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The Basics of Sales Management and Strategic Sales Planning

Sales management is defined as a discipline within the business world that focuses on practical applications of various sales techniques and sales operation management. It is regarded as an important business function in the generation of net sales from the sale of various products and services that eventually results to profit. Such factors are also known as the performance indicators.

Sales management responsibilities fall directly to the sales manager, who is typically involved in the sales planning activities of business entities. With respect to sales planning activities, the sales manager takes the helm in the conceptualization and development of sales strategies, the setting of profit-based sales targets, sales forecasting, quotas, demand management and most especially, the writing and executing of an agreed sales plan.

The sales plan is a vital component in management. It is a strategic document outlining the agreed sales activities, business targets and the resources needed for the project. A good sales plan must fall in line with the expectations and objectives of the grand marketing plan, business plan and the strategic plan. It must carry more specific details on how various company objectives will be achieved through actual sale of the business products and services.

Sales staff recruitment in every business is centered on three aspects, namely: job description, job analysis and the qualifications on the job. Job analysis highlights certain tasks that every hired salesperson will be responsible for on day-to-day operations. It must identify vital and priority activities that helps improve sales performance. Anyone within the sales or even the human resources department must be fully capable of performing the analysis. He or she must be directly responsible for completing the job analysis, and must have an in-depth understanding of the operations in the sales department.

Job description is an important factor that must be considered in the recruitment of personnel tasked to handle the sales operations of business entities. It identifies workload sizes that define productivity and efficiency and compares it with the compensation plan and specific roles and duties of sales personnel. Job qualifications on the other hand are carefully considered since it influences the company’s competitive advantage and performance in its niche and market.

Sales reporting is an important phase in the management of the sales operations. The report itself contains key performance indicators that define how the sales force should operate within certain company guidelines. The key performance indicators identifies and confirm whether the company’s sales process is operating on the right track and if it is getting the desired results as outlined in the sales plan. This equips sales managers with the ability to make timely corrective action, so that nothing will deviate from the given objectives. It also allows top management to make the necessary evaluations to the sales manager.

Sales management is a complicated matter. The given objectives are vital to all departments that run the business. Its inputs connect all these departments together because it is what brings profit in and its impact is felt in other aspects of the business operation. No business can ever function without an effective sales management team.

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