What is Sales Management?
The sales management is overseeing sales personnel (teams) through planning, implementing, motivating, and controlling to get the desired level of sales close and build good relationships with prospects. Managing sales teams and unlocking true revenue potential is a crucial task every sales manager has to do.
Effective sales management is crucial to achieving the true revenue potential of the company which requires the right leadership of the sales managers in making suitable plans, managing sales personnel, and realizing sales goals.
Previously sales management was limited to directing salesforce personnel to personal selling but it took a new turn with the passage of time and advancement of marketing practices and became a crucial success factor for businesses. Today, its success is largely determined by conveying marketing activities such as advertising, marketing research, sales promotion, physical distribution, pricing, and merchandising with the sales goals properly.
To better understand, what is sales management, the AMA has defined it simply as “planning, direction, control of personal selling, including recruiting, selecting, equipping, assigning, routing, supervising, paying, and motivating, as these tasks apply to the salesforce.”
Importance of Sales Management
Sales optimization is the goal of every sales manager (sales firm). Have you ever wondered how business firms boost their sales revenue? Introducing new products? Proactively reaching new customers? or,
The very factor that boosts the sales revenue of the business firm is an appropriate combination of sales goals with the sales personnel. This can be achieved through effective sales management.
Sales management is essential to develop the right plans for sales goals, choose the right salespeople, assign the right duties to the right salesperson, utilization of sales resources, execute it, and unlock the true potential for the firm that positively impacts its revenue and growth.
Today, more than ever, the right combination of businesses sales goals, sales resources, and sales forces is most crucial in the selling environment. Since the complexity is increasing in the selling process its position is inevitable in marketing, its importance can also be mentioned in the following points,
- Boosts the sales close deals
- Builds confidence in sales personnel and company
- Helps to realize the company’s sales goals effectively and quickly
- Increases profitability with increased sales
- Helps to fill customers’ gap
- Attracts and retains customers
- Gives better plans and better results.
Main Aspects of Sales Management
For rightly getting sales management a sales manager has to consider three essential aspects – sales operation, strategy, and analysis. Getting these rightly can help him to bring optimum results from sales.
Sales Operation [Sales Team Building]
The first task of the sales manager is to build an efficient team of sales personnel. For building an effective team sales manager requires to have his quality in such a field and be positioned with the right duties & responsibilities.
The sales team needs to have the ability to perform the task appropriately given by sales executives. The sales executive has to make sure that the team he has made has relevant knowledge and skills of sales responsibilities.
In addition, the sales manager has to train the sales personnel, if needed. Inform them about every aspect of sales terms, goals, duties, and responsibilities, ultimately making them capable to execute the given tasks.
The sales manager has to prepare sales strategies that may outline how the sales goal is achieved. The strategy should show from beginning to end how to get potential customers and how to close sales with them.
The sales strategy provides a guide on who are potential buyers, how to get them, how to convince them, how to close sales with them, and how to retain them and get repeat sales.
Once the sales team is developed and ready for sales performance it needs to have proper guidance to perform.
Analysis of the performance of the sales team is an essential way to get to know what has the sales team achieved and what is yet to achieve.
It gives a better picture of sales performance, real-time position of sales personnel, locates if there are any imperfections, and lets to take necessary steps earlier in order to achieve sales goals in time.
Steps in Sales Management
The steps of the sales management process can be different for the individual, institution depending upon the types of products, teams, and availability of resources. However, it mostly starts with setting sales goals and ends with closing sales (improving when imperfection is found).
Setting Sales Goals
The first step of sales management is to set sales goals. Sales goals are what a sales manager (firm) wants to achieve after all performing all the duties.
Sales goals can be for the short-run and long-run. It determines in advance, how, when, where such goals can be achieved. While setting goals the nature of products, objectives of the company, resource availability, market condition, sales forces requirements, etc. are mostly considered.
Moreover, the perfect sales goals determination is based on the quality and skill of the sales executives.
After successfully determining sales goals, the hiring process of sales personnel begins. The sales personnel are the ones who perform the task set in the sales goals paper.
Here, the sales personnel are hired based on outlined criteria of the company. The criteria may be related to qualification, experience, honors, age, and so forth. The person who meets these criteria is hired and introduced to the company’s culture. And, he/she pushed to further steps.
In the third step, the hired sales personnel are trained. In this training, they are introduced to the determined sales goals of the company and provided necessary training on how to achieve those sales goals.
All new salespeople may not have the practical knowledge of making sales and closing deals, it is the responsibility of the sales manager to give them proper training. The better sales training manager provides them the better results he will achieve.
However, for better sales training, it can need more investment thus here resource availability is also mostly considered.
In the fourth step of the sales management process, the salespeople are assigned their jobs and asked to perform as the sales manager trained them.
For the best result, the manager has to assign tasks considering the skills and knowledge of the salespeople and the responsibilities enlisted in sales jobs. Here, the right task should be assigned to the right sales personnel, which in turn, boosts the right performance.
It is also necessary to consider that with the task assigned if salespeople also provided their desired compensation, the motivation, they tend to perform better.
Supervising and Controlling
Once the sales tasks are assigned, the sales manager expects as far as possible they should make more sales and achieve their sales goals.
To track the performance of salespeople it is important to know how they are doing, thus it is done by supervising. While performing tasks the salespeople may commit some mistakes as such they might not be reaching sales goals.
To again bring back them on track necessary measures are applied, if salespeople are forgotten they should be trained again, if unmotivated they should be motivated, if unhappy with the salary they should be provided a fair salary, and so forth whatever the reason it is the main duty of the sales managers to influence them to achieve sales goals.
How To Make Sales Management More Effective?
It is quite true that in order to get fruitful results from sales management it should be effective and effectively implemented. For making it most effective, sales managers must be placed rightly with necessary duties and responsibilities.
Sales managers must be qualified for their position and able to constitute a proper relationship with the top management and functional department of the company. They should have the quality to share necessary information in an understandable way and to build team spirit in the low-level management (task performer or sales personnel).
In addition, the following techniques may be assumed by the sales manager to make sales management more effective.
- Setting better sales goals and plans
- Hiring experienced sales personnel
- Motivating sales personnel
- Assigning the right task to the right sales personnel
- Meeting expectations of sales personnel
- Effective evaluation of sales performance
- Proper training
- Liaison between sales reps and top-level management
- Better compensation
Sales management is hence all about how to best manage the sales team and bring their best effort to get the sales success. The effectiveness of sales management and sales teams largely determine whether the firm will get sales success or not. Contributing time to it and implementing it properly will surely help to get more customers as well as sales deals.