Who is the Right Person to Fill My Vacant Sales Manager Position?

by: Ian K. McEwen

Your current Sales Manager has given you notice that he/she will be leaving at the end of the month because they have accepted another position with a competitor. This is the “opportunity” we talked about in our previous article. This is your chance to not only correct some former areas of weakness, but also lay the groundwork for new opportunities and initiatives. A proper Job Description is your document which outlines the specific direction and plans for your future employee. If you don’t have one in writing, you will never be able to interview prospective candidates effectively, or measure their performance going forward. At Marckis Consultants, we never accept a recruiting assignment unless we have completed a full company/client overview and the dealer has approved the Job Description. Writing a job description is one of the most important processes that any business undertakes. And, it is probably one of the most tedious and time consuming exercises. But, it must be done effectively so there are no ambiguities or false expectations about the position by your candidate. A job description clearly identifies a collection of tasks, skills and responsibilities as well as behaviours in order for you and your business to reach its assigned goals.

Prior to writing a job description, we often prepare a job analysis, which identifies the skills, tasks, knowledge and background necessary to perform the responsibilities. It is also important to write the job description using ‘action’ verbs so that the employee’s performance can be measured.

The Job Description includes several key parts: Job Definition or Position Summary, Job Duties or Essential Functions, Job Requirements or Qualifications, Education Requirements, Career Path, Salary Range, and Company Benefits.

From our database of over 200 automotive job descriptions, your New Vehicle Sales Manager job description should be structured as follows:

New Vehicle Sales Manager

Position Summary:

Reporting to the General Sales Manager, the New Vehicle Sales Manager will Plan, Organize, Co-ordinate, and Measure New Vehicle Sales Department activity. The objective is to sell new vehicles to obtain projected gross and net departmental monthly operating profit, and satisfactory share of sales.

Essential Functions:

1. Establish long and short range goals for the New Vehicle Department including:

  • Sales, gross and expense objectives on a monthly basis
  • Manpower requirements, scheduling of employees – floor, vacations
  • Inventory and product mix and turnover requirements

2. Actively hire, train, motivate, counsel, and monitor the performance of all new vehicle sales personnel to reduce staff turnover and improve customer retention.

3. Provide effective communication throughout the department with respect to both department policies and procedures, and individual salesperson work standards.

4. Establish methods and procedures, and assist individual sales persons with respect to:

  • Client prospecting and control system
  • Showroom product presentations
  • Product demonstrations
  • Closing and approving of all deals made
  • Tracking all customers and logging all sales leads
  • Vehicle delivery
  • Compensation review and plans

5. Monitor customer satisfaction ratings and ensure proper handling of all departmental customer complaints, public relations and goodwill issues.

6. Direct the merchandising and advertising activities and budgets of the department including incentives, promotions and schedules.

7. Provide effective communications and a positive working relationship with all internal department managers and employees as well as OEM factory representatives.

Job Qualifications:

  • Minimum 3-years automotive sales management experience.
  • Proven ability to sell a monthly quota according to dealership objectives.
  • Previous experience in managing and motivating a sales force.
  • OMVIC license or appropriate provincial certification.
  • Valid Driver’s License and a clean Driver’s Abstract.
  • Adept at dealership computer systems.
  • Strong communication and organizational skills.
  • University undergraduate or College graduate with a background in business, marketing or computers.
  • Ability to work evenings and weekends.

Career Path:

New Vehicle Sales Managers often begin their career as a successful salesperson. After gaining the necessary experience, they may have previously worked as an Assistant New Vehicle Manager. New Vehicle Managers generally progress to General Sales Managers then on to the General Manager position of a dealership.


Compensation is based upon a monthly base salary plus bonuses based on departmental performance based on sales, gross and net profit, expense control and customer satisfaction ratings. Also indicate your pay periods and method of payment.


Benefits vary across the board. Typically a benefit package might include:

  • Vacation based on years of service
  • Sick leave
  • Leaves of absence
  • Dental insurance
  • Education benefits
  • Accidental Death & Disability Pension
  • Paid holidays
  • Pregnancy/parental leaves
  • Medical insurance
  • Optical benefits
  • Tuition assistance
  • Workers Compensation
  • Company vehicle

Remember, you cannot manage what you cannot measure. Using a proper job description will help you to identify the right candidate for the job. Next month we will discuss effective interview techniques – what you can ask and what you cannot ask in an interview.

Call us about your career placement or recruiting needs:
office 905-290-0911 or toll free 1-866-627-2547