Sales Management For High Performance

Sales management comes under the umbrella of marketing. It is a function within the marketing hierarchy. Managing your marketing activity is one of the most important functions of your organization.

What is Sales?

It is the exchange of items of value between two or more parties. The items of value don't necessarily have to involve money or currency. The parties involved have to agree upon the items to exchange and the monetary value.

Most everything in business is negotiable.

Integrity of course is never negotiable, but almost everything else is. Don't get into the trap of thinking that you have to stay within certain limits. You make the boundaries of what you do in business. This fact is what makes business so dynamic, and difficult to define.

The major types of sales transactions are the following.

  • Direct - where the salesperson contacts the prospect to engage him/her in buying transactions.
  • Group - where buying transactions are made to multiple individuals in a group or class of customers.
  • Mail Order - where buying transactions are made through the mail system.
  • Retail - where customers buy from a business that normally has a physical location; the retailer buys products for sale from a wholesaler or manufacturer at a markup in price.
  • Wholesale -where the wholesaler buys products from the manufacturer at a markup in price, and then sells those same products to retailers to sell to customers.
  • Manufacturer Direct - where a manufacturer will bypass a wholesaler and retailer and sell direct to customers. Normally in this type of sale the customer avoids wholesale and retail markups in price.
  • Barter- where normally no money is exchanged, but there is an exchange of items of agreed upon value. This type of sale often occurs in international sales transactions.
  • Internet - where buying transactions occur over the Internet.

The sales manager is responsible for setting the vision, purpose, and goals of the sales organization. He/she monitors results and makes adjustments in sales activities as needed to accomplish organizational goals in line with the predetermined sales vision and purpose.

Monitoring of and adjusting to what are called key performance indicators to determine if sales goals are being met is a key activity. The key performance indicators are the factors of sales production that determine the success of the organization.

Some examples of key performance indicators are,

  • Revenue
  • Customers Acquired
  • Customers Retained or Renewed
  • Items Sold (and the number of)
  • Sales Levels in Specific Market Segments.

Getting desired results is a dynamic activity. It takes creativity, intuition, and adaptability to manage productivity successfully. Persistence is another major force that determines success.

The four general major management functions are,

  • Plan
  • Organize
  • Lead, and
  • Control.
  • Effective sales management must be proactive in all of its major functions to obtain high performance sales results. It is like riding herd on cattle; you cannot relax or take your eyes off the trail for a moment.

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