Sales Management Basics: The Basics of Sales Management
Sales management is a professional business discipline that is focused upon the practical application of the management of the sales processes and the effective management of a company’s sales activities. As net sales through the sales of goods and/or services and resulting profit driven by these sales drive most major commercial organization. As a result of this, there is a critical need for management that is well trained in sales management skills and sales management planning to achieve success in this field. Sales and marketing managers, executives and other experienced sales personnel are typically hired by large companies to execute the overall management policies of the company. Other companies require sales management consultants to perform specific sales and marketing tasks.
In addition to implementing sales policies and sales goals, it is important for sales management to motivate sales representatives. These employees are typically motivated by personal achievements and incentives such as bonuses or stock options, but can also be motivated by a desire to build organizational reputations. Motivation among these individuals can be tricky, however, as most sales reps are usually very highly skilled at selling and often perform at peak levels when given incentives, but burnout quickly occurs when they are not properly maintained. This is why many organizations have salespeople perform in-house training sessions or utilize CRM or Customer Relationship Management software to provide them with proper training tools. Sales managers will take the time to find the most suitable CRM solution for their company and implement a sales management strategy that includes these tools and personal development of sales reps.
Another key aspect of the sales management strategy involves the use of direct marketing and advertising. This type of marketing requires a strong understanding of marketing psychology and, oftentimes, some degree of interpersonal skills. Most companies have a marketing and advertising department, which makes use of a variety of marketing strategies including newspaper, television, radio, direct mail and internet marketing. Understanding the effectiveness of these different marketing approaches is key in developing an effective sales management strategy. In addition, sales managers should also make use of other forms of advertising such as website advertising and cold calling.
Integrating technology into the sales management process is another important tool for increasing a company’s profitability. Technology has changed tremendously over the years and while some companies have become adept at using newer technology effectively, others have lagged behind in the implementation of new technologies. Sales managers must work closely with IT staff to determine how best to integrate technology into the workflow of the company so that sales teams are consistently capable of completing client tasks regardless of whether they are connected to the internet, receiving phone calls or receiving paperwork. By integrating technology into the sales management strategy, a company increases its ability to successfully complete day-to-day tasks that can have a significant impact on its bottom line, allowing the sales manager to effectively motivate sales representatives and retain high performance.
As mentioned above, the primary motivation for most salespeople is job satisfaction and, as such, sales managers should use strong incentives and rewards to keep their people motivated. Although this may not seem relevant in the overall scheme of things, the fact is that many salespeople remain relatively unmotivated throughout the year due to the challenges posed by managing a group of individuals who have very different needs and goals from themselves and their fellow colleagues. The challenge of sustaining motivation among this type of workforce can be particularly difficult if the managers are also juggling a variety of personal and professional responsibilities. Nevertheless, by establishing specific goals for each salesperson, and providing them with clear expectations regarding how much responsibility they will shoulder and when they will be expected to step up to the plate, managers can take the time necessary to build effective coalitions with their salespeople so that they can achieve excellent results through consistent motivation and leadership.
Another important element of sales management is the creation of a sound CRM (customer relationship management) program. This type of software provides salespeople and business owners with the tools to manage contacts in an efficient manner. CRM software tools include functions that allow managers to easily identify customers and prospects, conduct on-demand contacts and generate marketing reports. These types of management software tools provide businesses with the information they need to optimize their sales pipeline and develop more efficient ways to communicate with potential clients. By implementing effective sales pipeline optimization strategies and CRM solutions, businesses can ensure that their salespeople stay productive while their organization continues to experience positive growth.