In any professional selling organization, the sales manager is highly paid to manage the sales force. At least they’re paid more than the typical salesperson. So what do they do that the salesperson doesn’t?
First, they help the salesperson manage their time. This means the sales manager is primarily responsible for assigning and removing accounts or territories from the salesperson. They decide where the salesperson sells.
They also help the salesperson with account issues, such as penetrating an existing account or resolving disputes. They often determine the salesperson’s quota or goals. In other words, they help set expectations for each salesperson’s performance.
They also train the salesperson in sales techniques. These aren’t manipulative moves, rather they are ways to help the customer arrive at a decision, from ensuring the decision maker gets the proper information to advancing the project through completion.
Overall, the sales manager guides the business development process (sales funnel) and assigns salespeople specific activities. They primarily ensure that the salespeople are making the calls necessary to achieve the goals.
They make certain that salespeople adhere to company policies involving price, production times, and delivery. They also help the owner develop compensation plans (different salespeople can have different purposes, thus different plans).
They are the secondary contact (along with the owner, if the owner is not the salesperson) on all accounts—especially significant ones.
So what is it that I don’t see sales managers doing? Managing the sales force is what. How? By doing all those things listed above. Say you don’t have a salesperson let alone a sales manager? Well, do these things yourself and your business will grow to the point that you soon will need them.
Tom Crouser is chairman of CPrint International, teacher of business courses at CPrint University, and principal of Crouser & Associates, Inc., 235 Dutch Road, Charleston, WV 25302, (MyPRINTRresource.com/10004688), 304-965-7100. Contact him at 304-541-3714 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Connect on Facebook and LinkedIn and follow his tweets at www.twitter.com/tomcrouser. Read his blog at MyPRINTResource.com/blogs/TomCrouser.