The Nature and Role of Sales Management


In the same way that selling has become more professional, so too has the nature and role of sales management. The emphasis is on the word "management". Increasingly, those involved in management are being called upon to exercise in a professional way the key duties of all managers, namely, planning, organizing, and controlling. The emphasis has changed from the idea that to be a good sales manager you had to have the right personality and that the main feature of the job was ensuring that the salesforce was outselling sufficient volume. Although such qualities may be admitable, the duties of the sales manager in the modern company have both broadened and changed in emphasis.

Nowadays the sales manager is expected to play a much more strategic role in the company and is required to make a key input into the formulation of company plans. Thus, there's a need to be familiar with the techniques associated with planning, including sales forecasting and budgeting. The sales manager also need to be familiar with the concept of marketing to ensure that sales and marketing activities are integrated. In many companies, the emphasis is less on sales volume and more on profits. The sales manager needs to be able to analyze and direct the activities of the sales force towards more profitable business. In dealing with Salesforce, the sales manager must be aware of modern developments in human resource management.

The role of sales manager may seem formidable, that person must be an accountant, a planner, a personnel manager and a marketer. However, the prime responsibility is to ensure that the sales function makes the most effective contribution to the achievement of company objective and goals.

In order to fulfill this role, the sales manager will undertake specific duties and responsibilities, such as:

• The determination of salesforce objectives and goals
• Forecasting and budgeting
• Salesforce organization, sales force size, territory design and planning
• Salesforce selection, recruitment, and training
• Motivating the salesforce
• Salesforce evaluation and control

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