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Sales Manager Cover Letter Example

Use this Sales Manager cover letter example to finish your application and get hired fast – no frustration, no guesswork. This cover letter example is specifically designed for Sales Manager positions in 2022. Take advantage of our sample sentences + expert guides to download the perfect cover letter in just minutes.
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Sales Manager Cover Letter Example
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How you target your message is at the core of a sales manager’s craft. A sales manager cover letter enables you to do exactly that when pursuing the perfect job, unconstrained by your resume’s limitations.

Here’s the thing: all sales managers recognize an empty sales pitch when they hear one. When you are selling your ability to sell to others, it is not enough to list your achievements. What counts is the difference you make to the sales process — something  that's hard to convey in the rigid structure of a resume. 

A job-winning sales manager cover letter goes beyond the circumstantial factors of selling success. After all, anyone can sell an amazing product in economic boom times. It details just how you improve sales outcomes and delight customers over and above what the competition can manage. This is not about selling ice to Eskimos. Eskimos don’t need ice. An effective salesperson who is going to attract repeat customer must chat to each tribe of Eskimos and understand their needs to see if there is a fit.

The most successful cover letters tell the sales manager's story in such a way that it dovetails perfectly with the target job requirements. Their experience might not be a perfect fit, but the cover letter's free-form style allows for some creative interpretation. 

Resume.io is here to help with every cover letter preparation step. Our job-winning resources include more than 125 occupation-specific writing guides and free cover letter examples . In addition, we offer formatting advice, plus field-tested templates and builder tools to help you create both resumes and cover letters.

This writing guide, along with the corresponding sales manager cover letter example, will help you write a cover letter to close the most important deal in your sales career. We’ll discuss:

  • Core considerations for a sales manager cover letter — make the most of those two minutes when a future boss is reading your words
  • The best format for structuring a cover letter
  • Optimal impact of each cover letter part: header, greeting, introduction, body and conclusion
  • Writing psychology — why someone is looking to hire you and how to benefit
  • Common mistakes to avoid when writing your paralegal cover letter

Core considerations for a winning sales manager cover letter

What is the number one message for a sales manager?

First things first ... your sales manager cover letter is like any form of selling: the art of persuasion only comes into play after understanding.

In a world where we are limited by time and energy, any activity that wastes either commodity sucks the potential out of your day. It is bad enough to make poor choices for yourself, but when you end up wasting other people's time or energy, they won’t thank you. We’ve all been in that car showroom, politely listening to a salesperson when all we really want to do is have a quick browse and let our imaginations go a little wild.

Sales people must make sure all their customer interactions are worthwhile — for both parties. Your persuasive skills might be top-notch, but if you don't take the time to understand whether your customers have any interest in purchasing (at some point), you will be wasting both your time and theirs. 

Your sales cover letter must convey that listening to understand your customers' needs and wants is your top priority. But just saying so is not enough. Sales is about showing, not just telling. So as a powerful self-selling tool, your cover letter must include examples of your effectiveness in digging deep to understand exactly how to exceed a customer’s needs.

Expert tip

Don’t be afraid to sell yourself as hard as you can. Don’t be shy.

Expect any future boss to only spend a minute or two reading your cover letter, and even then, likely just skimming. So there is no place for subtlety or intrigue in your cover letter sales pitch. Make your “why” jump off the page. Be bold and ensure every sentence has a purpose. 

The purpose of your sales manager cover letter is to open the door to a more detailed personal conversation at the interview stage. You will be up against so many other candidates trying to catch the same employer's eye. 

Use the cover letter as a piece of selling dynamite to blow your competition out of the water. Or at least make sure the wording is strong enough to get yourself on that interview list.

Secondary purpose — the art of influence

Sales professionals are masters of the dark arts of influence. They have a way of leading you in the desired direction while seemingly walking by your side. They use empathy to disarm you and language to persuade you, at all times nudging you along the journey to purchase their product or service. It might not be today, and it might not even be next month, but their actions will make you more likely to buy at some point.

As a sales manager you know your craft and are deliberate about your intentions. Underpinning the subtle art of  winning over customers is a significant degree of behavioral science. Your awareness of that needs to come across in your cover letter. It should at least hint at any cutting-edge sales training you've completed, or maybe mentio some favorite industry-appropriate sales methodologies. Sales is not a passive process. If you come across as a curious “student of sales” on a journey of continuous improvement, potential employers will know they are taking on someone who will seek to find every possible way to make sales and retain customers.

Your cover letter text will be all the more impressive in giving sales-savvy readers a sense of your proven sales techniques. Be proud of your success stories and show confidence in your ability to replicate them for this prospective employer.

Every sales manager knows that the delivery of any sales pitch does not come in a monologue. There is often a back and forth that can last for weeks or even months before a successful sale. Just as their sales process is structured, so their sales application letter should follow a set format for maximum impact.

Best format for a sales manager cover letter

Just as the sales process is structured, your sales manager cover letter should follow a set format for maximum impact. Each of the following components serves a purpose.

  • The cover letter header
  • The greeting
  • The introduction
  • The letter body
  • The conclusion
  • The signature

You'll find an overview and general advice in our overall guide to writing cover letters . Here, we'll explore each cover letter section in a sales context, step by step. Let's get started.

Adaptable cover letter example

Dear Mr. Hunter

When you are competing with your rivals to sell empty space on a container ship, the basic variables of service and cost mean that sales managers need to convince customers that working with them is worth paying for. I sell my colleagues rather than my containers.

Increasing the ocean freight customer base by an average of 25% over the past five years, running at 92% annual client retention and increasing annual profit growth per customer by 16% demonstrate that I understand the subtleties of selling freight forwarding. Delighting a freight customer is about far more than availability and pricing.

As Crano Freight is expanding their routes in the Far East, I hope that my B2B sales experience in the region may prove useful. I have networked here for the past decade, speaking at transport conferences, building relationships with 250+ importers and exporters and doubling market share from 4% to 8% over a six-year period. As a student of the intricacies of the Chinese tender process, I understand how to influence effectively.

Crano encourages a winning mentality at work, and I would fit in well:

  • Exceeded annual sales quota by an average of 45% over the last six years.
  • 150+ Far Eastern clients - more than half of which could potentially move to Crano.
  • Generated $2.3m revenue last fiscal quarter. Consistently top in global sales list.

Seeking to understand the precise requirements of each customer is the key to finding those critical negotiation levers and squeezing the potential out of every opportunity. I enjoy the role most when I am managing a fluid sales process rather than simply reacting to leads.

I was referred for the role by one of your current sales managers (David Lantink) and I hope for the opportunity of an interview to see why he loves working for you so much.

Best regards,

Sofia Turner

Copied!

Cover letter header

Any purchase decision should be made as simple as possible. Just as the “buy” button is logically and conveniently located in an online store, so should your sales manager cover letter header contains the most important information — who you are and how you can be reached. This makes it easy for the reader to act immediately and get in touch with you at any moment during the recruiting process.

Don’t assume that it suffices to have your contact information only on your resume, or that recruiters can find you easily on social media if they are so inclined. It is expected that your cover letter should contain your name, email address and phone number, visible at a glance. After all, the goal is to pique the hiring manager's interest enough to invite you for an interview.

There's also a psychological reason for the header's importance. Basic cognitive science shows that people need a mental pause before digesting important information. The header section incorporates white space that will be swiftly scanned, but imperceptibly slowly enough for the reader's brains to anticipate something important is coming next. In fact, the average cover letter contains approximately 30% white space — further accentuating the importance of what has been written.

Finally, there is a technical reason for including your contact information in the header section. Many recruiters and employers use applicant tracking systems (ATS) software to scan resumes and cover letters. Properly formatting the header information on both documents means these important details will not fail to be captured.

The aim of the cover letter header: make the "purchase" decision as easy as clicking a “buy” button, give the reader time to pause and allow the ATS to pick up the information it is looking for.

Cover letter greeting

Getting the greeting of your sales manager cover letter wrong calls into question your entire sales approach. As trivial as the salutation may seem, you do not want to jar the reader’s attention with a misstep.

If the job application instructions mention a specific person, that is who you should address by name. There would be nothing thing worse than for your cover letter greeting to be generic  when other candidates address theirs to a specific person. And if you are determined to greet the reader by name, do your research to ensure it is the correct addressee.

Also be careful in deciding whether to follow standard practice with the more formal “Dear Ms. X" or "Dear Mr. Y," as opposed to the informal “Hi” or "Hello" before their surname. If you aren't sure whether the corporate culture is casual enough, always err on the formal side.

In the same vein, don't address recipients by their first name even you've corresponded previously. First-name email greetings are fine if you know each other, but not in the formal context of a cover letter that may be read by other people.

If you cannot determine the cover letter recipient's name, or even the job title, the next-best option is to write “Dear Company Name team.” Anything friendlier than the impersonal “To whom it may concern” is preferable, so you sound like a human being seeking to connect with the reader.

The aim of the cover letter greeting: setting the right communication tone should be familiar to a sales manager, as reflected in a cover letter that starts off on the correct note.

Adaptable cover letter greeting example

Dear Mr. Hunter,

Copied!

Cover letter introduction

The first sentence of your cover letter sets the tone for the employer's first impression. Just as the first salvo of sales patter should contain your core message, the opening of your cover letter should hint at why you are the best choice for the role.

Sales people have a lot on their plate, so if your cover letter introduction fails to grab their attention, why would they not simply stop reading and move on to someone else's application or something else altogether? There is no rule that anyone has to read your cover letter or resume. It is a choice that hinges on the content being relevant and interesting. 

A sales cover letter introduction must answer the recruiter's most important question: do you put your employer’s bottom line at the heart of everything you do? Even with all the fancy sales pitches and organized planning, if you are not squeezing the potential out of every sales opportunity, losses are left on the table that your competitors will take advantage of. Be a winner — show that you are relentless in your pursuit of growth.

A sales manager needs to “manage” the sales process, not just react to leads coming into the business. Your cover letter introduction should touch on how you do that better than your competitors. Be different from them. Sound better by avoiding the standard lines.

The aim of the cover letter introduction: That you will make more money for your employer than anyone else should come across front and center at the top of your cover letter.

Adaptable cover letter introduction example

When you are competing with your rivals to sell empty space on a container ship, the basic variables of service and cost mean that sales managers need to convince customers that working with them is worth paying for. I sell my colleagues rather than my containers.

Copied!

Cover letter body 

The body of a sales manager cover letter is where you justify why you should be hired.

This is no place for empty bluster and wishful thinking. Show that you understand your future employer's specific sales challenges. Offer real examples of your previous successes delivering value in similar circumstances. Selling is an immensely complex undertaking. Whether it's goods or services, you must prove that you understand the nuances of what your future employer is selling.

Secondly, it would be a strange oversight not include some numbers and growth figures to illustrate your past accomplishments. All sales managers live and breathe their targets, so the omission of that information in your cover letter will seem suspicious. Percentage growth figures provide context to the sales numbers so the scale of your achievements is clear.

It is equally critical to mention your relationship-building skills. Sales managers spend much of their day communicating with customers and prospects, so a prospective employer must understand that you derive success from dealing with others. Cite deals that involved complicated relationships or relied on your negotiation and influencing skills to hit sales goals. 

The aim of the cover letter body: Demonstrate understanding of what awaits you, be loud and proud about the sales numbers and growth you have achieved and don’t overlook your magnetic people skills.

Adaptable cover letter body example

Increasing the ocean freight customer base by an average of 25% over the past five years, running at 92% annual client retention and increasing annual profit growth per customer by 16% demonstrate that I understand the subtleties of selling freight forwarding. Delighting a freight customer is about far more than availability and pricing.

As Crano Freight is expanding their routes in the Far East, I hope that my B2B sales experience in the region may prove useful. I have networked here for the past decade, speaking at transport conferences, building relationships with 250+ importers and exporters and doubling market share from 4% to 8% over a six-year period. As a student of the intricacies of the Chinese tender process, I understand how to influence effectively.

Crano encourages a winning mentality at work, and I would fit in well:

  • Exceeded annual sales quota by an average of 45% over the last six years.
  • 150+ Far Eastern clients - more than half of which could potentially move to Crano.
  • Generated $2.3m revenue last fiscal quarter. Consistently top in global sales list.

Seeking to understand the precise requirements of each customer is the key to finding those critical negotiation levers and squeezing the potential out of every opportunity. I enjoy the role most when I am managing a fluid sales process rather than simply reacting to leads.

Copied!

Cover letter conclusion and signature

The conclusion of your sales manager cover letter is where you end with a strong final impression. If you have covered the bases of being great salesperson who is a perfect fit for this job, maybe leave prospective employers feeling passionate about their product or service. 

Conveying this affinity for the product or service will be vital during the job interview you aim to get. Your cover letter conclusion should leave no doubt about your motivation to sell it.

Finish with a call to action. Make it clear to hiring managers that you are mustard keen to attend an interview. Let them feel that theirs is the only company you wish to join. Make them feel special.

The aim of the cover letter conclusion: Allow you passion for this sales role come through by expressing that you love and believe in the product or service you will be selling.

Adaptable cover letter closing example

I was referred for the role by one of your current sales managers (David Lantink) and I hope for the opportunity of an interview to see why he loves working for you so much.

Best regards,

Sofia Turner

Copied!

Writing psychology – reach out to the employer's "inner buyer"

It is not often that sales professionals are in the position of “buying” something themselves, so when they are looking to take on a new sales team member, the roles are reversed. They will be looking for the sales qualities that they value in themselves. 

This varies depending on the industry and product or service, but there are a number of evergreen sales “buttons” that your sales manager cover letter should seek to press:

  • Prioritizing winners: Every sales person has countless potential “prospects” at any one time, so deciding where to place your efforts is critical to success. Your sales cover letter should show that you have carefully considered the role and are confident that there are few better roles for you out there.
  • Sales techniques: While sales is both an art and a science, it is easier to talk about the process side of the job. Discuss the approaches you have used previously, list any training that you have undertaken and show that you are at the cutting edge of a profession that has been transformed by technology and social media.
  • Mental agility: Sales is such a rollercoaster of emotion that you have to be able to cope with a large range of emotions on a daily basis. Every sales director has seen people who have crumbled under the weight of expectation. While no one is mentally invincible, you need to show that you are able to cope with the pressures.

Common mistakes in a sales manager cover letter

Sales professionals are well-versed in taking care in their written communication, but it's still worth pointing out that their cover letters will therefore be analyzed with a fine-toothed comb. Any missteps and errors will be harshly judged. The following reminders may seem obvious, but are you really sure that you have avoided these pitfalls?

  1. You won’t transform their sales team. It is a schoolboy sales error to promise the world and deliver something significantly less impressive. Make sure that you temper the positivity in your sales letter with the reality of the challenge that awaits. You will hopefully make an incremental improvement to their sales team, but you alone likely won’t bring about a revolution in how their product or service fares in the market.
  2. Keep it professional. While you are naturally proficient at quickly building relationships when you meet someone, this is far less easy to achieve in a written medium. The tone of your cover letter should be warm, but not over-friendly. How would you talk to a potential customer that you are meeting for the first time?
  3. Tell the truth about your past. It might seem very tempting to embellish aspects of your past experience. This employer will never know that you didn’t lead a certain project or contributed little towards the eventual sale. Wrong. It is common to check references, and if your deception is uncovered at a later date it puts your employment at risk.

Key takeaways for a sales manager cover letter

  1. Show that you seek to understand before you seek to persuade.
  2. Don’t be shy to sell your abilities and be open about how you go about your selling.
  3. Your future employers are now the buyers. Make sure that you give them reasons to do so.
  4. Share your passion for their product or service. Share why you want to work for this employer.
  5. Mental strength is key for any sales professional. Don’t avoid the thorny subject.

With Resume.io, creating a compelling cover letter and resume is easy. Find your next sales role by using our templates and builder tool today.

For additional inspiration, check out some of our related writing guides and cover letter examples in the sales category:

Sales representative
Sales executive
Account manager
Sales associate
Sales

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