Sales Manager: Areas of Field, Roles

What is Sales Manager?

Sales management requires constant practice and learning just like any professional sport; practice makes a manager perfect. Sales Managers are the face and interface of an organization. Management of sales personnel is both an art and a science. It is an art because many skills cannot be learned from a textbook.

It is also a science because a growing body of knowledge and objective facts describes sales management and how to attain sales goals. Becoming a successful sales manager requires a blend of formal course learning and practice. There are two opinions regarding the sales abilities:

  1. Inborn qualities like the gift of gab, pleasing manner, and extrovert nature are inborn.

  2. Developed qualities like analytical ability, negotiation skills, and leadership, can be learned and developed.

Areas of Field Sales Manager

The Field Sales Manager has to coordinate in the following areas:

  1. Strategy
  2. Planning
  3. Marketing Programme
  4. Sales Force Efforts
  5. Distribution Network
  6. Manufacturing
Areas of Field Sales Manager
Areas of Field Sales Manager

Strategy

The globalized and competitive world environment changes fast, and opportunities and threats appear and disappear very frequently. Top managers engage continuously to scan the environment and suitably amend and modify existing strategies.

Planning

Various activities are listed in terms of “time frame” and “cost frame” Their milestones are prepared along with PERT so that proper sequencing of such activities, along with quantification of resources are determined.

Information obtained based on sales forecast, assists market segmentation, territory planning, outlay on other marketing efforts like advertisement, personal selling, and promotional steps.

Marketing Programme

Many sales activities are required to be coordinated with other activities of marketing such as advertisement and sales promotion.

Sales Force Efforts

Efforts of the sales force must be properly coordinated to avoid functional overlapping/duplication/gap. Depending on the market conditions, competitors’ actions, and individual performance, it may be necessary to shuttle around salesmen, re-organize territories & regions or supplement the salesmen.

Distribution Network

Liaison and coordination between distributors and retailers become very important for timely availability and after-sales service.

Complaints of transit damages, non-settlement of warranty/guaranty claims by customers, etc. need extensive coordination. Sharing advertisement/promotion expenses is another area requiring coordination between the organization and distribution.

Manufacturing

Very often customers complain about quality, reliability, maintenance, and operational problems. Such matters require prompt action by manufacturing divisions. They in turn solicit the services of R & D engineers, if need be, for incorporating modification or re-drafting “Operating and Maintenance Instructions.”

Many times, distributors complain about the non-availability of spares or the replacement of items returned for repair. Salesmen’s efforts with manufacturing divisions to solve many such problems will yield customer satisfaction and goodwill.


Roles of Sales Manager

A sales manager plays a key role in the success and failure of an organization. He is the one who plays a pivotal role in achieving the sales targets and eventually generates revenue for the organization. A sales manager must be very clear about his role in the organization.

He should know what he is supposed to do at the workplace. Let us understand the roles of sales manager:

  1. Sales Targets
  2. Works Towards Goals
  3. Separation of Duties
  4. Make Strategies and Techniques
  5. Customers and Generate Leads
  6. Brand Promotion
  7. Motivating Team Members
  8. Delivering Desired Results
  9. Takes Major Decisions
  10. Set Examples to Team Members
  11. Responsible Relationships With Client
  12. Maintain Data and Records
Roles of Sales Manager
Roles of Sales Manager

Sales Targets

A sales manager is responsible for meeting the sales targets of the organization through effective planning and budgeting.

Works Towards Goals

A sales manager can’t work alone. He needs the support of his sales team where each one contributes in his best possible way and works towards the goals and objectives of the organization. He is the one who sets the targets for the sales executives and other sales representatives. A sales manager must ensure the targets are realistic and achievable.

Separation of Duties

The duties must not be imposed on anyone, instead should be delegated as per the interests and specializations of the individuals. A sales manager must understand who can perform a particular task in the most effective way. It is his role to extract the best out of each employee.

Make Strategies and Techniques

A sales manager devises strategies and techniques necessary for achieving sales targets. He is the one who decides the future course of action for his team members.

Customers and Generate Leads

It is the sales manager’s duty to map potential customers and generate leads for the organization. He should look forward to generating new opportunities for the organization.

Brand Promotion

A sales manager is also responsible for brand promotion. He must make the product popular amongst the consumers. A banner in the wrong place is of no use. Canopies must be placed at strategic locations; hoardings should be installed at important places for the best results.

Motivating Team Members

Motivating team members is one of the most important duties of a sales manager. He needs to make his team work as a single unit working towards a common objective. He must ensure team members don’t fight amongst themselves and share a cordial relationship with each other.

Develop lucrative incentive schemes and introduce monetary benefits to encourage them to deliver their level best. Appreciate whenever they do good work.

Delivering Desired Results

It is the sales manager’s duty to ensure his team is delivering desired results. Supervision is essential. Track their performances. Make sure each one is living up to the expectations of the organization.

Ask them to submit a report of what they have done throughout the week or month. The performers must be encouraged while the non-performers must be dealt with utmost patience and care.

Takes Major Decisions

He is the one who takes major decisions for his team. He should act as a pillar of support for them and stand by their side during hours of crisis.

Set Examples to Team Members

A sales manager should set an example for his team members. He should be a source of inspiration for his team members.

Responsible Relationships With Client

A sales manager is responsible for not only selling but also maintaining and improving relationships with the client. Client relationship management is also his KRA (Key Responsibility Area).

Maintain Data and Records

As a sales manager, one should maintain the necessary data and records for future reference.


FAQs About the Sales Manager

What are the areas of field sales manager?

The following are the areas of field sales manager:
1. Strategy
2. Planning
3. Marketing Programme
4. Sales Force Efforts
5. Distribution Network
6. Manufacturing.

What are the roles of sales manager?

These are the different roles of a sales manager:
1. Sales Targets
2. Works Towards Goals
3. Separation of Duties
4. Make Strategies and Techniques
5. Customers and Generate Leads
6. Brand Promotion
7. Motivating Team Members
8. Delivering Desired Results
9. Takes Major Decisions
10. Set Examples to Team Members
11. Responsible Relationships With Client
12. Maintain Data and Records.

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