Commercial Manager Skills: Definition and Examples
Updated 30 September 2022
Commercial managers direct the finances of a business to negotiate and set up contracts, improve employee performance and enhance company profits. They often enjoy solving problems, optimising processes and working with people. By learning about the various talents these professionals use to perform well in their jobs, you can see if this job is perfect for you and develop your skills. In this article, we define commercial manager skills, provide examples of these abilities, review how you can improve them, describe how you might use them in the workplace and explain how to highlight them in your job application.
What are commercial manager skills?
Commercial manager skills are abilities that enable these professionals to excel in their roles. These abilities can relate to interpersonal skills or broad areas, or relate to specific technical proficiencies. Commercial managers use a wide variety of skills to develop business opportunities and improve profits for a company.
Examples of skills for commercial managers
Here are some examples of skills that a commercial manager uses to fulfil their job duties:
Commercial managers often supervise a team, department or entire companies. While their job typically focuses on the financial aspects of a business, they also guide junior team members in their duties. They may supervise staff, especially financial professionals, to ensure the company operates efficiently, complies with regulations and guidelines and meets client expectations. Those in this position apply leadership skills to guide others effectively and inspire them to perform work well. Leadership skills are especially important if colleagues require extra morale.
Project management guides a complex task through planning, implementation and completion. Before a project starts, commercial managers typically discuss company needs and establish the scope, budget, deadlines and other aspects of the process. They also delegate tasks and roles to a specific team. During a project, leaders usually measure key metrics and indicators to understand progress. They gauge if a team meets the quality standards for their deliverables and adjusts processes to ensure the fulfilment of promises. After a project, commercial managers often determine what improvements to make in the future.
One of the most important duties of a commercial manager is ensuring a business earns enough profits to stay in operation. Those in this role typically generate leads, sign contracts with clients and find creative and new opportunities for a business to generate revenue. They also monitor expenses and look for ways to reduce costs and waste during every stage of business operations. It's important that commercial managers have knowledge of finance to monitor and maintain the fiscal health of the company and comply with all industry and governmental financial regulations.
Commercial managers typically communicate with employees throughout the company. They may interact with employees in various departments, such as finance and administration. Those in this position apply people and communication skills to express complex information in a clear and helpful way. They may also help to resolve conflicts between employees to improve productivity.
Those in a management role often interact with potential or current clients. They use communication skills to make initial contact with prospective clients, nurture relationships and complete the sales cycle successfully by eventually making a sale or negotiating a contract. Managers may adjust their communication approach across different channels, including email, face-to-face or video conference platforms.
How to improve your skills as a commercial manager
Here are four steps to improve your professional abilities as a commercial manager:
1. Earn certifications
Certifications are official credentials from a regulatory body or company in the industry that prove your training in a certain area of expertise. Certification programs typically involve taking a course or series of courses and passing an exam to show your knowledge and proficiency in various topics. Earning certifications as a commercial manager candidate can increase your earning potential. It can also help develop your skills, meet other people in the field, build your professional network and become part of a community of professionals. Those in this role may pursue certifications in finance, management or similar areas.
2. Participate in training programs
Throughout your career, you may encounter opportunities to train your relevant skills. If your employers offer training programs, classes, workshops or other professional development programs, participating in these can help you advance your skills in key areas. In addition, try to gain greater responsibilities in your role. This can show your current supervisor or a potential employer that you want to learn and improve in your field. It also conveys that you're ready to move to a higher-level position.
3. Consult your professional network
A professional network is a group of people from your field. These can be entry-level professionals, leaders or mentor figures. Getting to know other managers and business leaders can enable you to build a strong network and make friendships. These people may provide you with advice, tell you about professional development or job opportunities and help you improve your commercial management skills. A mentor can also give you one-on-one support and help with your educational goals.
4. Conduct research
It helps to conduct research on your own to better your commercial management skills. There are many articles, textbooks, books, podcasts and educational resources available online that may help you learn about important management areas, including finance, human resources and contract negotiation. It's also a good idea to monitor advancements and updates in the field. By learning about new management processes, theories and technologies, you can contribute a modern leadership approach to future job opportunities.
Skills of commercial managers in the workplace
Here are some tips for using your professional skills in the workplace:
Leading teams: When interacting with entry-level employees and guiding team members, use communication and leadership skills to provide them with clear, concise instructions, support and inspiration.
Communicating with clients: Commercial managers can use their business, networking and negotiation skills to build strong, lasting relationships with leads and clients, establish contracts for an organisation and maintain customer loyalty.
Optimising business processes: It's important that commercial managers use attention to detail and problem-solving skills to monitor business operations, track metrics of progress and success and optimise workflow processes.
How to highlight your skills as a commercial manager
If you're seeking a role as a commercial manager, it's a good idea to highlight your relevant abilities in your job applications. Here are some ways to do this on your resume, throughout your cover letter and during an interview:
Commercial manager skills for a resume
You can include a skills section on your resume to highlight your specific abilities and show the employer you meet exact job requirements. You can also talk about your skills in your work experience section by describing your previous professional accomplishments. Frame your duties from previous occupations to show how you used your skills to achieve actual results for the organisation. In addition, crafting your resume with a well-organised format and logical content can exemplify your written communication skills, which is an important talent for commercial managers.
Commercial manager skills for a cover letter
A cover letter is an opportunity to expand on the content of your resume, express your personality and make a positive, memorable impression on the employer. In your cover letter for a commercial manager position, discuss how your skills helped you contribute value to previous companies. Try to use numbers to quantify your achievements. For example, discuss a time you increased profits, improved a process measurably or guided a large team for a previous organisation. Using statistics, percentages and other numbers is often a compelling way to discuss your background.
Commercial manager skills for a job interview
During a job interview, try to integrate your skills into your answers to the interviewer's questions. It's beneficial to mention at least one skill you have for every question. For example, if the employer asks why you want the job, you can talk about your passion for the company or field and describe how your skills make you suitable for the position. In addition, maintaining a professional and friendly demeanour in your interview can convey your interpersonal skills.
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