Specialization Report: Sales Manager
I chose an administrative role of a sales manager in the entrepreneurial field. The sales manager is the most complex role in any organization. The sales manager’s position determines the failure or success of any organization. They play an essential role in realizing the sales target of a company that translates to the revenue a company generates. The sales managers need to be compliance officers customer champions, execute marketing strategies, handle complaints, manage the operation course, train and motivate the salespeople, recruit and manage the target sales for organizations (Deeter-Schmelz et al., 2002). The education requirement for a good sales manager is a bachelor’s degree in marketing or business. However, some organizations prefer to employ those with Master’s degrees.
Moreover, sales managers with abundant experience might not require any educational procedures. Good leadership skills, working healthily with other people, and good communication skills are critical qualifications for a sales manager. Moreover, experience with spreadsheet applications, marketing, and sales is also essential.
A sales manager should also have the outside experience required to grow their expertise and hone their skills. Volunteering programs are helping to make a sales manager utilize the managerial skills they learned or that are necessary for the next level they aspire to reach. A recent study of HR managers from 500 companies conducted by Deloitte depicted that 92% of the respondents established that volunteering is essential to develop occupational skills. Moreover, an internal internship is vital to a sales manager (Tanner & Castleberry, 2013). It entails a formalized program that can give sales managers a chance to learn about functional areas or jobs that are not the same. The internal internship is also called job swapping. The program is useful in companies where the sales managers are expected to collaborate widely with people in other work areas. For example, a sales manager who needs to understand the production process clearly may have to work in the production department for some time. A stretch assignment is another outdoor experience that a sales manager should have. This is trying to go beyond a sales manager job and taking an opportunity to do extra work. Preferably, the result will expose the person to how other departments work or in other companies. That means that one will do a job different from theirs, thus telling them to new people in the departments and giving them a chance to try other and bigger things. That helps in showcasing the multiple abilities that one has.
Every profitable organization needs a sales manager to win customers and make profits. There are two types of business areas where a sales manager can work. They can either choose the business-to-business sale areas or consumers’ occupational areas. As for that business-to-business sale, managers may either work for a supplier selling to retailers or manufacturers selling to the wholesalers. For example, a tire manufacturing company sells products to a car company or a wholesaler who sells products to a supermarket. As for the business-to-consumer, sales managers can work for retailers who directly sell to consumers like Amazon, Shopify, Walmart, and others. Generally, sales managers can work for different organizations like financial companies, software companies, and pharmaceuticals. The sales managers will have the task of motivating and hiring a high-performing and effective sales team. They are also expected to meet the customer needs, hit or surpass the company’s revenue forecast, and lead them to create new leads. The ultimate purpose of a sales manager is to get profits to win customers and clients for the company.
A sales manager’s daily routine starts by logging into the computer to check the newsfeed, their inbox, their meeting calendar, and their team’s planned sales call for the day. During the day, the sales manager’s duties can be categorized into six. First, concerning administrative responsibilities, they coordinate with different departments to determine price, schedules implementation, and current fulfilment. Secondly, they also review and develop new sale materials and collaterals. Here, they monitor signals concerning competitor updates. Thirdly, they support sales reps, especially when dealing with high profile clients and even do direct selling. Fourth, the sales managers also dissect the performance of each sales rep. They frequently analyze pipeline progress and performance. Fifth, sales managers lead to face to face meetings and receive direct reports. They also ask the sales reps what they require. Lastly, the managers build more processes and templates that the team utilize and adhere to. They also incorporate new software solutions that make work easier for the sales teams. They also remind the reps of the things that they did not do. Sale managers work very closely with managers from different departments in the company. For example, the advertising or marketing department recognizes new clienteles that the sales sector can target. The connection between the two departments is essential to increasing its customer base.
A sales manager can come up with projects like creating buyer personas. Buyer personas utilize qualitative data to develop educated inferences about potential clients. Buyer personas assist marketing and sales teams in reading the minds of their clients, thus using appropriate content and messaging that will reverberate with them (Richard et al., 2018). Creating a buyer persona entails internet research and conversing with the prospects and customers to understand demographic data collect quotes, career paths, challenges, and goals.
Among the writings a sales manager does is a sales letter. It entails a written pitch attracting potential clients to a service or product. The letter’s purpose is to convince a client how the company will help them (Anderson et al., 1997). Therefore sale letters allow companies to make an individual connection with prospective or current clients. I am interested in this specialization because I like working with groups and teams, motivating and guiding people to give it all they have to meet objectives, which is what managers do. The sales manager is the most complex role in any organization. The sales manager’s position determines the failure or success of any organization. They play an essential role in realizing the sales target of a company that translates to the revenue a company generates.
In future, I would like to acquire the climb the ladder to a CEO position. However, I will have to hone my abilities in preparation for that CEO position. First, I will have to cultivate cross-organizational empathy. A sales manager who aspires to become a CEO should start to empathize and comprehend other sectors of the organization, including HR and marketing. Taking stretch assignments and internal internships will help me get the knowledge needed in all sectors of my organization.
Moreover, I will also find a mentor, probably someone already a CEO. I will study how the person works, their problems, and how they are solved. Furthermore, I will sharpen my comprehension of financial knowledge. Since CEOs mainly deal with finances, lacking such a skill could prevent a person from moving to that position.
Richard E. Plank, David A. Reid, Steven E. Koppitsch & Jeffrey Meyer (2018) The sales manager as a unit of analysis: a review and directions for future research, Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management, 38:1, 78- 91, DOI: 10.1080/08853134.2017.1423230
Anderson, Rolph E., Rajiv Mehta, and James Strong. 1997. “An Empirical Investigation of Sales Management Training Programs for Sales Managers.” Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management 17 (3):53–66. doi:10.1080/08853134.1997.10754100. [Taylor & Francis Online], [Google Scholar]
Deeter-Schmelz, D. R., Kennedy, K. N., & Goebel, D. J. (2002, February 5). tUnderstanding sales manager effectiveness: Linking attributes to salesforce values. Industrial Marketing Management. Retrieved January 23, 2022, from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0019850102001827
Tanner, J., & Castleberry, S. (2013, October 24). Vertical Exchange Quality and performance: Studying the role of the sales manager. Taylor & Francis. Retrieved January 23, 2022, from https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/08853134.1990.10753820
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