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Sales management is concerned with all the resources needed to ensure the sales of a company's products or services. A sales manager meets sales goal objectives by controlling the sales force and understanding how to meet the buying needs of customers. Every company needs good sales management as every company must focus on selling their products or services if the company is to make any profit. The two most important considerations in successful sales management are having a focused, accountable sales force, and maintaining long-term relationships with customers.
The sales manager must have a strong effective sales force. Training is an important consideration in sales management, yet it is often overlooked. Training for sales associates should cover the best methods to generate leads, persuade customers to buy, and close sales. Sales representatives should also understand how to communicate and support the company's marketing positioning and advertising messaging through their contact with customers.
Accountability is a necessary consideration in sales management as every business needs top sales performance if they are to profit in today's highly competitive market environment. Accountability built into a sales management program means a "no excuses" approach. Sales representatives are hired to bring in new business and must be held accountable to reach sales goals set with the sales manager, even if that results in a high turnover rate.
Establishing and maintaining long-term relationships with customers is extremely important in sales management. No client likes to be thought of as a sales statistic, but as a person in a business relationship. Sales is definitely a business relationship. A business not only needs to attract new clients, but to sell more product to existing ones, a concept known as creative selling. Moreover, contract management, which is a part of sales management, is in effect a legal relationship with a client centered around an agreement to details such as product quality, price, and logistics considerations.
Ultimately, sales is about people and about meeting client expectations and needs. Sales management professionals should always think of the client or customer behind the sale rather than simply focusing on the sale itself. Follow up is crucial in the customer relationship. Follow up to see if the client was satisfied with the order and deliver small incentive gifts such as a datebook personalized with your company's name for the client's birthday. Good sales management also uses a contingency approach to customer relations by understanding each client's unique needs rather than treating all customers in the same way.
@Oasis11 -I agree that training is an important aspect of sales management and so is holding the sales staff accountable. Numbers really don’t lie so you can’t make up excuses for not meeting your quota especially when others did.
I think that rewarding those that do well goes a long way in motivating the employees to continue to work hard and those that are not producing should be given more training and if the performance does not improve, the sales management solution is to recruit new sales representatives because not everyone is cut out for sales and a sales manager probably recognizes that more than anyone else.
I really think that the sales manager needs to lead by
example, and go on sales calls with his staff members to evaluate their presentation skills and offer them more sales techniques that could make them more productive.
For example, some sales managers might suggest that the representative ask for a follow up appointment at the end of the initial visit so that the sales person can get another chance at developing a relationship with the customer. This is far more effective than calling the customer for a second appointment when you get to the office. Since you already have them in front of you, this becomes the best time to do it.
@BrickBack - This sales management technique for dealing with rejection is excellent because that is the main reason why sales people don’t achieve their goals.
They are afraid to try. I think that sales management courses that address this concept really give the sales representative the best chance at success. The sales business is not easy and it can be a roller coaster ride, but at least when the sales representatives realize that they can make their sales happen it really changes them and makes them more motivated to produce.
I used to work at a cosmetics counter in which our sales were measured by our average unit sales or the dollar amount of our average transaction. When I
started my average transaction was only $25 per sale.
However, after going through this sales training program, my average unit sales rose to $46.00 because I able to not only schedule appointments, but when a customer came to the counter I was able to sell multiple products when the rest of my counterparts were only ringing up what the customer initially requested.
I really didn’t care if I got turned down because I knew sooner or later; I was going to get the big sale. My sales manager was really pleased with me and even got me promoted because of my sales results.
I think that adding additional items to a sale every time you talk to a prospect raises your sales average and makes you more productive. This is something that sales managers always stress because the more productive their sales staff is the more money they are going to make.
I think that sales management skills have to involve motivating the sale staff to perform at their best. Creating incentives for the sales staff to get excited about their job is important because the sales job often includes a lot of rejection that many sales representatives take personally.
Sales management techniques that teach the sales staff how to deal with rejection are probably one of the most important training exercises a sales manager can do. For example, when I was in sales, my manager introduced us to a concept called the “Silva Mind Method” which was a set of relaxation techniques that allowed a person to relax and focus on the prospect.
There was a book with the
same title that also explained how to change the perspective of the average sales person. In the book, Jose Silva suggests that the sales person really needs to find out their statistics regarding the number of phone calls that it took to make an appointment.
His rationale was that if it took a person one hundred calls to make ten appointments then he reminded the readers that they needed to get through the first 90 rejections before the acceptance calls would come in.
This is a great way to train your mind to realize that rejections are going to happen and they are really necessary in order to get to make your appointment goals.
Once this program was explained to me, it really took the fear of rejection away because I realized that it was part of the job.
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