Sales management, in simplest terms, is a business discipline that is focused on the practical application of sales techniques and the management of a company’s sales operations.
To be able to manage and deliver with effective sales management, managers must wear many hats and perform a variety of responsibilities. They are also required to have a deep understanding of all aspects of the sales process from recruitment, prospecting and lead generation to closing and even account management.
Today, we are going to discuss some of the most crucial responsibilities of sales managers. Let’s dive in…
1. Developing and Executing the Sales Plan
The sales plan is the road map that managers use to guide their teams to success. It includes the goals and objectives, strategies, tactics, quotas, task allocation, etc. Without an appropriate sales plan in place, it would be very difficult for sales managers to lead their teams effectively and generate revenues for their companies.
So, it is a fundamental responsibility of every sales manager to develop a strategic sales plan and make sure that it is executed flawlessly.
However, to develop a sales plan, managers need to have a good understanding of the market, the competition, closing ratio and the products and services that their company offers.
2. Hiring and Training Salespeople
The success of any team depends heavily on the quality of the sales reps. A good salesperson is someone knowledgeable about the products and services, is an effective communicator, skilled negotiator, and is willing to work hard to meet the targets.
The manager needs to hire salespeople who have the potential to be successful in achieving the goals.
Once hired, it is also the responsibility of the sales manager to provide training, coaching and support to help the salesperson to reach their full potential.
3. Motivating the Sales Team
For a sales team to perform well, motivation is key. Therefore, a manager needs to be a good motivator because salespeople are often under a lot of pressure to accomplish their targets, and it is the job of the manager to keep them motivated and focused. When they can encourage their team and help them stay positive, it can result in a significant increase in sales.
However, to be able to inspire a sales team, a manager must first be passionate about their job and believe in the products and services that they are selling. Along with that, the manager can also offer commissions, set challenging but achievable goals — something that can keep them motivated to sell more.
4. Setting Sales Targets
When it comes to selling, you cannot accomplish anything without setting goals. The same goes for sales teams. When a team sets targets, they have something to aim for, and it gives them a sense of purpose.
Sales managers need to be able to set targets for their teams that are S.M.A.R.T. If the targets are too high, it can lead to frustration and discouragement when not achieved. On the other hand, if the targets are too low, it can lead to complacency and a lack of motivation.
The sales targets thus need to be reviewed regularly and adjusted if necessary. For example, if the team is consistently meeting or exceeding their targets, the manager may need to set higher targets to challenge them.
5. Managing the Sales Pipeline
The sales pipeline is the process that salespeople use to move prospects through the stages of the buying cycle. It starts with generating leads and ends with the closing.
As the sales manager, it is your responsibility to ensure that the pipeline is managed effectively. And that includes ensuring that there are enough qualified leads in the pipeline, that the team is working on the right opportunities, and that the deals are progressing through the pipeline promptly.
To create great sales pipelines, a manager should have a good understanding of the products and services, the market, and the competition.
6. Reporting on Sales Activity
Tracking and reporting on sales activity are necessary because it helps sales managers to see what is working and what is not. It also allows them to identify any trends that may be emerging.
Sales performance indicators can be tracked and reported in a number of ways, such as end of day reports (EOD), CRM software, or spreadsheets. What’s important is that the manager has visibility into the sales activity so that they can make decisions accordingly.
The sales manager is responsible for tracking the sales team’s activity and performance. It might include keeping track of the number of leads generated, the number of appointments scheduled, the number of sales made, and the revenue generated.
To get accurate reports, managers need to ensure that their team is using the tracking system correctly.
6. Managing the Sales Budget
It is the sales manager’s job to ensure that the team stays within its allocated budget. This includes monitoring the team’s expenses and making sure that they are not overspending.
A manager also needs to be proactive in looking for ways to save money. For example, they may need to negotiate better rates with suppliers or find less expensive alternatives to the products and services that they are selling.
By managing the sales budget effectively, a manager can help to increase the profitability of the business.
To conclude, if sales managers are able to successfully carry out these seven responsibilities, they will be able to lead their teams to success. By doing so, they can help to increase the revenue of the business and contribute to its overall growth.