Your guide to effective sales management
What is sales management?
Sales management is the process of overseeing your business’ sales. A sales manager is usually the person responsible for sales management.
What are the key responsibilities of a sales manager?
A sales manager is responsible for assembling a sales team, which may include interviewing job applicants, developing the team’s skills and troubleshooting poor performance.
The best sales managers work to understand what motivates individual sales reps. For example, a sales manager might set up a leaderboard to encourage friendly competition or offer company-wide recognition for top performers.
A big part of sales management is determining KPIs, such as:
percentage of closed deals by rep or team
average deal value
customer acquisition cost.
For outside sales teams, sales managers usually define the boundaries of each territory to prevent overlap and miscommunication.
Implementing and refining processes
Sales managers standardise sales processes to get the best results from sales teams. Using a customer relationship management (CRM) system, for example, sales managers can define actions that support each step in a sales pipeline — such as nurturing, prospecting and upselling.
A CRM simplifies pipeline management because it can automate sales sequences and remind reps when to follow up with contacts.
Sales forecasting means estimating sales for a week, month, quarter or year. Sales managers may forecast by sales rep, team, departments, specific products or companywide, and they base forecasts on previous sales data, as well as the current state of the pipeline.
Budgeting is also an essential part of sales management, and without an ERP system, it can be difficult to get right. That’s because external factors play a role in budgeting. For example, an unexpected surge in demand could require sales managers to hire more reps, even if additional salaries aren’t part of the budget. An ERP system that delivers transparent, real-time company data allows managers the insights needed to build potential market fluctuations into a business budget.
Sales management requires a lot of reporting, from tracking sales trends to proving the return on investment (ROI) of sales processes to senior leadership. This is another sales management task that’s much more manageable when you have sales management software with robust reporting capabilities.
How does sales management vary by vertical?
B2C sales management
In the B2C sector, marketing drives most sales funnel activities. That could include content like social posts, direct mail and personalised website offers. The multifaceted B2C marketing approach means that brands typically have a steady stream of leads, but that also depends on the product type and sales cycle.
Niche products that are expensive might require one-to-one sales outreach, whereas everyday necessities may seem to sell with little effort. B2C sales management is about segmenting audiences, testing strategies and measuring results.
B2B sales management
B2B purchases may involve multiple decision-makers, which is why relationship-building is an important part of the sales process. Sales reps work to establish trust and demonstrate how what they’re selling solves a problem for a specific customer.
Because of the long B2B sales cycle, sales managers need to make sure reps are following the right cadence for contacting leads. B2B sales management may also require sales managers to collaborate with marketing departments on the types of content that'd best support the sales process.
SaaS sales management
For SaaS businesses, the sales process is usually remote. With many SaaS products offering a month-to-month subscription model, retention is a priority in SaaS sales account management.
Salespeople may regularly look at engagement data to see whether customers are getting return on investment from the software, how they’re using it and whether engagement has decreased over time. When customers seem like a churn risk, salespeople might reach out to explain new features, ask for feedback or offer a discount for renewal.
Enterprise sales management
Enterprise sales — or “complex” sales — involve large contracts or purchases and multiple stakeholders. The enterprise sales cycle can be several months or longer, so it requires a lot of patience and relationship-building.
Contract negotiation is an important part of enterprise sales, so the sales management process should define the proper protocols for finalising contracts.
MYOB can help you unlock your sales management capabilities
MYOB is a business management platform that allows you to optimise the way your business manages its full operational funnel — including sales management.
Gain deep, real-time data insights in an instant from any device, anywhere and make more accurate, sales-driven decisions.
Only pay for what you need today and scale your platform as your needs change tomorrow, with MYOB you’re future-ready.