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Sales Management: Definition & Function

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  • 0:00 What Is Sales Management?
  • 0:58 Know Sales Expectations
  • 1:45 Plan for Growth
  • 2:34 Execute for Excellence
  • 3:30 Listen and Solve Problems
  • 4:33 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Tara Schofield
A thriving business needs competent sales management to meet revenue and sales goals. Also, sales managers must ensure that the sales team is appropriately supported. Use the four keys in this lesson to improve your sales management skills.

What Is Sales Management?

Imagine you have just been promoted to the role of sales manager for a local office supply company. You were an outstanding sales rep for the company, but now your role has changed and you need to focus on new functions. What is your role as a sales manager?

Sales management is the process of handling all aspects of a sales team's activities to ensure that company goals are met. A sales manager is responsible for many functions, including creating effective plans to meet company goals, selecting and managing a sales team, and, of course, troubleshooting.

So how does this translate to your role at the office supply company? Let's take a closer look at some of a sales manager's key functions, such as sales expectations, plan for growth, execute for excellence, and listen and solve problems.

Know Sales Expectations

Whether you create sales plans or sales projections are given to you from upper management, it's critical you understand your team's goals. After all, you're responsible for ensuring that your team meets sales projections and manages expenses to meet your budget.

For instance, if your team sold $100,000 in copy paper last year, you may have the sales projection to sell $115,000 this year. This projection is based on the number of clients your team has retained from last year, the number of lost clients, and the potential for growth. Knowing your team must sell $15,000 more in copy paper this year than last year, you're able to make plans and strategies to support the sales projections for the year.

Plan for Growth

Sales success doesn't happen by accident. Once you know your sales goals, you must plan how your team will meet them. As a sales manager, you're responsible for the performance of your division. You must have an action plan to achieve growth goals and to handle problems and obstacles that get in the way. Having a plan is necessary so that you can track performance and make adjustments, as necessary.

Knowing your goal of $15,000 more in copy paper sales this year, you analyze your current customer base and look for opportunities to create more income. Where can you increase sales to current customers? How can you prospect for new customers? It's also important to plan for lost customers, lags in the economy, competition, and staff turnover.

Execute for Excellence

You're used to achieving individual sales goals through your own sales excellence but, as a sales manager, your success is your team's success. You must first ensure you have the right team members and, if not, make staffing decisions. Then, you must assess your team's strengths and weaknesses and handle all required training and coaching. Finally, as a leader, you must inspire your team to reach higher goals and accomplish greater achievements. Empower your team to provide excellent service to your clients, answer problems, and achieve more than the basic goals set for them.

Your sales staff will take their cue from you. Expect excellence from yourself and others. Start by eliminating excuses and taking the easy route yourself. Push yourself, reach for higher goals, and celebrate your successes. Setting this standard demonstrates your commitment to excellence.

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