The Power of Sales Management
The term “sales management” is used to refer to one of three things: the actual sales managers at a company, the business discipline of sales management or the process of sales management itself. For the purposes of this piece we’ll be referring to sales management in terms of the overall process of managing a sales organization. This includes recruiting and retaining talent, developing your sales strategy, reviewing your sales funnel and staying on top of sales analytics.
In other words, we refer to sales management as the process that sales leadership follows to reach their goals and grow sales revenue. Many different types of sales management software exist to help in this process, including from People.ai. The primary goal of sales management software is to allow managers to get a handle on their organization’s metrics and activities.
Sales Performance Management: Working With Your Team
Generally speaking, sales managers don’t sell to customers directly. Instead, the primary goal of sales management is to instill good practices in their team and coach them to be better. This starts with hiring. One of the most important aspects of sales management, if not the most important, is recruiting and retaining top talent. If you don’t have smart and determined salespeople chances are that your company will fail, even if you have a good product.
But the work doesn’t stop once a rep is hired. A sales manager must also manage new reps as they go through the onboarding process and ramp up to full productivity. In addition, sales managers coach reps – helping them to understand their strengths and weaknesses and what they need to do to take their performance to the next level. In the eyes of many bringing out the best in their reps is a sales manager’s #1 job.
Sales Management Training
Unlike in fields like engineering and medicine, there isn’t a clear-cut training regime for aspiring sales managers to follow. In fact, sales managers come from all walks of life. While many have risen through the ranks from sales development representative (SDR) to management, not all of them have. Some may even come from related fields such as accounting or marketing.
What’s important is a laser-focus on success, a clear management system of sales metrics and goals to meet and exceed quota and an ability to bring out the best in your reps. Sales management software is often useful in assisting in this process.
Sales Managers: The Voice of Sales
The responsibility of sales management goes beyond working with the sales team itself. Sales managers are expected to keep company leadership informed of revenue expectations and work to cement goals that are high, but achievable. Sales managers also help to develop compensation systems that incentivize their team to do their best. In this capacity sales management serves as the liaison between the sales floor and the rest of the company.
In short, effective sales management requires a wide variety of skills and is one of the most critical factors in your company’s success. Sales managers need to have an analytic mindset to determine your organization’s key metrics and KPIs, the ability to bond with your team and help them improve, the skills to communicate successfully with your company’s management and colleagues outside of the sales organization and the determination to push through difficult periods and keep a level head at all times. No surprise that great sales managers are in such short supply!