Most companies need to be able to sell goods or services in order to make a profit. This isthe purpose for hiring a strong and competent sales manager, who is tasked withpersuading consumers to take advantage of whatever the company is selling. The salesmanager is a vital position, which assists the company in continuing to meet the needs ofits target market and proceeding towards increased growth and success. A general salesmanager is responsible for the success of failure of the sales department. Whether or notthe company stays afloat depends on the ability of sales staff members to sell products orservices, as it is the sale of company goods that brings in revenue. Therefore, it isaccepted that a sales manager plays a key role in the success and failure of anorganization. He is the one who plays a pivotal role in achieving the sales targets andeventually generates revenue for the organization. Sales management encompasses“planning, direction and control of personnel selling, including recruiting, selecting,equipping, assigning, routing, supervising, paying and motivating as these tasks apply tothe personnel sales force,” according to the American Marketing Association. As a salesmanager, you would have to carry out these responsibilities, including: 1. Setting goals for the sales forceAll business organizations should have written goals that are part of their business plan.These goals can describe what the company plans to accomplish in terms of market share,growth and profitability. Goals may also be set for internal measurement like expandingstaff or boosting employee morale. Similarly, one of the main responsibilities of the salesmanager is setting goals that provide the direction for all sales force. When sales managerset goals for salesperson, it shows them the sales aims and priorities. Salesperson thenknow what to focus on in the coming quarter or year, thus prioritizing projects and othertasks as they weigh how their work will impact those goals. It also provides focus formanagement when deciding on major projects and how to best divide tasks amongsalesperson.He has to consult with the top management of the company and the salesdirector, and draft sales policies and marketing strategies for approval from themanagement. After the strategies have been finalized, he has to explain them to the team
members. Guiding sales executives and planning ways to go according to the salesstrategies is also a very important responsibility of a sales manager.A sales manager can’t work alone. He needs the support of his sales team where each onecontributes in his best possible way and works towards the goals and objectives of theorganization. He is the one who sets the targets for the sales executives and other salesrepresentatives. A sales manager must ensure the targets are realistic and achievable. 2. Establishing a business planA business plan is one of the most important features in any business, since it allows acompany to determine whats necessary for success. Sales managers are responsible forcreating the sales portion of the plan, which offers a detailed account on the growthstrategy, distribution channels and marketing or sales strategy. As a sales manager, youmust develop a sales strategy that outlines how sales representatives can meet sales goals,compensation for those sales, promotion of the representatives and future growth. 3. Building and training a strong sales team.A sales manager is responsible for the success of representatives within the company, andmust offer training or act as an advisor to improve sales techniques with eachrepresentative. As the leader of the sales team, a manager must constantly monitor thedevelopment of sales leads and analyze the performance of each individual. Providingindividual reviews for sales representatives allows a sales manager to increasecommunication within the team, determine areas for improvement and boost salesactivities.A sales manager is responsible for training his sales team. In large companies, this ishandled by a separate department; but in a small business, the sales manager may have todirectly train his team members. This training usually involves company history,product/service description, competition analysis, customer requirements, salestechniques and technology. However, the most important aspect of sales training is to
build the confidence of the sales team, as a confident sales team is often a successfulsales team. Some sales managers believe in ongoing sales training so as to keep the teamfighting fit and to update it on any new sales techniques or changing competitive scape.In some companies, the sales manager is responsible for directing a team of salesassociates. This team usually performs all the duties associated with making the sale. Inthis case, the manager has to ensure that proper price guidelines are being followed andthat the sales associates are using proper sales techniques to close new accounts. He hasto make sure that his team is selling enough to make regular quotas. He may also dealwith resolution of employee conflict, hiring, interviewing, termination and professionaltraining to get new sales team members ready to sell.A sales manager has to analyze thestrengths and weaknesses of his team members for the purpose of assigning tasks to salesand marketing executives. He has to handle all administrative issues of his teammembers. He is also supposed to keep a record of the employee productivity of his teammembers. 4. Sales resource management.One important responsibility is to recruit well-qualified resources for contributing to thecompanys sales development. He has to work with the human resource manager andarrange for interviews, conduct interviews of eligible candidates, and recruit efficientsales workforce. The manager may seek candidates through advertising, collegerecruiting, company sources, and employment agencies. 5. Motivating team members.Maintaining a good teamwork spirit in the sales team is also a crucial part of the jobdescription. A sales manager has to motivate the team to give their best and be trueresources for the company. He has to address the difficulties that are faced by theexecutives in achieving their targets. Motivating team members is one of the mostimportant duties of a sales manager. He needs to make his team work as a single unitworking towards a common objective. He must ensure team members don’t fight
amongst themselves and share cordial relationship with each other. Develop lucrativeincentive schemes and introduce monetary benefits to encourage them to deliver theirlevel best. Appreciate whenever they do good work. In a perfect world sales people aremotivated. But there is no perfect world and salespeople deal with more rejection andnegativity than any other profession. So it’s critical that the Sales Manager be sensitive toeach team member, their interactions with each other, their personal life and what isreally going on under the surface. Sales people are motivated by many different thingsjust as any other group. Believe it or not most sales people are not as money motivated aseveryone on the outside may think. I have found that competition and recognition arebigger motivators. And then of course FREE time off is always good too.Sales manager is an important position in a company. He does not only focus in salesalone, yet he needs to set sales objectives, forecasting, budgeting, organizing andsalesforces recruitment. In order salesforce to achieve it objective, sales manager needsto create a positive environment for his salesforce. According to Barker (2001),salespersons behavior is influenced by three groups of antecedents - activities of salesmanager, characteristics of salesperson and an appropriate sales organizations design.One of the important functions of sales manager is motivating salesforce towards theirjob performance, productivity, job satisfaction and employees extension. 6. Handling important sales deals.If there are deals which can get the company a substantial amount of business and profits;the company may require the sales manager to travel places, discuss with such clients,and attract more business. In such situations, the sales manager has to show off his fullpotential for finalizing the contract with the client. He also manages crucial aspects of theadvertising and marketing processes. 7. Communicate the corporate message to sales team:A sales manager also acts as a bridge between top management and sales team. Heconveys important corporate messages to the team. For example, if the management has
decided to launch a new product, it is the sales manager’s job to educate the team aboutthe product and its features, its pricing and positioning. Similarly, if the managementdecides to introduce a new sales software, the sales manager has to inform the team andclear any doubts it may have regarding the transition. It is also the sales manager’s job tobridge the distance between the marketing department and the sales team so as to achievesuperior sales performance. 8. RecordkeepingManagers are constantly looking for ways to improve sales, so a manager must regularlylook over statistics from the local or regional sales territories. A sales manager needs tofrequently check sales in various territories to determine if an increase in marketing isnecessary keep track of inventory and analyze pricing and sales activity. The managermust compile this information into reports to provide senior executives with an idea ofhow the sales department is operating.To sum up, if your company sells products or services, a sales manager is a necessaryaddition to your team. Sales managers are responsible for determining where a product orgood sells and acting as an advisor to the companys sales representatives to help themincrease profit and sales performance. Sales managers have many duties andresponsibilities to ensure the company continues to grow and maximize its potential.