Sales managers are uniquely important to the success of their companies. Sales managers have the potential to unlock big returns that impact a business's revenue, growth and long-term survival.
Think about it this way: if a sales manager can help each of their sales 10 reps sell 20% more, they have essentially created two new salespeople and grown the bottom line, all without spending more money.
That’s the ultimate return on investment.
In this article, we discuss what makes a good sales manager and how sales managers can improve the performance of their teams.
Want the complete story on sales management? Download our Ultimate Guide to Sales Management. It goes into greater detail and contains easy-to-implement recommendations any sales manager can use to increase the performance of their sales team.
What Is Sales Management?
Sales management is the act of overseeing and leading sales representatives to create strong relationships with prospects and close more deals. Sales managers do this by implementing processes, strategies, and objectives to help their teams meet their targets and goals.
The Essential Elements of Sales Management
Sales management isn’t a linear process. It is a fluid process centered around four essential elements:
The people aspect of sales management is related to hiring, coaching and training. It all starts by having a strong sales team. This begins with hiring, which is supported by having strong job descriptions, interviewing the right candidates, and working with HR to create fair compensation plans. Once the right people are hired, sales training and coaching keep sales reps operating at peak performance.
Sales managers are responsible for setting the vision and strategy for their sales team. A critical component of this is building a sales process. A documented sales process keeps the team aligned and working toward the same goals. A sales process ensures everyone is following proven, repeatable best practices. It also allows management to identify inefficiencies and correct them to improve performance. A documented sales process also removes any guesswork among the team in terms of what they should be doing, when, and how.
Sales managers are responsible for overseeing the day-to-day activities of their sales team — from prospecting to closing. This involves celebrating wins, understanding losses, and advocating for the team as a whole.
The last critical element of sales management is analyzing and reporting sales activity. As with the sales process, sales managers should create a systemized reporting process so their team knows where and when they're being measured, as well as how they can improve. Reporting can include win rates, average sales cycle, lead-to-opportunity conversion rates, and more – whatever the manager and teams need to know to measure performance and make adjustments, as needed. Sales managers are also responsible for using data to forecast future sales revenue and update team goals and company revenue.
Want more details on sales management? Download our Ultimate Guide to Sales Management and get proven sales strategies and tactics for each of the essential sales management elements.
This article is adapted from content originally posted at hubspot.com. Repurposed with permission.