Advice from Kara Heward, Consultant, wholesale, design and technology at CVUK
To be a successful sales director, a fashion degree is not necessarily important. Sales directors often have a general business degree or come via the shop floor. What you do need is great people skills and a passion for product, and these skills are often developed on the job.
You will need to have drive and be target-driven. You must have a strategic understanding of your business, be able to set targets for and motivate your sales team. You will also need to influence your customer and your team, so you will need to live and breathe the brand.
The path to a sales director generally starts from a wholesale administration assistant or a showroom assistant, progressing to a sales executive for a region, before becoming a key account manager, and then a UK or international sales manager.
Employers look for a proven sales track record, excellent management and budgeting skills, knowledge of the brand and product, and a vast client address book. As sales director you can gain great satisfaction from creating and delivering a clear strategy for the brand, and seeing sales soar and your vision realised.
Salaries range from £60,000 to £100,000-plus, with a car and bonus, dependent on the brand.