Sales Management

Sales management facilitates the directions of activities and functions which are involved in the distribution of goods and services. According to Philip Kotler, “Marketing management is the analysis, planning implementation and control of programmes designed to bring about desired exchanges with target markets for the purpose of achieving organisational objectives. It relies heavily on designing the organisations’ offering in terms of the target markets needs and desires and using effective pricing, communication and distribution to inform, motivate and service the market.”

Sales or marketing management is concerned with the chalking out of a definite programme, after careful analysis and forecasting of the market situations and the ultimate execution of these plans to achieve the objectives of the organisation. Further their sales plans to a greater extent rest upon the requirements and motives of the consumers in the market aimed at. To achieve this objective the organisation has to give heed to the right pricing, effective advertising and sales promotion, discerning distribution and stimulating the consumer’s through the best services. To sum up, marketing management may be defined as the process of management of marketing programmes for accomplishing organisational goals and objectives. It involves planning, implementation and control of marketing programmes or campaigns.

Sales Functions

  • Sales research and planning.
  • Demand creation.
  • Sales costs and budget.
  • Price fixations.
  • Development of products.
  • Establishing sales territories.
  • Co-ordination of sales.

These functions differ from company to company according to their size and the nature of their products.

Importance of Sales Management:

Sales management has gained importance to meet increasing competition and the need for improved methods of distribution to reduce cost and to increase profits. Sales management today is the most important function in a commercial and business enterprise.

  • Introduction of new products in the market.
  • Increasing the production of existing products.
  • Reducing cost of sales and distribution.
  • Export market.
  • Development in the means and communication of transportation within and outside the country.
  • Rise in per capita income and demand for more goods by the consumers.

Objective of Sales Management

Sales management entails numerous objectives which are executed by sales managers. There are mainly three such objectives

  • Sales Volume
  • Contribution to profits
  • Continuous Growth

The sales executives in this case are the ones who help implement these objectives. However it is the top management who has to outline the strategies to achieve these objectives of sales management. The top management should provide products which are socially responsible and are marketed in a manner which meets customers’ expectations and does not break it. Thus sales management involves a strong interaction between Sales, marketing and Top management.

The Advantages & Disadvantages of a Sales Management

A sales manager becomes a valuable resource for your sales professionals and the entire company as well. An experienced sales manager knows the competition, marketplace tendencies and pending developments within your industry. Over time, the sales manager could offer valuable insight to the marketing, engineering and executive teams as well as the sales department. The sales manager is also a valuable resource to the sales professionals for advice on sales techniques and ways to overcome customer challenges.

One of the responsibilities of a sales manager is to create sales projections for the coming year based on comprehensive observations of the marketplace, sales activity within the company and sales trends within the industry. An experienced sales manager can develop accurate revenue projections that can be used to create accurate company budgets and that may be useful in monitoring company growth.

Sales managers are given the responsibility of creating the focus of sales activities and determining the direction that the sales group will take. The manager decides if sales representatives will focus on larger clients, smaller clients, a mix of customers, whether customers should be contained to a specific geographic area and other sales direction policies. If the sales manager decides not to ask for input from the rest of the organization on the best course of action for the sales group to take, the sales direction can be limiting and damaging to revenue generation. For example, determining that the sales representatives will only sell to large corporations when the current customer base does not have many large corporate clients can be a bad sales decision.

In a small business, the business owner benefits from having direct contact with each employee. Your sales professionals are the ones who drive revenue and keep your organization in business. A sales manager becomes an additional layer between you and your sales professionals that can cause you to have a disconnect with your sales representatives and customers. The personal interaction you used to have with each sales professional is replaced with the relationship with the sales manager. If an important issue arises with a large customer who would benefit from the company owner's involvement, the added layer of a sales manager may slow the information to you and make the situation worse.