Schools Training

How is Sales Management Different From Just Plain Sales

13 JUL 2012
Career Path : Business

There’s no doubt about it, sales management requires a different skill set from traditional sales jobs. But what are some of those skills?


1. The ability to forecast and measure results


One of the differences between sales management and just plain sales is the need to forecast. Sales forecasting means looking ahead, i.e., determining:


– how much to spend (on what? in which regions?)

– how many salespeople to hire

– how much product to have on hand

– how many new customers will buy the product or service

– how many repeat customers will buy the product or service


Sales management training teaches teams how to prepare macro forecasts, for the market at large, and micro forecasts, for specific units.


In addition to forecasting, teams must also be able to measure with accuracy the success of their forecasting efforts. How valid were their forecasts? Evaluation metrics is a key concept in sales management training.


2. The ability to coach


Often, people who are attracted to sales thrive in a competitive environment. It takes ambition to bring a sales strategy to fruition. But management teams must be able to see beyond their own ambition, to help the team members under their watch realize their own ambitions. Sales management training must prepare managers to coach their teams. They must make their teams feel accountable, to assume responsibility for the success of the organization.


Sales management training must prepare managers to provide coaching, but also to help them build a team that is open to coaching. A strong sales team is one in which mentorship can thrive.


3. The ability to motivate


Sales management teams must always encourage their teams to do their best. This may involve organizing friendly competitions between salespeople or linking bonus pay to performance.


4. The ability to be present


Sales management teams must make time for their staff: they must be there to listen, to advise and to redirect. Managers must routinely schedule in time to review progress, both their own and that of their team.


5. The ability to implement and follow process


Sales management training must equip managers with the skills to implement efficient and effective structures. When should paperwork be done? When will prospecting calls be made? What days will be reserved for sales appointments? For team meetings? How often will salespeople file reports? They must elaborate a sales strategy that:


reduces “out of stocks”

maximizes warehouse space

takes maximum advantage of peak sales season


6. The ability to distinguish between activities and results


The sales management team must make sure that the sales team is busy, yes, but busy doing the right things.


7. Setting goals


Sales management training should also prepare managers to establish goals for the entire team. For example, one goal might be to generate sales of x amount within a certain amount of time.


As you can see, sales management training must broaden a salesperson’s traditional toolkit to include leadership skills.



Visit Fusion Learning for more information on sales strategy.