Sales management is an integral sub-system of marketing management. It translates the marketing plan into marketing performance. Sales management is hence described as the muscle behind marketing management. The sales manager in a modern organization holds a multitude of responsibilities. He has to plan, direct and control the personal selling effort of the firm. His task does not stop with the achievement of sales quotas. He is also responsible for bringing in the required profits. In addition, he is also responsible for creating the desired image for the company and its products. In fact, a modern sales manager has to do marketing rather than mere selling.
His firm expects him to assume a much larger role than the traditional responsibility of achieving sales quotas. It expects him to be customer-oriented as well as profit-directed. Sales managers set sales goals for their sales teams and bear the brunt of the responsibility for achieving the set goals. They assist the firm in measuring market potential and in developing sales forecasts and sales budgets. In addition, they have to develop the sales program and achieve the forecasted sales by implementing the program.
It is the responsibility of sales managers to build the sales organization. They are required to ensure that the sales organization is maintained in trim condition, capable of effectively implementing the personal selling program of the firm and sales policies and strategies of the firm. In addition, sales managers are also required to provide assistance in planning the other aspects of the marketing program, like product mix, pricing, distribution, advertising and sales promotion.
Sales managers foster an atmosphere for the growth of the firm. In addition, they assist the firm in the management of change. In a dynamic market, customer preferences and competitive forces are constantly changing; so too are technology and marketing methods.
Sales costs increase rapidly. In managing all these changes, the firm depends largely on the sales management.
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