Sales Manager

About the function of Sales Manager

What does the Sales Manager do?

The Sales Manager is in charge ofΒ managing customers and sales for a particular segment, a defined sales territory, either directly or through team of sales people under his/her responsibility. Sales managers usually receive targets in term of sales (eg. total turnover) and/or gross margin (to make sure price negotiation doesn’t entail profitability).

To achieve these objectives, they shall strategise their approach to market, plan sales tactics, execute plans, create and finally close business opportunities. The management dimension of the Sales Manager is very important, for team to perform he/she should allocate time talent development: set and monitor targets, coaching junior sales professionals and passing over industry knowledge.

What does the future hold for Sales Managers?

Traditionally Sales Manager are “on the road”, as their job require them to maximize face-to-face time with customers in order to gather information and run meetings.

The trend across many industries, accelerated by the Covid-19 crisis, is to refocus the role of the Sales Manager to meaningful and value-adding interactions, such as follow up of opportunities and negociation.

The pure business development mission now tends to slowly shift away from the Sales manager towards either Marketing functions or Inside Sales roles, which will then be required to generate the lead pipeline required for the Sales Manager to complete their objectives.

The role of the Sales Manager is also increasingly getting digitalised as Sales Manager do not solely sell items, but also services and especially digital services. To engage customers over such products does not necessarily require face-to-face interaction, as online demonstration can for example be run through visio calls. Enabling the Sales Manager to performΒ Virtual Selling will allow to increase productivity, cut on travel times and free precious time for coaching the team.

Lastly, Sales Manager are being required to be moreΒ data-savvy. In a time of economic downturn, the ability to do precise forecasting for example is key in many manufacturing industries. Similarly, the ability to segment customers based on their revenue potential is becoming a key activity of high-performing Sales Manager. The ability to manage a team remotely through the use of performance dashboard and shared file system is also key to improve communication and efficiency. All those activities can now be performed through Customer Relationship Management systems, which are evolving from customers contact base to real cloud productivity systems for Sales Managers. More than ever in a digital disrupted world, CRM-ambassadors Sales Managers will stand out and lead the way.

Competencies of the Sales Manager

How to read the competency table and chart?
The percentage score (%) represents the expertise level required for this position, click on score for more details. Future skills, which are important to your organization's competitivity in the long run, are highlighted with a .

Competencies of the Sales Manager

Development plan for Sales Manager

Remember that all Learning & Development (L&D) activities and trainings should be balanced to achieve maximum results. For all Active Learning you perform, remember to balance with Social Learning and several Stretch assignments for the Sales Manager to put in practice newly learned skills.

Competency
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Category Activity
 πŸ“–  Analytical thinking  Stretch assignment. An activity that pushes you outside of your comfort zone to learn new skills in practice. Stretch assignments Individual assignment Highlight to management top 10 clients contributing the most to company's net margin
 πŸ“–  Analytical thinking  Social Learning. An activity where you learn from others. Like mentoring or coaching. Social Learning Feedback from customers Identify top 5 clients pain points and produce action plan in response
 πŸ“–  Contract management  Social Learning. An activity where you learn from others. Like mentoring or coaching. Social Learning Feedback from expert Organize training session with legal manager/lawyer to collect best practices
 πŸ“–  Contract management  Stretch assignment. An activity that pushes you outside of your comfort zone to learn new skills in practice. Stretch assignments Group project (inter-department) Schedule workshop with key stakeholders to review standard contract template
 πŸ“–  Contract management  Stretch assignment. An activity that pushes you outside of your comfort zone to learn new skills in practice. Stretch assignments Individual assignment Create process to review periodically contract exposure with key stakeholders
 πŸ“–  CRM  Stretch assignment. An activity that pushes you outside of your comfort zone to learn new skills in practice. Stretch assignments Group project (inter-department) Set up a cross department review to improve metrics measured in dashboard
 πŸ“–  CRM  Stretch assignment. An activity that pushes you outside of your comfort zone to learn new skills in practice. Stretch assignments Group project (in department) Set and execute an action plan to reactivate all your sleeping customers in CRM
 πŸ“–  Customer Experience (CX)  Stretch assignment. An activity that pushes you outside of your comfort zone to learn new skills in practice. Stretch assignments Individual assignment Identify and roll out 1 customer engagement practice from this Hubspot article >> Get started
 πŸ“–  Customer Experience (CX)  Social Learning. An activity where you learn from others. Like mentoring or coaching. Social Learning Feedback from customers Collect top 5 key decision factors that impact your customers churn rate
 πŸ“–  Customer Experience (CX)  Stretch assignment. An activity that pushes you outside of your comfort zone to learn new skills in practice. Stretch assignments Individual assignment Set up an action to contact sleeping prospects in your CRM
 πŸ“–  Digital Selling  Active Learning. An activity where you are deeply engaged in absorbing new knowledge. Like a classroom training, reading a manual or following an E-Learning class. Active Learning Book/article reading Getting prepared for your virtual sales meetings >> Learn more
 πŸ“–  Digital Selling  Active Learning. An activity where you are deeply engaged in absorbing new knowledge. Like a classroom training, reading a manual or following an E-Learning class. Active Learning Book/article reading Understanding the effects of Covid-19 crisis on B2B sales >> Learn more
 πŸ“–  Digital Selling  Active Learning. An activity where you are deeply engaged in absorbing new knowledge. Like a classroom training, reading a manual or following an E-Learning class. Active Learning Book/article reading Remote selling courses >> Learn more
 πŸ“–  Digital Selling  Stretch assignment. An activity that pushes you outside of your comfort zone to learn new skills in practice. Stretch assignments Individual assignment Train your team to implement top 5 social selling practices >> Get started
 πŸ“–  Digital Selling  Social Learning. An activity where you learn from others. Like mentoring or coaching. Social Learning Feedback from peer Practice making a virtual demo in front of a group of peers, and get feedback.
 πŸ“–  Digital Selling  Stretch assignment. An activity that pushes you outside of your comfort zone to learn new skills in practice. Stretch assignments Individual assignment Roll out at least 3 virtual meeting tips with your customers >> Get started
 πŸ“–  Digital Selling  Active Learning. An activity where you are deeply engaged in absorbing new knowledge. Like a classroom training, reading a manual or following an E-Learning class. Active Learning E-learning course Learn how to use LinkedIn Sales Navigator for B2B Sales >> Get started
 πŸ“–  Digital Selling  Active Learning. An activity where you are deeply engaged in absorbing new knowledge. Like a classroom training, reading a manual or following an E-Learning class. Active Learning E-learning course Build your presence during virtual video conferences >> Get started
 πŸ“–  Influential communication  Stretch assignment. An activity that pushes you outside of your comfort zone to learn new skills in practice. Stretch assignments Individual assignment Apply top 3 tactics to influence clients during your next customer meeting >> Get started
 πŸ“–  Influential communication  Social Learning. An activity where you learn from others. Like mentoring or coaching. Social Learning Feedback from peer Organize a pitching workshop and gather comments on good practices
 πŸ“–  Influential communication  Social Learning. An activity where you learn from others. Like mentoring or coaching. Social Learning Mentoring from direct manager Ask your sales supervisor to attend one of your meeting and provide feedback
 πŸ“–  Relationship Building  Active Learning. An activity where you are deeply engaged in absorbing new knowledge. Like a classroom training, reading a manual or following an E-Learning class. Active Learning Book/article reading Networking guide for introverts: Making connections that count >> Learn more
 πŸ“–  Relationship Building  Stretch assignment. An activity that pushes you outside of your comfort zone to learn new skills in practice. Stretch assignments Individual assignment Co-host a webinar with industry experts and promote your value proposition >> Get started
 πŸ“–  Relationship Building  Social Learning. An activity where you learn from others. Like mentoring or coaching. Social Learning Mentoring from peer Organize knowledge sharing session with your company's top networker
 πŸ“–  Relationship Building  Social Learning. An activity where you learn from others. Like mentoring or coaching. Social Learning Mentoring from peer Organize sharing session with your organinization's influential social media user
 πŸ“–  Value selling  Stretch assignment. An activity that pushes you outside of your comfort zone to learn new skills in practice. Stretch assignments Individual assignment Identify and validate which B2B elements of value matter to customers >> Get started
 πŸ“–  Value selling  Stretch assignment. An activity that pushes you outside of your comfort zone to learn new skills in practice. Stretch assignments Individual assignment Perform value-centric customer meetings for a week, no product features talks >> Get started
 πŸ“–  Value selling  Social Learning. An activity where you learn from others. Like mentoring or coaching. Social Learning Feedback from peer Study and discuss how value-focused is your company's sales approach >> Get started

Request a personalized development plan for your company

We know all companies are different. Blended learning plans can differ greatly based on industry, business model, location and employees profiles. To craft a more customized development plan for the position of Sales Manager at your company with our experts, please schedule a 30-mn online conversation with our L&D experts.