The right sales management strategy empowers your sales force by setting goals and giving them the processes and support they need to achieve them.
In this article, we’ll not only define sales management, but we’ll break down the day-to-day actions a sales manager takes to ensure the sales management process your company follows brings your organization to new heights.
What is sales management?
Sales management is the backbone of any lucrative business. Very few products truly sell themselves, and without the consistent effort of their sales teams, the companies would flounder.
In technical terms, sales management is the process of forming, running, and accelerating a sales team by hiring thoughtfully, offering ongoing training, establishing systems, and continuously analyzing performance to find areas of improvement.
In short, sales management is about giving your sales reps everything they need to be successful. A well-equipped, highly trained, and fully supported sales organization will thrive and improve your company’s bottom line.
Proper sales management ensures that both small and large actions align with the company’s overall strategy. It’s about aligning your day-to-day activities with other departments like marketing and manufacturing to provide the best possible customer experience. Salespeople may do the heavy lifting, but few organizations are successful without a competent sales leadership team.
Why is effective sales management important?
Each sales manager strives to always be informed and be 2 steps ahead of the competition — and that starts with having the right people. Effective sales management means hiring the best people and offering ongoing support and training. Doing so will ensure your organization is always improving, but it doesn’t mean your execution is flawless.
Proper sales management sniffs out what’s often overlooked. Sometimes the smallest details or changes can add up to something great or possibly derail your team’s progress. A monday.com board like the one below provides complete oversight of the sales process.
Sales management keeps your finger on the pulse of your sales team, sales pipeline, organization, and industry. It identifies growth opportunities, competitor threats, new regulations, and plenty of internal and external factors that can change the game.
The day-to-day responsibilities of sales management
Sales management sounds like it has many benefits, but what does it actually look like day-to-day? And more importantly, can just anyone be a great sales manager? Anything’s technically possible, but you have to be relentless to be a truly great sales manager. You can’t give up too easily, and you’ll need to have thick skin and a way of connecting with people.
You’ll spend a lot of time coaching and training your sales staff and an equal amount of time hopping onto calls to help smooth over sales objections. Companies that foster a growth mindset and embrace the digital transformation of professional coaching, significantly increase their performance and are more profitable.
Here’s an inside look at what makes a sales manager tick.
Individual coaching and team training
Arguably the number one thing sales managers are responsible for is ensuring reps have the knowledge, tools, and support they need to do their jobs. Ultimately, that means ongoing training, so they’re prepared to combat common objections to the sales process and feel confident talking about the product, competitors, and the market as a whole.
New research suggests that continuous development keeps SDRs more engaged and in the role 8% longer. Each individual is different, so the job also requires some one-on-one attention as well. That means shadowing calls, reading emails, and getting a good sense of both their strengths and weaknesses.
monday.com is yet another way sales manager’s can get insights. Reports and dashboards can help you detect whether activity levels are high enough or whether sales team members are having trouble closing deals.
Passing updates to senior leaders and executives
A big part of the sales leader’s responsibilities includes passing information up the chain of command, so senior leaders and executives have an accurate picture of important things like team morale, sales forecasting, bottlenecks in the operations, and challenges in the market.
Some of that will require more of a personal touch, but a lot of it becomes easy routine functions with just a little automation. monday.com makes managing daily admin tasks easier or unnecessary by helping you set up automation recipes. It can streamline internal communication, manually change a lead’s status, or send reports with certain triggers like dates.
Shifting priorities and executing new tactics
A big part of sales management is disseminating information from the top down. Sales department leaders constantly review data, analyze the market, and make tweaks to the organization’s strategic goals. It’s then up to sales managers to simplify, communicate, and execute those plans.
With the insights gained from analyzing performance metrics, speaking with senior leaders, and coaching individual salespeople, the sales manager can adjust the organization’s sales strategy. If cold email is falling flat and the goal is to get more people to respond to LinkedIn messaging, the sales manager may call a meeting and ask the team to shift their efforts accordingly.
If the team’s struggling to hit this month’s sales target, the sales manager might run a contest that provides a cash award or prize to the sales rep with the highest outbound calls or the largest deal closed.
Ongoing performance analysis and reporting
Each sales manager develops an affinity for data. Meeting each month’s sales goal isn’t a task to check off. It’s an addiction — an opportunity to show the other sales teams and the competition you mean business.
To get there, they need to know each sales representative personally. Their performance is constantly under a magnifying glass to find ways to improve and get closer to meeting sales objectives.
Forecasting sales and tracking revenue aren’t enough these days. By themselves, they’re great metrics, but they don’t get to the bottom of which tactics are effective, which salespeople are performing, and whether your sales organization is on track to meet its goals. In short, sales managers have to collect as much data as possible so they can draw insights and make better decisions.
Once again, monday.com’s reporting and sales dashboards can help tremendously. As you can see above, they’re simple, colorful, and provide the insights most important to you. Plus, they’re easy to set up.
Maintaining the sales pipeline
All the analysis, reporting, and training are for nothing if you don’t have accurate data. Yet another ever-important part of the sales management process is ensuring each lead in the sales cycle is accurate and up to date.It’s not enough to set up your CRM, create content, and tell the team what to do. As a sales manager, you have to actively update your pipeline as market conditions change or customer preferences sway.
Removing stale leads to improve sales forecasting is important too. Without it, managing your sales pipeline gets downright confusing. The systems and processes that make up your sales funnel will either drive you to revenue and success like you’ve never seen or derail your sales operation and prevent you from reaching your quarterly goals.
The tighter you keep the data in your CRM, the better you’ll be able to draw insights, send up correct reports, and hold your team accountable.
What are the 4 types of sales management?
As we’ve seen, sales management and the responsibilities of sales managers are multifaceted and vary from organization to organization, as well as industry. If you’re interested in different roles within the sales management field, here are a few job or professional sales management titles to look out for:
- Field sales manager
- Branch sales manager
- Regional sales manager
- Sales and marketing manager
These roles also could vary in sales management style:
To learn more about the role of a sales representative, check out this blog.
How sales managers use monday.com to drive successful outcomes
A good sales manager will track all sorts of metrics, from sales closing ratios and sales growth to customer acquisition costs and churn rate. They’ll dig deep into sales activity numbers to see who’s making the most — or least — outbound calls and emails. They’ll even check to see who’s getting the most appointments and providing the most demos.
monday.com gives you the power to be an effective sales manager. You can view all sorts of KPIs, reports, and dashboards in real-time and make on-the-spot decisions that improve your team’s effectiveness.
If sales volume dips, you’ll have a clear line of sight as to which salespeople are struggling. You will also have instant communication tools that make it easy to get an update on a lead’s status, find out how a demo call went, or provide senior leadership with a status update. monday.com’s Work OS gives you an edge since it automates time-consuming administrative tasks, integrates with the rest of your tools, and makes it easy to visualize your data in ways that you can’t with many other software solutions.
Once again, what if your sales team always knew exactly what to do and had everything they needed to get the job done?
monday.com’s sales management features make that dream a reality. You’ll get accurate sales forecasts, in-depth sales analysis reporting, and insights that make sales coaching straightforward. What more could you ask for?