Sales management is a global business discipline that is centered on the study, assessment, and implementation of the strategic management of the sales activities of a company and its sales staff. It is also an important corporate business function since increased net sales through the worldwide sale of goods and services and resulting overall profit drive many commercial activity. For any organization, sales management is key in determining not only the long term survival and success, but also profitability, of the enterprise.
But what kinds of skills must a sales manager possess to perform effectively? To succeed as a sales manager, it is not enough to have educational qualifications, work experience, or an MBA degree. Good managers must be skillful communicators, excellent team players, excellent problem solvers, as well as skilled financial managers. Furthermore, good sales managers must develop good relationships with their subordinates and sales representatives. These types of skills can also be developed through personal selling practices and mentoring.
The main goal of the sales management process is to set specific, attainable goals. However, these goals vary greatly from organization-to-organization. Some common goals of all sales managers are to increase customer satisfaction, reduce cost, improve service, and build market share. Sales managers must therefore develop and coordinate effective strategies to achieve these particular objectives.
Sales managers should take personal responsibility for leading and mentoring the people that they supervise. They need to be aware of every situation and obstacle that could arise and are able to deal with it promptly and effectively. The manager must be open to receiving advice and suggestions and should be receptive to feedback. Sales managers also have sales people on their staff that they depend on to help them achieve certain sales goals. In fact, sometimes the only way to achieve the company’s sales goals is for a sales manager to take on part-time employees or apprentice salespeople.
Another part of the sales management process is recruiting. When companies hire new employees, they do so based upon an evaluation of the prospective employee’s potential. To be successful, sales managers must be capable of evaluating whether or not a particular applicant possesses the skills, abilities, and capabilities necessary to perform the job. To do this, sales managers must be able to carefully assess the character, values, personality, and competence of job applicants. When they do, they can then find the best candidates to join their organization.
Once they’ve managed to recruit the best prospects, the next part of the sales management process involves grooming the new employees. A typical day for a sales manager begins the day they interview prospective prospects and will continue to do so throughout the day. During their time spent interviewing potential prospects, sales managers are expected to provide ongoing training to new employees. The goal of this training is to familiarize sales people with company procedures, goals, and techniques. While many sales managers initially perform these tasks without much attention, over time the constant stress and strain of the sales management process begin to wear down.