Sales management consists of two words- ‘sales’, and ‘management’. Sales management is a business discipline that is focused on the application of sales strategies and the management of a company’s sales operation.
Sales management is basically referred to as a sales team of a company. Sales are what bring your company revenue, and the significance of sales management is what sets out your company’s long-term survival.
It is basically the act of directing and leading sales representatives to develop strong relationships with prospects to close more deals, and sales managers do this by implementing sales management strategies, processes, and objectives to help their team meet their targets.
Definition of Sales Management
Sales management refers to the process of planning, developing, controlling, and monitoring the entire selling process of your company’s products and services. It also involves selecting, recruiting, training, motivating, and supervising your sales force.
Sales management is the process of hiring, training, and encouraging the sales team, forecasting sales and fixing sales goals, and developing useful strategies for managing leads and boosting sales.
Who is the Sales Manager?
A sales manager is a person who leads and supervises sales executives and runs the day-to-day sales activities of a business. They set sales goals, oversee sales strategies, and track sales performance.
- Mentor and train sales agents/representatives.
- Determine sales goals.
- Oversee sales strategy.
- Supervise sales process.
- Supervise sales progress.
- Collaborate with other departments.
Skills Required for a Sales Manager:
- Empathy: Empathy is a much-required skill for a sales manager. It allows managers to identify the problems their team facing. This helps to build a better relationship with their representatives.
- Resilience: A sales manager needs resilience to lead their team through tough situations and motivate them so that they can tackle those situations and handle pressure.
- Communication Skills: A sales manager must have good communication skills because he/she has to communicate with a lot of people. He/she must be able to deliver messages clearly and compassionately.
- Problem Solving: Managers in every field require problem-solving skills to anticipate problems and react accordingly and calmly.
- Motivation: After rejection, every sales representative needs an extra push to get back on track. A responsible leader should motivate them and help them to achieve sales targets.
- Servant Leadership: The responsibility of a sales manager is to serve customers and the sales team. So, developing ‘Servant leadership’ is for making sure your team feels nurtured and appreciated.
Sales Management Process
Sales management isn’t an easy task. It depends on the team, products, resources, and responsibilities.
In this article, I am going to discuss the steps involved in the process of sales management.
Sales planning is the most important step in the sales management process. It includes setting sales targets for the company, assigning the coverage areas, designing the process map, and preparing the lead generation tactics to boost sales. A sales manager usually plans the whole sales management process.
2. Hiring Sales Executive
Sales management is incomplete without a sales force or sales executives. The sales team is needed to run the sales operations, get orders, selling goods and services. The first step is to make sure you have the right executives and they are motivated enough to complete the required sales. There should be specific responsibilities defined for different sales persons.
Before selecting executives for a particular action, first, you need to ensure that the team receives sufficient training, support, and motivation. Their skills need to be enhanced regardless of their individual experience. Keep executives up-to-date with training in new products, professional development, competitions, competitors, and potential lead sources.
4. Set SMART Goals
Set sales goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound. Setting SMART goals will help you refine your ideas, focus on your efforts, save time and resources more efficiently, and increase your chance of achieving what you expect.
5. Manage Sales Activities
Sales managers are responsible for managing the sales team’s activities. It includes advocating for the team as a whole, rejoicing at successes, and empathizing with losses. Besides that, sales managers should keep a careful eye on everyday sales activity and address any concerns or success as required.
6. Sales Reporting
Reporting sales activities is one of the most important steps in sales management. Sales reports are basically prepared by a sales manager. These reports outline the sales operations of a business over a specific time period. These reports include information on leads, sales volume, revenue, and new accounts.
7. Forecasting Future Sales Targets
Besides evaluating current sales targets and performance, the focus should also be on forecasting future targets for dollar value and sales force for the next sales cycle. The responsibility of a sales manager is to make sure that future targets are also being prepared as per the market demand and available forecast.
Sales Management Strategies
Here are some strategies you can apply for better results;
1. Use Individual Coaching:
Supervise individual members of your team to understand their strengths, weaknesses, habits, and areas for improvement. Then provide feedback on their skills and suggest new strategies for improving their work efficiency.
2. Apply Technology:
You can apply technology to get feedback from members of your team. Using technology, you can also track their performance and provide guidance and feedback accordingly.
3. Increase Efficiency:
Identify the barriers to your current sales strategy and apply problem-solving skills to limit obstacles and help your team increase the efficiency of the sales process
4. Promote Healthy Competition:
Teams respond well to competition. So, offer offering incentives is the best way to encourage members to generate sales. If your sales department has multiple sales teams, then encouraging competition among them will create stronger team identities and motivate members to push their limits.
5. Be Proactive While Addressing Issues:
Being aware of possible issues can improve the ability to respond proactively. If you identify a problem and or expect a problem to become a bigger obstacle, addressing it fast can stop it from scaling.
6. Provide Feedback Regularly:
Feedback helps associates to identify their strengths and weaknesses. When your executives receive regular feedback, they try to strengthen their weaknesses and enhance their strengths.
7. Stay Up-to-Date on your Competitors:
As a sales manager, you need to stay aware of competing companies. Retain your top-selling employees by offering them incentives. Analyze other companies’ sales strategies to understand their goals and also you can adapt their effective strategies to enhance the sales performance of your company.
8. Set Goals that are Realistic:
When you set goals for your team, make sure the goals should be both realistic and also challenging. Attainable goals can improve the confidence of your associates while challenging goals can promote growth and development.
9. Identify Barriers:
Review processes that may create obstacles for your team. Then provide suitable strategies to your associates so that they can overcome those barriers.
10. Be Adaptive and Reflective:
When you make a habit of reviewing your own success and areas for improvement, it will identify opportunities to grow your leadership skills. Regularly reflecting on your management style will help you to be a better leader for your team.
Objectives of Sales Management
It is important for a company to have clearly defined sales management objectives because you can use them to track your progress and support the growth of your company.
Here are some key objectives of sales management:
1. Revenue Generation:
The main objective of sales management is to generate revenue for the company. The sales department of a company is entirely responsible to bring in the capital.
2. Increase Sales Volume:
Sales volume is the number of units sold during a given time period. Using it sales managers can determine the penetration level of a particular market. It also helps sales managers by tracking their team’s progress and finding out opportunities to increase their sales efforts.
3. Sustained Profit:
Improving the profit of a company through effective planning, coordination, and control is one of the main objectives of sales management. Sales management tries to increase sales and reduce costs to ensure a good profit for the company.
4. Motivate Sales Team:
Basically, managers have less functional knowledge than sales executives because executives have to conduct face-to-face interactions with customers. They have real-time knowledge of what customer desires. So, they need to be motivated to give their best. It is the responsibility of a sales manager to maintain a positive attitude and send the right person to the right place.
5. Get New Customers and Retain Them:
The sales team finds potential customers through referrals, cold calling, trade shows, etc., and makes them customers by making deals. then the team focuses on retaining those customers by taking feedback, providing after-sales services, and providing personalized offers.
6. Better Sales Planning:
The last objective of sales management is to make better sales plans which help to achieve future sales goals.
7. Other Objectives:
- Determine sales volume in ways that contribute to profit.
- Help the executives in selling the product line.
- Increase the productivity of your sales team.
- To build a culture of constant improvement.
- To optimize distribution.
- To lead the market.
Benefits of Sales Management
The key benefits of sales management are eliminating the work of administration and setting up a security system that coordinates all customer data and gives you real-time analysis.
1. Improved Organization
A sales management system is one of the most effective tools available to help you increase business. It functions as a database, storing and effectively organizing lead and customer information. This makes for easier, more efficient information retrieval, and it helps to ensure that important data isn’t lost or corrupted because of inaccurate storage. The system also helps to get your staff and your workday organized.
As a sales manager, you know that the best way to run your business is to have a good understanding of your overall sales funnel. The automation features of a sales management system deliver valuable time-saving benefits for your team.
By eliminating tedious tasks and leaving more time for sales representatives to focus on what they do best, these systems are easy to use but also helpful.
Automated emails, text messages, scheduling reminders, and other features of a quality sales management system can help your team focus on the work that truly requires their attention.
3. Detailed Overview of a Customer
With sales management software, every communication by sales, marketing, or customer representatives can be held in the same place. This makes it easier to understand the customer journey so far, ensuring there’s no more re-educating your sales force on the same data repeatedly.
4. Minimal Data Entry
Phone call data is one of the hardest things to capture and organize. A customer relationship management platform makes this process much easier by providing all the tools you need to minimize data entry, making it easier for your sales team to focus on the conversation. Phone calls can be recorded and stored in your CRM, so you won’t have to re-enter them when they come in. This helps promote greater accuracy and efficiency within your organization, which means more time spent making sales and less time waiting on paperwork.
5. Enhanced Team Collab
A sales management system gives your team access to a single centralized database that includes all their calls, notes, and notes from their clients. With a management system, each team member can see where their leads are in the sales pipeline — and what tasks require to be completed for them. This centralized database makes it easy for them to coordinate and collaborate on the efforts of selling.
6. Improved Distribution
If you want to sell more products and gain more customers for your business, a sales management program is the answer. It connects you with your customers by implementing effective distribution techniques. And it can easily help you get money from other resources to improve your operations.
The sales management program helps in identifying sales distribution, setting appropriate pricing, and other issues that could affect your sales. It will also give you details about what marketing techniques should be used to increase your sales.