Sales management in an organization is a business discipline, which focuses on the practical application of sales techniques and the management of a firm’s sales operation.
It is done in an efficient and effective manner through planning, staffing, training, leading and controlling organizational resources. Now we will explain each of these processes.
Planning can be defined as the process of decision-making in a systematic manner regarding the goals and the objectives of an organization. In short, it is a process an individual or group will undertake in the future and the resources required for attaining them.
Sales planning includes strategy, setting profit-based sales targets, quotas, sales forecasting, demand management and the screening, writing and execution of a sales plan.
A sales plan is a strategic document that outlines the business targets, resources and sales activities. It basically follows the lead of the marketing plan, the strategic plan and the business plan with more precise detailing on how the goals and objectives can be achieved through the actual sale of products and services.
Staffing is the process of capturing, deploying, and retaining a workforce of optimal quantity and quality to create a positive impact on the firm’s effectiveness.
Staffing consists of the following three components −
● Acquisition − It involves human resource planning to select what the organization requires in terms of the numbers of employees needed and their attributes such as knowledge, skills and abilities, in order to effectively meet job requirements.
● Deployment − It includes decisions regarding how those recruited will be assigned to specific roles according to the business demands. It also concerns the frequent appointment to more advanced jobs through internal recruitment, promotion or reorganization
● Retention − It is concerned with the management of the outflow of employees from an organization. It combines both managing voluntary practices like resignation and controlling involuntary measures whereby employees are handled out of the organization through redundancy programs or other types of dismissal.
Staffing is basically used in the sphere of employment. It is applicable to more than one aspect of the working surrounding. Staffing is also used in a specific sense to refer to the management of employee schedules.
The training program in sales management provides frontline sales managers with proven skills, knowledge and tools they need to drive margin line performance.
This in-depth program involves self-assessments and covers the following four crucial sales management abilities−
● Managing sales performance
● Sales coaching
● Selecting sales “STARs”
● Sales leadership
After the sales personnel are recruited, the company ensures the training, i.e., off the job and on job training related to the skills, knowledge and job culture, which helps to meet the selling performance and goals.
Leading is done by the person who possesses the leadership quality, the ability to motivate other people and get the work done. Leading is an effective sales management force that invites the sales management executive to use practical tools and cuttingedge concepts to create an effective sales management model.
This model is derived after a thorough research and consulting experience through cases, group discussions, problem-solving exercises, computer-aided workshops, and communicative case presentations.
The managers need to explore various perspectives on what does and does not work, and why. A leader also monitors the work and explains the pro and cons as well as the ways to complete a task effectively and efficiently.
The task assigned to the sales personnel is monitored to find out whether the organization is achieving its target or the goals as per the planning. Controlling is a process, which defines the scope of and leads the actual performance against the planned goals of the organization.
Controlling dwells in verifying whether everything happens in conformity with the plans adopted, instructions issued and principles authorized. Controlling assures that there is effective and efficient utilization of organizational resources so as to achieve the planned goals and objectives.
Controlling judges the deviation of actual performance from the standard performance, notices the causes of such deviations and helps in taking corrective actions.
The following figure depicts sales management with its functions and explains the role of each function. All the roles are inter-related. An individual function cannot relate to work without the help from other.
Resources are one of the important parts of sales management, as, without resources, the planned process cannot be implemented. Resources include the following −
Human resources can be defined as that section of a business or organization that deals with the hiring, administration, and training of staff. In sales management, we can say it is the salesperson responsible for selling/marketing of products or services.
Financial resource is the capital available to a business for investing in the form of cash, liquid securities and credit lines. Before going into business, a businessman needs to secure sufficient financial resources.
This is required in order to be able to function efficiently and sufficiently well to promote success. It includes the finance that the company needs to perform the activities like campaign, advertisement etc.
They are assets in the form of material possessions. Here, by assets, we mean anything of material value or usefulness that is owned by an individual or a company. It includes the source from where the raw material could be procured in low cost.
It is the application of science, especially to industrial or commercial goals and objectives. it also includes the scientific technique and material used to achieve a commercial or industrial objective as well as the machinery and the techniques that the organization uses for the end product.
It will now be clear why resources are important in managing sales.
Performance is the completion of a given task measured against known preset standards of accuracy, completeness, cost, and speed. In a contract, performance is assumed to be the fulfillment of accountability in a manner that releases the performer from all liabilities under the contract.
The last function is to review the performance. In this function, the leader reviews the past performance and advises the Sales Personnel regarding the improvements required. It also involves checking that all the functions are working in a proper way and there is no deviation in achieving the goals.