Sales management is a structured process involving a lot of people and many activities. Measuring the process is vital to capitalizing on valuable opportunities. In this online course Drew Boyd, professor and consultant, draws from his extensive marketing experience to present specific steps in developing a disciplined sales approach that is based on data and well-defined processes.
- Your company may have great products, fantastic advertising, and a wonderful supply chain, but at some point someone has to go out and sell something. Sales management is the structured and disciplined process involving lots of people and many activities. If you don't measure what's going on in the process, you'll miss valuable opportunities to fine tune your sales force or even give it a complete makeover. Measuring sales force effectiveness really matters.
Think of sales management as a cyclical process. It starts by understanding the commercial marketing strategy of the firm or business unit. It answers key questions like who is our target audience, what products or services are we selling, and what must we do to convince a customer to buy? The most important role of the sales manager is to translate the marketing strategy into a concise, well-defined sales strategy, or what we'll call in this course the sales task.
The sales task defines what specific customers your team will call on, what products and services they will feature, what activities they must perform when they're in front of a customer, as well as what resources the company will provide to support them. Once the sales task is defined, every decision and every action taken by the sales manager is shaped by it. For example, the next step of sales management process is to create a structure for your sales team that determines how many reps you need and how you organize them, either by account or product line.
The sales task is so important that you'll need to measure everything about it. Once you have a sales team in place, you need to deploy them to the front lines. Here is where you forecast what kind of sales revenue you want to achieve. Then you create for each rep their own territory and quota to do their part in the overall success of the team. Measuring sales deployment helps you make critical adjustments to keep things working smoothly. Sales managers need to create a compensation program that rewards reps for doing the right things to succeed.
Sales compensation is linked to just about every other aspect of sales management so you need to measure how effective it is. Sales managers measure results and they hold their team accountable for those results. As the old saying goes, you expect what you inspect. Ultimately, measuring sales results feeds right back into your marketing team so they can take these results, adjust the commercial strategy, and start the sales management cycle all over again.
Oh, and there's one final step in measuring sales force effectiveness. That's measuring you as the sales manager. Great sales managers become great by investing in and measuring their own performance. Sales management is not just patting people on the back and telling them to go out there and do their best. It's a disciplined managerial process based on data and well-defined processes to keep your company successful in the face of stiff competition.
- Defining the sales task
- Calling on the right customers with the right products and services
- Evaluating your team's sales activities
- Measuring outputs of sales: customer satisfaction, wins, losses, etc.