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Wholesale Manager Duties and Responsibilities

The type of organization a wholesale manager works for will determine the exact roles and responsibilities. Based on job listings we analyzed, a wholesale manager's duties typically involve:

Manage Accounts and Teams Wholesale managers utilize sales data to manage, develop, and serve existing accounts. They find ways to identify and convert new account opportunities for the business. They also oversee staff training, the hiring and firing of employees, and evaluating personnel.

Maximize Sales A key part of a wholesale manager's role is to find ways to improve and develop sales numbers. This is accomplished through analyzing performances for all relevant accounts and monitoring competitor activities and market trends to find new opportunities.

Develop Growth Strategies Through identifying and attending important global events and trade shows, wholesale managers create, implement, and execute merchandising plans that help the business to grow and meet sales targets. These growth strategies are signed off by senior staff members within the company and are worked towards by various teams in the business.

Attend Meetings with Clients Wholesale managers regularly meet with clients to manage the important pathway between the agreement of the sale to the final delivery, as relationship management is a key part of this job.

Analyze Sales Producing reports and presenting them to department heads is an important part of a wholesale manager's job. Through analyzing sales and data, they can produce wholesale forecasts and work towards agreed KPIs.


Wholesale Manager Skills and Qualifications

Wholesale managers have good decision-making skills, are comfortable leading a team, and have an aptitude for numbers. Typically, employers require a minimum of a high school diploma along with at least five years' experience and the following abilities:
  • Problem-Solving - Wholesale managers need to be able to identify issues or faults behind why sales aren't coming in. The ability to make decisions quickly and effectively, as well as the ability to process information clearly, is vital to this role
  • Leadership - Wholesale managers need to be able to motivate various colleagues and teams to work towards shared sales targets and strategies, so strong leadership skills are a must
  • Customer Focus - A large part of wholesale managers' job is to build relationships with suppliers and put the customer at the forefront of their strategies and plans. Previous experience in a customer-oriented role is advantageous for this aspect of the job
  • Computer Skills - This role requires the ability to utilize data sheets and produce presentations, so wholesale managers have the ability to use computer software to do this effectively
  • Numeracy Skills - Wholesale managers regularly analyze data and sales reports, so they need to have strong numerical abilities in order to work out percentages, totals, and projections

Wholesale Manager Education and Training

The minimum requirement to become a wholesale manager is a high school diploma, although increasingly employers request an advanced associate's or bachelor's degree in retail management, business administration, merchandising, marketing, or similar. Students should be able to show evidence of coursework in topics such as sales management. Employers also typically require a minimum of five years' experience in an appropriate role, such as management.

Wholesale Manager Salary and Outlook

The median annual salary for wholesale managers is $48,000. Wholesale managers in the 10th percentile earn around $32,000 a year, while the highest paid earn close to $74,000 annually. Bonuses and profit-sharing can reach as much as $16,000 and $4,000 respectively, while commission accounts for a high proportion of potential additional earning, reaching up to $55,000. Health benefits aren't enjoyed by all people in this field as almost one in three lack any coverage at all. Over half of wholesale managers receive medical and dental coverage is claimed by almost two-fifths of people in this line of work. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the growth rate for this sector is expected to decline by 3 percent through 2026.

Helpful Resources

We've collected some of the best resources to help you develop your career as a wholesale manager:

The Community Manager's Playbook - This book by Lauren Perkins is a manager's guide, but with a difference. The book teaches the reader how to get results by putting the customer first and by building a community. It provides an overview of brand and business alignment, explains how it can give a competitor advantage, and teachers managers how to identify their target audience and influence them.

The Product Manager's Handbook - Now in its 4th edition, this book by Linda Gorchels provides an overview of today's challenging business landscape. From intelligence-gathering techniques to business competencies, it's a great reference for anyone in the managerial sector looking to build their knowledge and get results.

Manufacturing, Wholesale and Distribution Forum - This LinkedIn group, with over 28,000 members, is for anyone in the industry who wants to network and get to know professionals from around the globe. It's an interactive and international community where knowledge is shared and self-promotion is encouraged. National Association of Wholesale-Distributers (NAW) - The NAW blog is packed with industry-specific posts that will help any new or experienced wholesale managers to build their knowledge and keep up-to-date with the latest trends.

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