Sales management is a process where people and resources come together and coordinate to implement a sales operation, develop a sales force and develop sales techniques to let businesses consistently surpass their sales targets. It is that section of the business that directly or indirectly interacts with a lead or prospect and makes a sale.
In simple words, it can be termed as the effort put forward to attain a company’s sales objectives. It is the process of maximizing benefits a company and the advantages a customer has from the efforts of its sales force. Sales management is a given if your business is making good revenue. It’s the most important factor for boosting sales performance no matter the industry.
A Sales management process is the difference between surviving and flourishing. It helps you meet your sales objectives and grow in a competitive market.
The sales management process includes:
In this process, you identify the target market. You make sure that the products are available to the end user at the right place and time. It is in this process that the sales strategies are made to increase the sales of the product. You also understand customer demand and respond to their demand effectively.
All the strategies which are made during the sales planning process are implemented at this stage. You check if all the sales strategies are bringing the desired results or not. You assign a specific role to specific people in the sales team. The sales team should submit reports weekly and the management needs to assess their performance during this stage and chalk out the future course of actions.
This is the final stage in the sales management process where everything comes together and a sale is closed. Sales Managers must make sure that they follow a proper approach to reach out to the customers. Here is the step by step process:
- Contact – This is where you collect all the necessary information of potential customers as soon as you map out the target market.
- Information Exchange – This step includes gathering information of the customers and explaining them about various product offerings.
- Lead Generation – Here you make a list of the contacts who show genuine interest in purchasing your products or services and identify who has a potential to buy your product.
- Identification – In this step, you fix a meeting with the prospect and try to identify all his needs and how your product can help him.
- Qualification – Here you identify all the prospects who satisfy your company’s qualifying criteria.
- Proposal – Once the prospect decides to purchase products, the seller shows a written proposal which quotes the rates and other terms and conditions which are called a proposals.
- Negotiation – This is where both the parties sit together and agree to a deal which benefits both the parties.
- Deal – At this particular stage the transaction takes place between the buyer and the seller.
- After Sales – Although this is the final stage it is a continuous process where you stay in touch with the customer for higher retention.
Sales Operations is a section of a business that is responsible for ensuring the effectiveness and efficiency of sales of a company. It supports the sales team by evaluating, creating, and optimizing data and sales applications.
They oversee business analytics, planning, and direct sales force enablement. This section is very important to stay significant in a competitive market.
Sales management hierarchy is very important for the smooth and proper flow of information and accomplishment of the tasks within the sales team. Let us now understand about the various job positions, prevalent in the sales management hierarchy:
Director of Sales
The director of sales is responsible for the achievement of all the sales targets. He plays a very vital role in developing and maintaining a strong professional relationship with the stakeholders, implementing sales plans and strategies, and in providing all the necessary support to the sales team. He conducts business reviews at periodic intervals and makes plans to develop effective sales and marketing channels.
Vice President – Sales
The vice president of the sales a key member of the senior management. He plays a vital role in creating and executing various operational strategies with respect to sales, which helps in meeting the stipulated business objectives. They analyze the change in trends in the sales and marketing department. They also develop specific plans to effectively respond to those changes.
The vice president is also responsible to attend sales presentations, manage customer relationships, and also develop different kinds of sales training programs for the new employees who join the organization.
A sales manager is responsible for many functions including creating effective planning which meets company goals, selecting and managing a sales team, and troubleshooting.
Here is the list of all the key functions of a sales manager:
All sales projections are given from upper management, however, a sales manager should understand team goals. Sales Managers are responsible for ensuring that the sales team meets sales projections while managing expenses to meet the budget.
Plan for growth
Sales success do not happen by accident. Once a sales goal is made it’s the sales managers responsibility to make sure the team meets the goal. The sales manager is responsible for the performance of the team. He should have an action plan to meet growth goals, and to handle obstacles.
Branch managers are responsible to lead a group of salespeople in a specific geographical territory. They create sales development plans or strategies and also assist the sales team members in executing those plans for effective results. They are responsible for the motivation of staff members through proper guidance and coaching, and their participation in various community affairs.
The team leaders hold the most important position in the sales management hierarchy. They are responsible to manage various activities throughout the sales cycle such as day to day sales planning and execution of sales team to provide customer satisfaction.
A sales person or associate performs the basic sales duties right from scratch in order to help enhance the sales of an organization. They check the sales inventory and work on the promotional displays and campaigns in order to increase sales.
Sales management is not just about tracking the business and providing support for the sales team. It begins with helping to develop the right products, distributing in the right places, setting the right prices, customer service, and other selling efforts. During this coordinated process, none should interfere with any of the others. Setting plans and tracking results helps in adapting, and take advantage of opportunities.
A sales management program includes having your sales staff keep in close touch with customers and watching the competition to determine if your product line is as relevant as it can be.
Sales report gives you the complete information about what’s selling and how much? It also gives you an understanding of where you are making your sales.A sales plan is just as good as the people who use it. However, a key part of a sales management program is recruiting, training and managing salespeople.