Sales management is the process that entails developing new selling strategies, gathering and training sales teams, and coordinating the practices aimed at pursuing a company’s sales goals. It helps businesses create excellent sales teams, develop good relationships with their consumers, reduce costs, and reach sales targets.
In the video below, Brian Tracy unveils three essential skills you need for your successful and effective sales management.
In this article, we’ll explain why sales management is essential and talk about its objectives, functions, and key principles. In addition, we’ll walk you through five sales management strategies.
Why is sales management important?
An effective sales management process is a must-have for any company. It helps reach your sales objectives, control sales processes, close deals faster, boost sales performance, and thrive in a highly competitive environment. It also plays a significant role in the optimization of lead qualification. With planning, coordination, and control, a salesperson can ensure the quality of their selling process and make a company scale.
With sales management, companies reduce costs on the distribution of their products and receive great profits. The process enables business owners to improve communication among their team members, build relationships with prospects and customers, effectively introduce new products, and increase the production of goods that are in great demand among consumers.
Now that you know why sales management is important, let’s proceed to the next section with sales management objectives.
Sales management objectives
Each company sets business aims it wants to achieve within a certain time. Although all businesses develop in their own way and, in theory, set different goals, most of them are often very similar.
The objectives can be divided into short and long-term. In the group of short-term goals, we can single out retaining and capturing the market share and defining sales volume to make a business profitable. Objectives that need to be implemented over a long time include retaining a certain percentage of customers, assisting in training sales representatives, supporting sales teams with technical advice, tracking, collecting, and analyzing any sales information.
As you see, the sales objectives of all businesses are pretty similar. Now that you are acquainted with them, let’s walk you through their functions.
Functions of sales management
Sales management isn’t only about managing sales and ensuring that customers are satisfied with the process. In general, it implies making sure that sales reps do a great job, planning and setting targets, and monitoring the efficiency of the sales process. Let’s take a look at its functions in more detail.
- Setting targets. Establishing unrealistic goals can have a negative influence on your company. That’s why to reap benefits from your business, you need to select the right and realistic targets to reach. Use the reports of your sales team to identify the target it’s possible to achieve. However, remember that the previous performance doesn’t necessarily predict the future actions of your customers.
- Identifying quality leads. At any time, there might be many potential customers who need information about your product. Your task is to make sure that salespeople can find a unique approach to each of them and act quickly. Make sure that your sales team can identify quality leads and make them convert.
- Improving the efficiency of your sales process. Identifying good leads is one of the ways to optimize your sales process. However, you should also be ready to improve the efficiency and speed of your sales process. You can use a software solution to be able to assign tasks to people who understand a particular process better. Say, if users land on your site and show interest in your product, it’s better to assign them to a sales representative who has a profound knowledge of your product, starting from the most basic information. By sending email campaigns to your leads and clients, you can build trusting relationships with them. You can consider using SendPulse to automate your email send-out.
- Monitoring the performance of your salespeople. To see the progress in your team’s work, you need to track your salespeople’s performance and the value they bring. It’s a good idea to encourage your team members with rewards for a well-done job. For underperformers, you can prepare some additional training to master their skills.
- Analyzing the reports. Reports are necessary to collect information and make decisions. Consider the received data when assigning tasks and defining short-term objectives for sales teams. Moreover, look for things that hinder attaining your company’s goals.
Now that you are aware of the functions, we need to explore the fundamentals of sales management.
Key principles of sales management
Sales managers act according to the targets entrepreneurs set. To achieve these goals, your sales team should comply with the following principles.
- Consistency. The success of the sales process relies on several factors, and one of the most important of them is consistency. Although it’s difficult to achieve, it’s worth your time and effort. Consistency allows you to close the deals faster, build better relationships with customers, and improve sales. Make sure to provide your salespeople with clear instructions about each stage of the sales funnel, teach them how to behave with consumers, and ask for reports to monitor the progress.
- A degree of independence. For sure, a sales manager can’t do everything alone. You can give your team a chance to do some tasks independently and track the results. As an option, consider giving some extra tasks to your top performers and rewarding them for closing the deals. This way, you will show trust in their work and encourage your team to bring good results.
- Equality among the members of your team. Remember to treat every member of your team equally and show respect. There is no need to put some salespeople above others or give preferential treatment. You should adjust your sales targets and expected standards instead.
- Conviction. Being a sales representative isn’t easy. It implies understanding customers from the way they communicate and finding arguments to make them buy your products. Salespeople often face criticism, counterarguments, and some negative feedback. If you aim to handle clients’ objections better and improve customer retention, your sales team needs to enhance their communication skills, be more confident, and have good product knowledge.
The principles are clear, so let’s jump into sales management strategies.
Five sales management strategies
- Set realistic targets
- Find the right people for your team
- Educate your salespeople and give feedback
- Reward your top performers
- Measure the progress of your team
An effective strategy that involves modern techniques and a professional sales team can work wonders for your company’s ROI. Read on if you are interested in making your business grow and prosper.
- Set realistic targets. Sometimes sales managers focus on the numbers a company strives to achieve without considering the capabilities of its salespeople. After trying to reach the goal, sales teams often fail because of unrealistic objectives. As a result, you run the risk of demotivating your salespeople and missing your projections. Use your average sales reps’ performance to set achievable goals.
- Find the right people for your team. To continue to scale, you need to attract the right talents to join your sales team. With suitable candidates, you can build a successful sales team that will support your company’s growth. First of all, before creating a job description and interviewing your candidates, define your company’s specific needs. Different categories of salespeople are needed for different purposes. Explore the reasons why you need a new employee. Secondly, create a step-by-step interview process to select suitable applicants. Thirdly, consider involving your colleagues in the process to identify the kind of person they need.
- Educate your salespeople and give feedback. As a sales manager, you need to always be in touch with your sales team. Your new hires should work under your guidance to absorb the sales process, learn how to handle objections, and understand where to find prospective customers. With time, your new employees will be able to handle the necessary tools, obtain experience and knowledge in sales, sales tricks, and strategies. Ensure to provide an effective training process to turn people with potential into top performers. Remember to give feedback after your salespeople complete certain tasks.
- Reward your top performers. Salespeople who do their job perfectly want to receive cash incentives from the company and get praise. That’s why it’s worth creating a plan that involves specific targets and monetary compensations for them. As a sales manager, you need to ensure that you do everything possible to retain customers and lure new ones.
- Measure the progress of your team. It’s critical to monitor and evaluate the progress of your team. You need to determine whether your company succeeds in growing or if there is something that slows down this process. Identify the reasons and try to eliminate them by reviewing the work of your sales team and improving your strategies. Besides, you should ask your sales representatives to create manual lists and reports, so consider designing a reporting process in your CRM to simplify your work. With SendPulse, you can guide your sales process in one CRM.
Congrats, now you’ve acquired knowledge of the objectives, functions, and principles of sales management. With all this comprehensive information, you can develop an effective strategy for your business.
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Last Updated: 16.02.2022