General Sales Manager
A General Sales Manager (GMS) must have strong management and motivational
abilities, knowledge of the local market and key decision makers, and be savvy in
advertising and marketing areas.
This experienced exec will manage and lead part of the advertising sales department for
one station or a multi-station cluster, depending on the size of the company she or he
works for. Often in large station groups, the GSM is also the DOS for other stations within
defined market areas. A GMS prepares weekly revenue projections and handles budgets,
working to set rate structure and maintain inventory control.
Excellent presentation skills are a must, for the GSM leads and directs sales pitches, the
presentation assembled and performed before clients that gets them to part with ad
Hiring and training sales staff and working with programming and promotions
departments to best achieve visibility and revenue, both through local spots and nontraditional revenue, are also part of the job.
Local Sales Manager
One posted job description for a local sales manager wanted at a two-station enterprise
in Providence, R.I., reads as follows:
“Qualified candidates should have former sales management experience, be an
aggressive leader with the ability to motivate, train and coach sales people, conduct sales
meetings, target new business and develop key accounts, plan budgets and execute
sales strategies, manage inventory and possess excellent people skills.”
Another prerequisite? “Must own vehicle, have a valid driver’s license and mandated
No company cars provided for this job – although that differs market to market, station
group to station group. So does this position. Some stations have eliminated it altogether,
skipping this management level entirely.
Those seeking entry into management have formidable obstacles, not the least of which
is the paucity of available management positions. The LSM position traditionally was the
next rung up the management ladder from sales account executive. Now that the
management ladder has shrunk, many ambitious account executives (AEs) are
encouraged to function more like sole proprietors, for as one senior (AE) observed, “The
clients really sign our paychecks and we need to fight for them. If we do a good job here,
it’s tough to take a client away, and you could make even more money than a GSM.”