INTRODUCTION TO SALES MANAGEMENT
Sales Management which is concerned with the direction & control of sales force, refers to the management of sales personnel. According to American Marketing Association, Sales Management which may also be known as Sales force management is “the planning, direction & control of personnel selling, including recruiting, self selection, training (equipping, assigning, routing), supervising, paying & motivating as these tasks apply to the personal sales force management.” In addition to other responsibilities, controlling & guiding the sale force is one of the important activities of management.
Managing the sales force involves the implementation of personal selling strategy. The sales force management has two key personal selling strategic decisions
(i) Sales force size
(ii) Selling style
These decisions results from planning how to achieve the sales volume & related company goals. The decision on selling styles determine the range and nature of activities required for personal management or management of sales force. The decision on sales force size determine the magnitude of these activities. Implementing these strategic decision is sales managements responsibility.
Sales force management is specialised type of personal management. The personal management focuses upon sales, production or office workers but sales force management focuses only upon sales personnel. Sales personnel work away from their co-workers and superiors, so it is difficult to develop a spirit of identity with and loyalty to the company and to manage them into a unified team. Sales personnel’s necessity is to give freer rein then production or office workers. Up to a large extent they are relied upon as individuals to plan and control their own activities. Most sales personnel visits their home office only infrequently and centralize direction of their activities mainly by phone and mail.
The steps in sales force management are the same as those in general personnel management. Sales force management work, starts with job analysis-determining the job objectives, the component duties and responsibility, performance criteria, and reporting relationships. The output of job analysis is the written job description that is used in deriving the necessary qualifications (job specifications) of the employee. Qualified job applicants must be found, and this requires decisions on recruiting sources and methods. From the supply of applicants, those meeting the job specifications are selected. After hiring applicants undergo initial training and throughout their entire careers with the company-receive continuing training through diverse delivery systems. Compensation plans are designed to provide appropriate levels and methods of compensation.
When the salesperson is assigned to the field, other personnel activities come into play. The salesperson is motivated to plan and make productive use of working time. To improve the effectiveness of sales calls, salespersons are counseled on working habits and methods Controlling sales personnel requires analysis of selling records and evaluations of sales performance.
Meaning & Theories of Sales Force Management :
"Sales force management is a distinct process, consisting of planning, organising, staffing, directing and controlling the selling effort by use of sales force to determine and accomplish the sales force objectives". In our present context,
Project Report Sales Force Objectives
Companies must carefully define the specific objectives they expect their sales force to achieve. The old idea was that the sales force should “sell, sell, and sell”.
Salespeople has sales quotas, and the better salespeople met or exceeded their quotas. Later, the idea arose that sales representatives should be skilled in customer problem and propose a solution. More recently, some industries have begun to insist that the sales force engage in “commitment selling.” Under this concept, salespeople do not initially try to sell a specific product or solve a specific problem. Rather, they show a customer-prospect how their company can help the customer improve its profitability. They seek to join their company with the customer’s company as “partners for profit.”
Regarding of the selling context, salespeople will have one or more of the following specific tasks to perform :
Companies typically define the specific objectives they want their sales force to achieve.
To maintain a market focus, salespeople should know how to analyse sales data, measure market potential, gather market intelligence, and develop marketing strategies and plans. Sales representatives need analytical marketing skill and these skills become especially important at the higher levels of sales management. Marketers believe that sales forces will be more effective in the long run if they understand marketing as well as selling.
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