What are the responsibilities of a sales manager? This is a question that sometimes gets asked especially when times are tough and sales are below expectations. When the economy is depressed and sales are lackluster, blame can start to permeate organizations. The sales function may be the target of accusations, often from staff who have never been in a sales role before. Instead of retaliating or playing the blame game, sales managers must focus on their core responsibilities. Listed here is a checklist of key responsibilities that all sales managers can use:
- Find the right people: The first and primary responsibility of any manager or leader is to make sure that they have the right people on the team. Only the best people can deliver the best performance. If sales people are not meeting the performance standards, then the sales manager has a responsibility to upgrade the sales force by replacing poor performers with more talented ones.
- Train and coach them: After people are in place, the sales manager must make sure that they are trained and productive. This starts with training and coaching. Train sales people in products and the sales process. Go on joint calls, even with the most experienced sales people, and coach them to success. Keep them motivated and productive.
- Take care of customers: Satisfied customers are the source of repeat business. Check-in with customers and make sure that they are being taken care of by your sales team. Find out what they need and how they feel about your company. Discover what they like and what can be improved.
- Provide feedback to management: Provide feedback to management on products, customers, the competition, and your team. Make sure that they know what is working and what is not, and how the company can improve. The sales team is one of the best sources of competitive intelligence on the marketplace. It is the responsibility of the sales manager to gather it and pass it along to senior management.
- Run the office efficiently and profitably: Hold the sales team and support staff accountable. Make sure that sales targets are met; that the administration of the office is efficient; and that the office is run profitably. Without a profit, the company can not stay in business. Sales managers must make sure that they deliver sales revenue within the appropriate margins.
Just like managers in any other function, sales managers will have a variety of demands placed upon them. Rather than reacting to just those tasks that seem urgent, good sales managers will step back and ask themselves if a task is important to one of their core responsibilities. These five responsibilities are a good basis for a checklist for any sales manager to use for this purpose. Only by focusing on those tasks related to core responsibilities will they maximize their own performance and the performance of their team.