Sales management can be defined as the business discipline that focuses on improving the practical application of sales techniques, processes, systems, and operations in order to increase revenue. Sales managers occupy one of the most important positions with the entire company. Sales managers are judged on their ability to generate revenue for the company. If they fail to reach their quota, they will swiftly be shown the exit door.
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The management of sales teams is part art, part science and concerns the effective coordination of teams towards the accomplishment of revenue goals. Sales management continues to evolve as more companies switch toward a predominantly inside sales model. While sales coaching and motivation remain important elements of sales management, the more transactional inside sales model supports a data-driven approach where sales managers can accurately gauge pipeline.
Why is Sales Management Important?
Effective management of the sales organization is vital to the overall health of the organization. Sales managers must set the tone and the culture of the organization. Failure to create a positive culture within the sales organization can ruin morale and ultimately see top sales talent leave the company.
How has Sales Management Evolved?
The modern buyer completes up to 60% of the buying process before the sales rep is even engaged. Buyer’s now engage with company website’s, white papers, and case studies before the sales rep is involved. As a result, sales reps must take on the role of consultative and value adding experts when they speak with the prospect.
The key here is that sales reps must be equipped with the best content to add value to the sales call when dealing with the knowledgable prospect. Effective sales content management is more important now than ever before.
There are other ways in which the role of the sales manager has changed. As new and emerging technologies continue to disrupt how we do business, it is the sales manager’s job to incorporate the best sales software. The sales manager must oversee the pilot phase, as well as roll out and implementation.
In today’s hyper-competitive market, any advantage must be seized upon. Traditional management virtues like effective communication, coaching ability, and selflessness remain important but, the ability of management to effectively introduce software that helps to maximize the sales rep’s time is now crucial. Time, after all, is the sales reps most precious resource.
Sales Management Best Practices
There are a number of sales management best practices the modern manager can follow to give his company the best chance at meeting those revenue goals.
- Be Generous With Your Time: When successful sales reps make the transition to management, the initial period can be difficult. The best sales reps are ruthlessly selfish when it comes to time management ensuring they spend as much of their time as possible making sales. When it comes to management however, time is no longer your own. Sales managers must invest their time in those who are going to help them make quota. Coaching and communication are key to improving sales productivity.
- Identify Sales Roadblocks: Sales Managers must take the time to identify roadblocks that are impeding deals. The advances in sales pipeline management software mean it is now easier than ever to spot the precise point at which deals are running into trouble. Speak with reps and create a plan that eliminates weaknesses from your current processes and increases sales efficiency. Sales managers might have to spend time coaching under performing reps or possibly introduce new software that increases sales rep’ effectiveness.
- Ensure Sales Reps are Equipped With the Best Content: Sales reps today are wasting valuable time searching for or recreating content. It is estimated that some sales reps spend 6.5 to 8.8 hours per week searching for information. Sales managers must implement sales enablement technology to ensure sales reps spend their time selling.
Useful Sales Management Links
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REPS SPENDING ONLY 32% OF THEIR TIME SELLING