Sales management is an integral sub-system of marketing management. It translates the marketing plan into marketing performance. Sales management is described as the muscle behind marketing management. Sales management in a modern organization holds a multitude of responsibilities. Sales managers have to plan, direct and control the personal selling effort of the firm. A sales managers task do not stop with the achievement of sales quotas. He or she is also responsible for bringing in required profits.
In addition, the manager is also responsible for creating the desired image for the company and its products. In fact, a modern sales manager has to do marketing and selling. The firm expects the sales manager to assume a much larger role than the traditional responsibility of achieving sales quotas. Sales managers should be customer-oriented and 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 must ensure that the sales organization is in tip-top condition, capable of effectively implementing the personal selling program of the firm and sales policies and strategies. In addition, sales managers are required to provide assistance in planning other aspects of the marketing program, like product mix, pricing, distribution, advertising and sales promotion.
Human resource management or man management is a major part of sales management. Sales managers are responsible for recruitment of salespeople, their training and development, work allocation and supervision, and morale and motivation. It is the sales managers who maintain the sales force as a top notch and live-wire force.