People who join sales and progress within the field over time could find themselves eventually leading a group of sales representatives. In order to successfully run a team, you will most likely need to have a solid knowledge of sales management.
Read the following blog to find out more about sales management and the skills required to succeed in this role.
What is sales management?
Sales management refers to developing a sales team, managing sales operations and executing sales techniques to ensure a business meets its predetermined sales targets.
In order for a business to earn revenue, having a sales management strategy is key. In addition to achieving the sales targets, this process helps a business to stay in touch with the latest trends in its industry which provides a competitive advantage over other companies.
A sales management process consists of several steps including:
- Step 1 – Design the sales plan: When creating a sales plan, it is important to know who you will be selling your products to. For example, if you are selling motorbikes, you need to decide who the decision-makers are, as well as the influencers and consumers. Then you will also have to choose which marketing channels are best suited for your target audience, online, offline or both, as well as planning the locations you are targeting and the sales method to be used.
- Step 2 – Hire the right correct people: Once you have a sales plan in place, the next step is to hire the correct people for your sales team. This is extremely important as the team will reflect the entire firm. You should therefore aim to choose people who have a good background in sales and of the industry in which your company operates.
- When hiring, here are some factors you should take into account:
- If your firm has several locations, try to hire people who are familiar with at least one of the locations;
- It is crucial you choose candidates who can speak the local language if you have a localised target audience;
- If your firm is targeting different locations, ensure you hire people who have a flexible timetable and are happy to travel.
Once the hiring process is complete, you have to train your team with knowledge about the company, the services and products offered, general competition and the industry as a whole.
- Step 3 – Create your firm’s sales strategy: Sales strategy refers to a detailed plan that is created for selling products and services by targeting the appropriate audience, hence eventually increasing profits for the firm. Sales strategies are usually created by a firm’s administration in coordination with the entire sales team. Therefore, it is important for the entire sales team to be on the same page for this step. By ensuring there is collaboration within the team there will be less errors and greater sales for the firm. You can also prepare your team for future success by assigning them high, yet achievable targets.
- Step 4 – Analyse and forecast the sales results: In this step is it important to regularly analyse the sales the firm is bringing in as it will help in avoiding any future mistakes and will assist understanding the current trends. In addition, by forecasting the trends you will also be able to determine the number of leads that you expect the firm to bring in and calculate the revenue earned from these leads.
What is the importance of sales management?
- Profit maximisation: This is the general objective for sales management. Senior management is usually in-charge of achieving maximum profit, but they usually delegate this power and function to sales management.
- Helps in product development: The sales management process involves keeping your firm’s sales employees in constant contact with customers. Analysing competitors to determine the relevance of your products and services is also crucial as this helps in improving existing products, introducing new products or removing products from sales.
- Enhances distribution: Sales management provides detailed information about which products are selling well, how much is being sold, as well as where you are making those sales. This process also examines the distribution methods used and maximises their efforts.
- Assists in financial decision-making: There may be instances where your best-selling products are giving you the lowest profit margins. The sales management process can help you maximise these products profits by reducing the cost of sales expenses, production and overheads costs.
Reasons to opt for a career in sales management:
- Good career prospects: As all companies rely heavily on sales for earning revenue, sales management is necessary for every organisation. People working in this field therefore have a relatively good chance of progressing within a company or other industries.
- Interpersonal growth:Working in this role gives you the opportunity to meet a variety of people in multiple places, improving your interpersonal and communications skills. Additionally, in a field like sales, negativity adversely affect your performance which means you will have to work to fix this trait.
- Incentives and commissions: Working in sales management gives you the potential to earn more than your basic salary in the form of incentives and commissions if you make successful sales.
Skills required to succeed in sales management
- Communication: Although this skill is important for any line of work, it is particularly crucial in sales. You will need to be able to communicate with team members effectively as well knowing all the sales jargon that comes with the role.
- Effective at allocating tasks and responsibility: Being able to properly delegate responsibility is essential for anyone working in sales management. They need to allocate tasks to the right people, in order to have the greatest impact.
- Coaching: This skill is essential as it helps to improve sales performance. The main objective is to assist each sales representative in realising their full potential and therefore enhance their sales. Possessing this skill will also result in greater engagement with the sales representatives, decreasing employee turnover and creating greater job satisfaction.
- Business intelligence: Having business intelligence will help you in succeeding in this role. You will need to be able to grasp intricate business issues and help your sales representatives observe the business from a strategic viewpoint. In addition, this knowledge would come in handy when training sales representatives on how to make better business decisions and effectively allot resources based on the customers’ requirements.
This article was written by Varun Mehta and edited by Amelia Hayward-Cole.
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