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sales enablement

Sales Manager Responsibilities and How to Be a Successful Sales Manager

February 12, 2018

A sales manager is a key driver for success in any sales organization. A sales manager's core responsibility is to manage a team of salespeople and provide the leadership and support they need to achieve an organization's sales goals. Employing one or more highly skilled sales managers provides the foundation a business needs to drive growth.

As the manager of a sales team, a sales manager sets the tone for his or her team to follow. A sales manager must be a positive thinker, highly self-motivated, a strong coach, and an exceptional salesperson. A sales manager needs to be able to motivate and lead his team to hit their sales goals.

A sales manager's responsibilities are as follows:

Nurture and Maintain Relationships

Sales managers are the champions of relationships with employees, vendors and clients. Strong relationships lead to new sales opportunities as well as to increased sales from existing clients. Sales managers are always expected to put a great deal of time and energy into creating and nurturing new and existing business relationships.

Negotiate Business Proposals and Sales Contracts

For large purchase orders and ongoing business projects, sales managers are responsible for negotiating the terms and conditions of a business proposal and sales contract. This ensures that both parties involved in the sales contract understand what is included and what is not, and that both parties feel good about the contract and that the terms are favorable to both sides.

Maintain Market Awareness

A successful sales manager always stays on top of the news and changes that are taking place in their marketplace to ensure they understand how those changes will impact their organization as well as how those changes will impact their clients and the companies they compete against.

A sales manager needs to be able to prepare strategic sales plans for how to take advantage of market changes for the purpose of increasing sales and market share for their organization as well as for how to better serve their current and prospective clients.

The more alert a sales manager is to changing market conditions and how to respond to those changes and new opportunities, the more competitive and successful their organization will be.

Manage a Sales Territory

A key responsibility of a sales manager is to manage a specific sales territory. This involves travelling to meet with suppliers and customers to ensure operations are running smoothly and relationships are strong.


How to Become an Exceptional Sales Manager


Possess Strong Leadership Skills

As a sales manager it is essential that you have strong leadership skills. It is your job to manage a team of salespeople and lead them to acheive the sales goals set by your organization. This requires being able to train and motivate each member of your sales team to acheive their maximum sales performance. It also requires that you be able to make difficult decisions such as terminating members of your sales team who are not able to acheive the performance standards set by the organization.

Always Address Performance Issues

To be a successful sales manager, it is your job to measure and evaluate the performance of each of the salespeople on your team. For team members who are not performing at the levels they should be, it is your job to work with them to improve their performance. The performance of each of your salespeople is a direct reflection on you as a sales manager. It is your job to make sure everyone on your team is performing at optimal levels.

Communicate with Management Anytime You Face a Crucial Issue

Great sales managers proactively communicate to their superiors when issues relating to their team's performance arise. This helps management to solve problems before they get out of hand.

Develop Strong Hiring Skills

Sales managers who can systematically identify, hire, and retain top sales talent will always give their organization a competitive advantage. As a sales manager it is your job to become an expert at identifying top sales talent and putting in place a strong recruiting program to hire and retain them. 

The Bottom Line

A sales manager must have the ability to inspire, innovate, communicate, and set the necessary tone for their sales team. This is what will increase sales performance and help to ensure your sales team achieves their sales goals and the organization is successful.

As long as you always strive to improve the performance of your sales team and the relationships with your organization's clients, you will be a successful sales manager with a secure and financially prosperous career.

For more information on how to be a highly effective sales manager, read our article on the most important sales manager skills.

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