Export Manager

Export managers play a key role in the international trade sector. These experts in exportation are mainly in charge of developing and managing commercial activities for companies abroad. As such, they need to have a solid background in international regulations, in negotiation with foreign partners, and in logistic operations.

Export manager - an international-oriented occupation

Export managers, also called export area managers, are in charge of international operations and transactions. These professionals will frequently need to travel to go about their missions.


Their role is to find and negotiate new collaborations in other regions and/or countries to expand their company’s client and partner portfolios.


They will manage all exportations and make sure they go through the whole process successfully. They will establish the sales policy to be applied in the area they are in charge of.


The work of export managers is included in the global strategy of any company looking into going global.


They usually work in big organizations but can also be present in small or medium-size companies, or even in start-ups wanting to expand internationally. They usually report to the Sales and/or Logistic Directors.


The activity sectors soliciting the competences of export managers range widely from the pharmaceutical industry, aeronautics, the car industry, to fashion and cosmetics.

Export managers - Main activities

The main mission of export managers revolves around international market development for their company. The purpose of these executive positions is to increase revenues and margins of the areas they are in charge of.


Here are the main activities:

  • Determining a sales and marketing action plan to optimize international sales;
  • Prospecting new foreign clients;
  • Ensuring that the company’s global strategy liaises with local needs;
  • Coordinating marketing, sales and logistic teams in France and abroad;
  • Implementing a distribution network in their dedicated geographical area;
  • Managing an export sales team and/or a marketing team dedicated to a certain geographical area;
  • Negotiating sales contracts involving international markets;
  • Enforcing administrative and customs processes required by exportation.

Export managers - Required competences

Export managers will need a whole range of competences and knowledge to be developed through a qualitative training program.


Here are the hard skills required for this occupation:

  • An in-depth knowledge of regulations and processes relative to export operations;
  • Fluency in English and potentially in one or several other foreign languages;
  • Competences in cross-cultural negotiation and communication;
  • Fluency in IT tools;
  • Competences in project management;
  • Managerial abilities;


Export managers also need to demonstrate the following soft skills: * Good communication skills; * Decision making abilities and sense of initiative; * Discipline and organization; * Being diplomatic and open-minded; * Availability and mobility.

Export managers - Training program

For students wanting to become export managers, emlyon business school provides a post-baccalaureate Global BBA Bachelor of Science in Management, an under-grad degree in international management, delivering a degree equivalent to a baccalaureate +4 years. This international program is based on a reinforced mobility starting on year 3 of the program, or with a double degree in year 3 or 4.


Acquiring knowledge through pedagogical approaches such as e-learning, business games, group projects, flipped classroom, all constitute essential components of the Global BBA. With this training program, students will be immersed into an environment favoring optimal assimilation of theoretical knowledge thanks to a practical application.

Export Managers - Salaries and career evolutions

Monthly gross salaries for young graduates will be between €3.000 and €3.500. With more experience, gross remunerations may reach over €5.000 a month. Export managers will also be entitled to a bonus based on the achievement a sales goals, along with travel and expense allowances.


They can evolve as import-export managers or sales director. Export managers can also become directors of sales operations, or even general managers of a company’s subsidiary abroad.

emlyon business school in a few words

Created in 1872 by the CCI de Lyon, emlyon business school is a long lasting institution and one of the oldest business schools in Europe. The School is one of the worldwide business schools with the triple-crown accreditation by AACSB, EQUIS and AMBA, the three most important international accreditations. That is how it justifies its rank as a global business school.