions. Demand for these upper-level professionals will vary based on how strong the overall growth rate is in their specific industry.

Helpful Resources

We've scoured the internet to find the most comprehensive and authoritative resources for enhancing your career as a commercial director. Whether you're new to the role or looking to boost your skills, you'll find guides and educational materials to take your career to the next level:

Sales Management Association - this international association is designed for sales professionals in all industries and offers everything from networking opportunities to professional development

National Association of Sales Professionals - this industry association for sales professionals offers training, online articles, and certification as a sales professional

The Commercial Manager: The Complete Handbook for Commercial Directors and Managers - designed for commercial managers and commercial directors, this book covers everything from contract negotiation to risk management. Both new and veteran commercial directors can learn how to more successfully manage their projects and work more effectively with clients

Sales Management. Simplified. The Straight Truth About Getting Exceptional Results from Your Sales Team - commercial directors lead a sales team and provide coaching and goal setting for their group. This book teaches sales managers how to use their own behavior to prompt the behavior they want from their team

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