Objective Competency-based management has become one of the top human resource management priorities of leading organizations and has made it necessary to develop meritocracy models to recruit, retain and utilize its human capital. This critical role of competence has made it necessary to design competency-based models in various businesses, including the distribution industry. This study seeks to identify the qualifications of active sales managers in the distribution industry. We also tend to know how to classify these competencies and to what extent each of them is important for promoting the performance of sales managers in new sales patterns. Methodology This study is applied in terms of the purpose; it is also based on sequential (qualitative-quantitative) mixed method. The model was proposed qualitatively, with an inductive-exploratory approach and using thematic analysis method. The database used in this study included previous researches on managerial competence patterns in the public and private sectors; the data were collected and analyzed based on zigzag method until theoretical saturation. The categorization was done using coding the data with the approval of several expert sales managers. The qualitative part of the research is descriptive in nature and has been done to test and validate the model in practice. The statistical population of the quantitative phase of the study consisted of 107 sales managers of BehPakhsh Company where 92 of them were randomly selected as statistical sample using a researcher-made questionnaire that resulted from the operationalization of the existing concepts in the model. Data analysis was performed by confirmatory factor analysis using LISREL software. Findings Based on the proposed model, the key competencies required of distribution executives included 40 competencies that can be further classified into six main categories of: individual, communication-social, managerial-leadership, insight-cognitive, knowledge, and intelligence. Conclusion Individual competencies are the primary focus of this model, reflecting the personality and behavioral traits needed by sales managers to guide and influence salesmen and advance sales goals. Success, risk-taking and self-esteem are the personality traits of successful sales managers, and creativity, innovation, self-motivation, self-motivation, ethics, and committed effort are the behavioral competencies of successful sales managers in this model. Communication skills such as effective speech and listening, infiltration skills, persuasion and negotiation are among the essential requirements of their job. Process management and sales team leadership are the key roles and tasks of sales managers. The growing dynamics of the distribution company environment has also made it necessary the insights and cognitive competencies for sales managers. In the knowledge-based era, knowledge is one of the most important assets of leading organizations such as distribution companies, and the knowledge competencies of sales managers are among the most important human resources of these companies. High IQ index will be useful for timely adaptation to unstable conditions. Moreover, having social and emotional intelligence is essential for developing effective interactions and relationships management for sales managers, and ultimately having business intelligence and intake to understand business conditions and requirements, rivals’ actions, and appropriate action in current and future conditions can help improve the performance of sales managers.