Marketing Aptitude: Sales management
The Sales management is an art of meeting and exceeding the sales goals of an organization through effective planning, controlling, budgeting and leadership. It includes marketing research, sales research, sales forecasting, formation of sales organization, appointment of selling force, training of selling force, determination of remuneration for selling force, advertisement, sales promotion and personal selling, etc. In other words, the sales management is the business discipline which is focused on the practical application of sales techniques and the management of a firm’s sales operations. The following activities are included in the sales management:-
- The sales management formulates the sales strategy of a business unit through developing account management policies, sales force compensation policies, sales revenue forecasts and sales plan.
- The sales management implements the sales strategy of a business unit through selecting, training, motivating, supporting the sales manpower and setting the sales revenue targets.
- The sales management manages the sales force or sale personnel through developing and implementing the sales performance, monitoring and evaluating the sales techniques and by analysis of allied behavioral patterns and costs.
Thus, According to Charles M. Futrell, “Sales management is the attainment of sales force goals in an effective and efficient manner through planning, staffing, training, directing, and evaluating organizational resources.”
Beside this, the success of a business unit depends to a great extent on the quality, features and uniqueness of its products or services. However, if the sales management of a business firm is weak and defective, the firm may have to face loss in its business, even if its products and services meet all the expectations of consumers. Hence, it becomes very vital for every business unit/firm to have a sound and efficient sales management. The term “Sales management” has been defined by following prominent scholars:
- American Marketing Association: – “Sales management is the planning, direction and control of the personal selling activities of a business unit including recruiting, selecting, training, equipping, assigning, rating, supervising, paying and motivating as these tasks apply to the personal sales force.”
- Rachman and Romano: – “The Sales management performs the staff function in advising the top management regarding production and finance of any product or service which may be useful in maximizing profits by maximizing sales volume.”
- F.L Brech: – “Sales management is the overall management of sales and it refers to only a specified application of the process of management as a whole.”
Objectives of Sales Management
Some of the objectives of Sales Management are as under:-
- To conduct marketing research and plan a sales programme.
- To introduce new products and services in the market.
- To discover new markets and new consumers for a product or service.
- To set up and manage the sales organization.
- To control the sales performance, sales activities and expenditure of the business unit.
- To set the sales goals, formulate the sales policies and design the sales strategies.
- To develop and manage the sales manpower.
- To interact with the marketing department, trade, customers and other departments.
Functions of Sales Management
Sales management has to face many problems regarding administration, operation and personnel. To solve these problems, it has to perform the following functions:-
a) Administrative Functions: – The following are the administrative functions of sales management that are related to the policy formulation-
- To develop sales organization structure.
- To determine sales policies of the enterprise.
- To determine and specify the rights and duties of all the officers and employees of sales organization.
b) Operative Functions: – The following are the operative functions of sales management that run a sales organization smoothly-
- To appoint and arrange training of salesmen according to the requirements of a business firm.
- To determine and arrange for the remuneration of these salesmen.
- To allocate sales territories to the salesmen.
- To determine sales targets for different sales territories.
- To control the activities of salesmen.
- To prepare, implement and monitor the programmes of advertisement and sales promotion.
- To encourage and motivate the salesmen to sell more and more products.
c) Personnel Function: – Personnel function of sales management of an enterprise include the functions performed as sales specialist. These functions may be:
- To conduct marketing research.
- To advise for the development of product.
- To make sales forecasts and to prepare sales plans in the light of these forecasts.
- To make sales correspondence and analyze the sales.
- To advise marketing manager in respect of advertising and sales promotion programmes.
- To conduct research related to the performance of selling force of the enterprise.