Sales leads assist management in selling products at a particular store. They are often retail sales workers who are promoted to a lead position through exemplary work performance and by demonstrating leadership qualities. The sales lead position is often a transitional position, allowing the store to test out employees to see whether they have management potential.
Sales leads are responsible for performing all of the duties of a sales worker, such as answering customer questions, stocking shelves, setting up displays, ringing up merchandise on the cash register and cleaning. They also fulfill many managerial tasks such as assigning duties to other staff members, providing constructive feedback regarding the work performance of the sales lead and is often the worker that customers are referred to when there is a problem that another sales worker cannot address. These sales leads also play a large role in training new workers on how to fulfill duties. Sales leads perform much of the administrative work such as taking inventory and performing paperwork. When the store runs short on supplies, the sales lead often has the authority to send sales workers to purchase more supplies.
Retail stores are meant to be comfortable and pleasant and are designed to encourage customers to come and shop. Some stores operate 24 hours a day, and the sales leads in these stores sometimes have to work night shifts. Retail sales workers more often work part-time than in other professions, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. There are times when sales leads have to work with frustrated customers, which can take an emotional toll on sales leads.
Retail sales workers are mostly trained on-the-job. After receiving training and consistently demonstrating responsibility and other work skills, many retail sales workers are promoted to the position of sales lead. They must have very good communication skills and interpersonal skills in order to be able to work well with customers. They must also have thorough knowledge of the store that they are working at.
Between 2008 and 2018, the need for retail sales people such as lead sales is expected to grow by 8 percent. This growth is driven mostly by population growth, which leads to new consumers. This growth is also driven by the development of new products. However, online retail will reduce the need for these workers.
The median hourly wages in 2008 for sales leads were $9.86, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The highest 10 percent earned more than $19.14, while the lowest 10 percent earned less than $7.37.