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Sales management

What is sales management: Get an in-depth understanding

Key Takeaways
  • Sales management is the process of leading and motivating your team to achieve sales targets.
  • Hiring and training the right people is one of the key sales management responsibilities.
  • Keep your team sharp with ongoing training on products, market trends, and sales techniques.
  • Tracking performance helps identify what's working or needs adjustment within your sales strategy.
  • Salesmate CRM and automation capabilities boost sales, and sharpen decision-making - All in one smart solution.

Leadership makes a big difference in sales.

Because not getting it right can be costly, as per a study, poor sales management drains up to $3.5 million from a company annually. 

However, adopting a robust sales management strategy can transform challenges into stepping stones toward incredible success.

This guide covers…

  • Core aspects, key benefits, and types of sales management
  • The winning sales management process
  • Top strategies for effective sales force management
  • Best practices and resources (tools, sales collaterals, & books) for strategic oversight

So, let’s begin with the sales management definition.

What is sales management? 

Sales management involves building a strong sales force, setting goals, planning, and analysis to achieve targets.

Your team can achieve the sales target with a perfect sales management process.

It all starts with great sales management skills such as strategic thinking, empathy, time management, technology proficiency, and overall sales performance management.  

So, growth begins with great skills, and as a sales manager, you need to help the team do well and attain the set sales quota

Let’s learn the core aspects of managing sales. 

What are the three core aspects of sales management?  

The core aspects involve: 

  1. Sales strategy development 
  2. Sales operations management
  3. Sales analysis and improvement   

A sales management process might vary depending on the industry type, business kind, customer persona, market demands, etc., but the fundamental aspects remain the same. 

1. Sales strategy development 

Developing a sales strategy is about laying down a roadmap for how your team will meet its targets. 

This involves several critical factors: 

  • Setting clear sales goals: Set SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound) goals to achieve targets smoothly. Here are the things to focus on for setting smart sales goals.  
  • Defining target markets and customer segmentation: If your sales team understands your customers, their needs, and the company’s offerings, winning a deal becomes a cakewalk. Further, you can segment customers for personalized sales approaches. 
  • Sales process and tactics: Defining a blueprint for the team will enable reps to perform better throughout the sales cycle.
  • Alignment with marketing: A cohesive strategy including shared goals, integrated campaigns, and consistent messaging across all channels aligns sales and marketing efforts and enhances the efficacy of both teams. 

2. Sales operation management 

Effective sales operation management ensures your team has the structure and resources to execute the sales strategy efficiently. 

This covers:

  • Resource allocation and optimization: Allocating your sales, human, and technological resources strategically, maximize productivity, and minimize waste. 
  • Sales training and enablement: Effective training enhances product knowledge, sales acumen, and technology use, making employees more productive and motivated. 
  • Technology: Software like sales CRM, productivity tools, sales intelligence, and AI are the best technologies to improve customer engagement, tracking, and optimizing sales efforts. 

Also read: AI in CRM can improve sales game – 14 top AI CRM use cases

3. Sales analysis and improvement 

Analysis includes identifying trends, forecasting, and analyzing sales reports to adjust strategies in response to changes in the market. 

You can evaluate the following to achieve sales objectives: 

  • Team performance: Monitoring the sales reps’ progress and providing feedback will enhance their skills, leading to improved results. 
  • Sales metrics: Tracking and evaluating sales goals with specific metrics and KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) gives you insights to optimize the sales process. 

With an advanced CRM, managing customer data, personalizing interactions, streamlining sales tasks, and optimizing the entire sales cycle becomes simpler.  

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Next, we will explain what is the importance of sales management in an organization. 

Why is sales management important in the organization?  

Managing sales effectively becomes critical in preparing the team to meet those goals.

Importance of sales management

Let’s discuss why sales management is important in detail: 

1. Improves revenue  

If you want to achieve sales and revenue growth, effective sales management is necessary.

This covers everything from setting clear goals, managing sales forces, tracking performance to analyzing processes for optimization. 

2. Aligns goals   

The right management approach ensures sales and marketing efforts support the company’s main goals to increase revenue and improve customer relationships.  

In fact, a study reported that businesses with good sales and marketing alignment achieve 36% better customer retention. 

3. Effective resource utilization  

The sales management strategy involves effective resource allocation such as budget, manpower, and time. It lets you prioritize sales opportunities, streamline processes, and utilize resources to maximize ROI. 

4. Builds customer loyalty 

Effective management teaches your sales teams how to deal with prospective clients, solve their problems, and deploy need-based selling techniques tactfully. 

This makes customers trust the brand and stick with them. 

5. Enhances team performance   

Sales management is beneficial as it improves team performance through training and other sales enablement activities. 

6. Guides decisions with metrics analysis  

Analysis is one of the fundamental aspects of managing sales. This enables leaders to identify loopholes/opportunities to optimize their current sales function for the better. 

Must check5 Reports that you should be tracking for effective sales performance!

7. Keep pace with the market changes   

Sales management strategies ensure the team stays agile, aligning strategies with customer needs and market trends. 

Let’s dive into the key sales force management objectives. 

What are sales management objectives? 

The ultimate objective of sales management is to enhance the company’s revenue and make the team more capable of growing business. 

These are the 5 primary objectives of sales management: 

  • Achieving high sales volume 
  • Pushing the business toward growth in terms of revenue and customer satisfaction 
  • Making the sales force more efficient 
  • Achieve and maintain a high customer retention  
  • Grow leadership in the market 

After knowing the key objectives of sales management, let’s look through why sales management is beneficial. 

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Who benefits from sales management?

Effective sales management benefits several groups within the sales environment such as: 

  1. Sales teams: Guidance, training, and motivation are components of sales force management. So, managers ensure reps implement strategies correctly and have the specific tools/resources to meet their targets. 
  2. Sales manager: It helps the leader to develop a deeper understanding of market needs and their positioning to optimize the company’s sales strategy for profitability. 
  3. Upper management: It contributes to customer retention insights and revenue reports. These insights help upper management to make budgets, forecast business growth, etc. 
  4. Customers: Implementation of great sales management techniques results in a better customer experience, more tailored product offerings, and improved satisfaction. 
  5. Marketing department: Marketing professionals gain feedback from sales teams about a lead’s quality and closing rates to refine their lead generation strategies and make their campaigns more effective. 

What are the sales management responsibilities? 

Sales managers allocate 32% of their time to leading their teams and about 15% to administrative duties, as these are crucial roles. 

Here are the 6 top sales management responsibilities: 

Responsibilities of sales management

1. Training your sales team members

Sales managers are essential in developing their teams by providing coaching, guidance, and feedback.

This foundation helps sales reps overcome common challenges such as outpacing competitors, enhancing sales engagement, meeting targets, adapting strategies, and building customer relationships.

Effective sales force management helps reps overcome these specific sales challenges and exhibit their full potential.  

2. Recruitment

A key duty of sales managers is to recruit and hire top-notch sales talent, which involves identifying the essential skills and attributes needed for the role.

They need to conduct thorough interviews and evaluate candidates to ensure a strong fit with the company’s culture and sales objectives.

3. Meeting and ensuring goal alignment

Managers hold meetings to talk about plans and get feedback from the market. Their job is to ensure the sales and marketing work matches the company’s broader goals, ensuring a cohesive approach to achieving targets.

4. Shadowing

Shadowing is the practice where sales managers observe their reps during customer interactions, such as sales calls or meetings. 

This hands-on approach allows managers to assess their sales team’s performance, identify areas for improvement, and provide real-time feedback and coaching to enhance productivity. 

5. Managing time 

The best sales managers value time and are skilled at organizing their team’s work to boost sales and efficiency. They know how to prioritize, motivate, and lead effectively to achieve great results. 

This is why businesses invest in an automation solution to get over the repetitive and mundane tasks and let their team focus on revenue-generating activities a.k.a closing deals. 

6. Reporting 

One of the crucial aspects of sales team management is analyzing the essential data. 

Sales managers evaluate reports on key metrics like sales volume, conversion rates, and revenue to assess how well the team is doing against its targets. 

Further, effective reporting enables informed decision-making, identifies areas for improvement, and predicts future sales.

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Now, let’s move ahead to learn the types of sales management. 

What are the types of sales management? 

These are the four important types of sales management. Each of the types focuses on unique selling aspects and targets different customers.

1) Business-to-customer sales management 

B2C (Business-to-Consumer) sales managers focus on strategies and practices for selling products or services directly to consumers.  

Unlike B2B, B2C typically involves shorter sales cycles, direct marketing tactics, and a broader target audience. 

2) Business-to-business sales management 

The goal of B2B sales management is to create value for both businesses through a deep understanding of the client’s challenges and needs. 

Managers need smart solutions to deal with more complex and longer sales cycles due to the multiple decision-makers. 

3) SaaS sales management 

SaaS (Software as a Service) companies sell software on a subscription basis.

In SaaS companies, sales management is unique due to the intangible nature of the product and the emphasis on long-term customer relationships.

SaaS sales managers require a blend of technical understanding, strategic planning, and a strong focus on customer experience and satisfaction to succeed in the competitive market. 

4) Enterprise sales management 

Enterprise sales management focuses on handling large-scale sales to big organizations, involving detailed strategies and long-term relationships.  

It includes guiding a team through complex deals, analyzing sales data for better decisions, and ensuring the team is well-trained.  

The goal is to meet the specific needs of large clients through customized solutions and strong partnerships. 

What is an effective sales management process? 

Here are the 7 core elements of the process of sales management:

Sales management process

1) Sales planning 

The planning involves setting goals, developing strategies, and creating action plans to achieve those goals.   

Besides, for effective sales management, it is better:  

  • To analyze market trends  
  • Identify target consumers 
  • Determine sales objectives  
  • Allocate resources effectively   
  • Outline strategies 

2) Recruitment and hiring 

Recruitment and hiring in sales management refer to identifying, attracting, and selecting qualified individuals to join the sales team.  

Here are some techniques you can adopt to your hiring strategy:

  •  Craft precise job descriptions to attract suitable candidates.
  • Post jobs on various platforms including job boards and social media.
  • Encourage referrals from current employees for potential candidates.
  • Evaluate how well candidates align with company culture during interviews.
  • Provide attractive salary packages and benefits.

3) Sales training and development 

The training and development in the sales management process involves equipping sales professionals with the knowledge, skills, and techniques needed for the role.  

Also, it includes the initial training for the new hires; ongoing training and programs are essential to keep the sales team updated. 

Read moreSales training – Hitting right chords for better win rate

4) Sales strategy and methodologies 

Creating a comprehensive plan that outlines how to achieve goals is helpful for your sales rep.

This involves identifying target markets, setting pricing strategies, and determining the top sales channels.

Here are some tips for building a sales strategy for your team: 

Tips for building a sales strategy

5) Performance management and motivation 

Monitoring, evaluating, and optimizing the performance of your sales reps is key to strategic sales management.

Using a smart CRM solution, you can track sales activities, monitor progress toward goals, and evaluate the performance of teams and individuals. 

6) Sales analysis and reporting 

Analysis and reporting involve examining data and metrics to gain insights into sales performance, trends, and opportunities.     

The support of the robust sales reporting software will help in identifying the roadblocks and opportunities in your strategy for improved decision-making. 

You can gain insights into sales trends, customer behavior, and market opportunities by evaluating your sales data.   

7) Adaptation and continuous improvement 

For continuous growth, you must know what should be done and what’s gone wrong. 

Evaluate your rep’s activities and sales reports to improve decision-making for revenue growth. Plus, be open to experimenting with new strategies and tactics. 

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What are the successful sales management strategies? 

Here are the top strategies of sales management to follow for building a successful sales team and driving revenue:

Sales management strategies

1) Define compensation structures 

It is crucial to create a base salary and commission details. They set an expectation base for the sales reps. 

It may be challenging but can help maintain a strong relationship with existing and new customers. Besides, it can help in clarifying the set work the sales reps need to do to get the highest salary and compensation. 

2) Establish objectives and benchmarks 

Establishing goals and quotas for your entire team and the individual reps is better in ensuring everyone is working together and pulling the weight.

It will give them a way to carry out their sales management plans to reach the same established objectives and benchmarks.

3) Initiate and educate new team members 

If the sales reps do not understand the objectives behind their daily tasks, it will be difficult for them to establish sales goals.

Did you know? Investing in the training of salespeople can generate a return on investment (ROI) of 353%.

So, with the onboarding training, you can ensure that sales reps start fields in terms of information by current processes.

4) Inspire and encourage sales representatives 

Acknowledge your sales force management’s hard work and offer regular training sessions, workshops, and one-on-one coaching to enhance their skills and confidence.  

Encourage personal goals, show support, and foster a supportive work environment that motivates everyone to improve and succeed.  

5) Serve as a mediator between sales staff and executives 

Being a sales leader puts you in the middle of the sales reps and directors. So, your role requires you to advocate for the brokers whenever necessary.  

For instance, it involves the raise for the sales reps with upper-level management and HR. 

6) Generate and analyze sales performance reports 

Think of the reports as a tool not just for you, but also for your sales team.  

Sharing these insights offers a clear picture of their performance and helps them stay aligned with their goals.  

It’s all about keeping everyone in the loop and moving forward together. 

7) Review and refine the sales approach 

Strong sales teams always have a process or framework for agents to follow. It will ensure the consistency of all the prospects.

Professional encounters among the sales reps and competitors can represent the brand more accurately. 

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What are the sales management best practices to follow?

Let’s discuss the top best practices in sales management that managers should adopt:

1) Always keep your team result-oriented 

The sales force management must comprise reps who are always driven by the determination to excel and keep achieving their sales goals. 

Creating a transparent working environment for your sales force allows them to trust each other and work together with an effective tool that can eliminate mundane tasks. 

2) High but realistic approach is the key 

When sales managers set goals, they give enough push to their reps to work a bit harder.

Suppose right now, the X company sales are 2 crores for a quarter then they can expect 4 to 5 crores for the next quarter.

But what if they set a 20 crore sales goal then it may be a bit unrealistic to expect as per the current company size and market. 

So, setting realistic goals is better than 100% of low-tier sales goals. 

3) Make training a priority 

Sales is dynamic, and bringing in new methods and practices will open more doors to increase revenue.

So, it becomes crucial to regularly train your sales team so they can deal with modern customers and keep up with new trends in the market.

If you train the sales force every three or six months, they will never settle.  

The laid-back or non-adaptive sales force is the last thing you want for your business. They must keep adapting to the ever-changing dynamics of the sales industry. 

4) Segmentation of the sales team  

Segmenting your sales team into smaller, specialized groups can bring out the best from each rep.

For example, some salespeople might be great at connecting with new clients, while others excel at selling certain types of products.

By focusing on what each team member does best, the whole team can work more smoothly and successfully.

This way, everyone knows their role, can focus on their strengths, and together, they can achieve better sales results.

Further, this strategy helps in meeting the diverse needs of your customers more effectively.

5) Incentivize your sales force 

It’s a fact that 90% of the leading companies use incentive programs to reward their sales associates for their exceptional performance.

The incentives in sales force management allow businesses to keep their sales team motivated to achieve targets continuously.  

Develop a lucrative incentive program that rewards not just the results but also the effort and processes that lead to a thriving sales team.

This can include monetary bonuses, recognition programs, career advancement opportunities, and other benefits that motivate and engage your sales team.

What is a sales management system? 

A sales force management system is designed to make the process more automated and simpler with features like automation, tracking, and performance analytics.

The salespeople can use the system to manage contracts and deals, generate reports, and forecast future leads and revenue with easy completion of administrative tasks focusing on sales calls.  

Here are the benefits of sales management system:

Benefits of sales management system

Let’s dive into our next section, discussing the best sales force management software.

Which are the top sales management software and tools? 

These are the three leading sales force management tools you must consider for your business to streamline your sales, marketing, and customer service:

1. Salesmate 

Salesmate dashboard

Salesmate CRM is the leading sales management software with effective tracking and reporting.

It offered an advanced lead management solution, an automatic lead assigning system, and built-in omnichannel communication tools (email, calling, and texts) to connect and engage with reps.

Your team becomes more productive in conversion with powerful automation suits to set their day-to-day tasks on autopilot.

Reps can run targeted outreach campaigns with an easy drag-and-drop email builder and templates. Plus, you can utilize real-time email tracking.

Top Salesmate features you will love to experience to meet your sales manager’s responsibility and role:

  • Contact management to store, organize, and access all customer interactions.
  • Sales automation to minimize manual tasks, enabling the team to focus on high-value sales activities.
  • Pipeline management to get a clear view of your sales pipeline for accurate sales forecasting and prioritization of deals.
  • Deal management to track and manage deals for discovering revenue opportunities.
  • Reporting for sales force management and measurement to facilitate data-driven decision-making and strategy optimization.
  • It provides integration capabilities with 700+ essential tools and apps.

Salesmate is highly customizable to meet your organization’s needs, perform accurate sales forecasting, aligning team and management customer relationships effortlessly.

Get the best software for sales management!

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2. HubSpot Sales Hub  

HubSpot Sales Hub dashboard

HubSpot is a comprehensive solution for marketing and sales teams.

This platform focuses on automating sales processes, providing tools for email tracking, meeting scheduling, and a comprehensive CRM to manage all sales activities.

It enhances teams’ productivity by offering insights into customer interactions and streamlining tasks.

3. Salesforce CRM  

Salesforce CRM dashboard

Salesforce CRM is a comprehensive platform designed to streamline the management of customer relationships and data.

It offers a suite of services with leading features such as lead management, sales forecasting, and workflow automation.

The platform is highly customizable, and organizations can tailor the system to their specific needs and scale as they grow.

Remember, the right sales management tools and techniques streamline sales efforts, boosting efficiency and success.   

Read more: 10 Best Sales Management Tools & Techniques That You Must Check In 2024!

Top sales management books to drive more revenue – A must-check!

Gaining insights from top sales managers and mentors can significantly enhance your management and leadership skills, leading to a profound impact.

Below are four recommended books for advanced learning:

Wrap up

Sales management refers to streamlining and managing the entire sales team and operation to boost revenue.

Effective sales managers possess strong management skills, enabling them to effectively hire, train, and motivate their teams.

These capabilities are essential for coordinating operations and driving business revenues in today’s technologically advanced sales environment.

For progressive growth, you need to implement the best sales management tactics and leverage technology and data analytics to optimize your sales strategies.

A robust sales CRM like Salesmate with analytics and reporting tools can enhance your ongoing sales processes. 

Want to experience the growth for free? Take your 15-day FREE Salesmate trial!

Frequently asked questions

What do you mean by sales management? 

Sales management covers the strategic planning of how to sell products or services, training the sales team, developing strategies, and analyzing sales data to improve processes.

A sales manager’s job is to manage the sales department, ensuring sustainable revenue growth over time.

What are the functions of sales management? 

The main sales management functions include: 

1. Setting budgets and goals 

2. Recruitment and training

3. Managing sales teams

4. Building sales strategies 

5. Tracking sales reps’ performance 

6. Forecasting sales and revenue 

7. Analyzing reports for growth 

What are the top sales management skills?

Here are the five essential skills to become a good sales manager:

  1. Planning: Define targets and strategies.
  2. Communication: Offer guidance and maintain regular touchpoints.
  3. Problem-solving: Quickly address issues, especially in remote work.
  4. Evaluation: Analyze performance using tech tools.
  5. Support: Motivate with incentives and provide growth opportunities.
What are the four major branches of successful sales management? 

The four major branches of sales process management are as follows:  

  • Managing sales team force 
  • Sales strategy management 
  • Managing the sales process 
  • Sales execution management to meet sales targets 
What are the best sales management tips for managing sales? 

Here are some effective sales management tips:  

  • Set realistic goals 
  • Encourage the team by celebrating small wins  
  • Be open to feedback 
  • Promote a positive team culture of continuous learning 
  • Optimize your sales process 
  • Assess your team performance regularly 
What is the role of sales management in marketing? 

Sales management in marketing ensures the marketing team’s lead generation efforts sync with what the sales team needs. If they don’t align, time and resources get wasted, and sales can drop.

What is the first decision made in sales force management?

The primary decision of the sales force management should be designing the sales force structure and strategy. 

Sonali Negi

Sonali is a writer born out of her utmost passion for writing. She is working with a passionate team of content creators at Salesmate. She enjoys learning about new ideas in marketing and sales. She is an optimistic girl and endeavors to bring the best out of every situation. In her free time, she loves to introspect and observe people.

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