A robust sales management function is critical for every business to survive and grow. Without a clear sales strategy, the company will dwindle away and could eventually fail.
What is Sales Management?
Very often, businesses see sales management as simply selling. But there is far more to it than just arriving at a potential customer’s office armed with a glossy catalogue. Sales management involves creating a sales strategy, building a team to execute that strategy, and analysing data to assess the strategy’s effectiveness.
The various roles within the sales department are all focused on the overall objectives delegated to specialists in the team.
Three core components of Sales Management
Creating a sales strategy is the first and most important part of the sales management process. Typically, the sales strategy will include:
- Defining the company’s overall goals and objectives then translating them into sales targets.
- Customer identification – creating a persona for the business’s ideal customer helps everyone focus on who they are selling to and their needs/problems.
- Structure – building the sales team with the specific skills or experience needed to achieve the goals.
- Sales methods – deciding which sales tools the sales team will use in their day-to-day operations.
- CRM – selecting and implementing an appropriate CRM system to record and track all customer interactions.
- Timeline plan – creating a plan to establish milestones for the sales department to hit targets or recruit personnel.
- Analysis – determining the KPIs the sales department will measure and creating a reporting structure.
A structured strategy keeps the sales team on track with their activities and stops everyone from going off at tangents. By sticking to the process, the team can learn which techniques are the most effective and feed their experiences back into the plan.
Having created the overall sales strategy, the sales manager must cascade it down into the daily operations. This could include activities such as:
- Leading the recruitment of key personnel with specific skills or experience. They will begin the recruitment process through the HR department, define the job role particulars, and be involved in the interview/selection process.
- Creating an overall sales pipeline for the department and help the sales team develop their individual ones to track the progress of any deals underway.
- Mentor and lead the sales team to provide inspiration or training to help them succeed in their roles.
- Making sure that the team understands how to use the sales tools identified in the strategy. There are more routes to market than face-to-face selling in the digital age, and the whole team must know how to use them.
- Training and monitoring the correct use of the company CRM system.
- Supporting team members with sales resources such as presentations, brochures, and other media.
- Planning and attending industry exhibitions, either as an exhibitor or visitor.
Effective sales management brings all the daily activities together into one cohesive action.
As all the various sales activities occur, the sales manager must analyse and report on the department’s operations.
Pipeline management is a core part of this analysis as it allows visibility of:
- The number of deals in progress
- Average sizes of the deals worked.
- How many deals are completed/lost?
- The speed that deals are worked and closed.
These four pieces of information are critical to the success and improvement of the sales function.
Types of Sales
All salespeople are made differently and have a diverse set of skills to bring to the team. Therefore, sales personnel are divided into two categories:
As the name suggests, internal salespeople work are office-based. They conduct their selling remotely by the use of technology including, phone, email, and digital media.
Internal sales executives need to be experts on the company’s products or services as they will need to explain in detail how they work and deal with the customer’s questions.
As well as sales, other roles sit within the internal sales function, such as estimating and proposals.
External salespeople are face-to-face sellers. They’re the ones out on the road meeting and building relationships with customers. Operating in-person allows them to carry out product demonstrations at the customer’s premises. In addition, external salespeople will be the key personnel running the company’s stand at industry exhibitions.
Typical roles and salary bands for Sales professionals:
|Sales Director EMEA
||£62,000 - £200,000
|Chief Commercial / Revenue Officer
||£60,000 - £160,000
|Sales / Commercial Director
||£46,000 - £150,000
|Head of Sales / Senior Sales Manager
||£45,000 - £97,000
|International Sales Manager
||£36,000 - £77,000
||£39,000 - £87,000
||£41,000 - £70,000
|Sales Engineer / Technical Sales Manager
||£29,000 - £60,000
|Field Sales Executive
||£24,000 - £40,000
|Internal Sales Manager
||£26,000 - £45,000
||£15,000 - £33,000
||£21,000 - £32,000
|International Sales Coordinator
||£17,000 - £33,000
||£17,000 - £25,000
|Internal Sales Coordinator
||£15,000 - £26,000
|Business Development Director
||£51,000 - £100,000
|Business Development Manager
||£35,000 - £70,000
|Business Development Executive
||£21,000 - £30,000
|Customer Success Director
||£70,000 - £100,000
||£36,000 - £77,000
|Senior National Account Manager
||£40,000 - £65,000
|National Account Manager
||£30,000 - £62,000
|Key Account Manager
||£26,000 - £46,000
|Customer Success Manager
||£30,000 - £60,000
|International Account Manager
||£21,000 - £56,000
||£21,000 - £56,000
|Customer Services Director
||£50,000 - £100,000
|Customer Services Manager
||£31,000 - £50,000
|Customer Service Representative
||£17,000 - £27,000
|Customer Service Advisor
||£15,000 - £26,000