What should a sales manager know?

Successful business development depends to a great extent on the dynamics of sales of the goods produced by the firm or the services it provides. Therefore, the position of a sales manager in most modern companies is one of the key ones. What does a sales manager need to know to successfully complete the tasks assigned to him?

The case requires a narrow profile

Much depends on the specific segment of the business a person works in. Selling, relatively speaking, digital technology and premium cars are two completely different types of activities, despite the fact that the position of the person who deals with them may sound the same. There is no guarantee that a specialist who has mastered the art of selling gadgets will be able to start selling prestigious cars just as successfully. The range of required knowledge and skills for salespeople in different segments can vary significantly.

Business can be conducted mainly in the B2B segment (Business to business, Russian “business for business”, when an organization acts as a buyer and seller) or B2C (Business-to-consumer, Russian “business for a consumer "When a private consumer acts as a buyer): this also determines the requirements for the knowledge and skills of sales managers. In turn, within each of these segments there are subcategories: for example, the target customers of a company focused on the B2B sphere are private firms, government agencies, Russian and foreign organizations. The approach to sales for each of them can be completely different.

It is also important in which company the manager works. As the free market develops in Russia, sales methods become less and less standardized. Each company has a unique corporate culture that can influence the way salespeople do their jobs. An important factor is the size of the organization. In large corporations, business processes tend to be much slower than in startups, and this is reflected in the competency requirements of the salespeople.

Sales manager: basic knowledge

However, there are a number of general points that reflect the specifics of the position in question. A sales manager, regardless of the segment of activity, must know:

His product (product, service), its strengths and weaknesses

When selling something, a person must be ready to answer everything questions of the client, tell him in detail about the features of the product, its competitive advantages, and if necessary, about the objective shortcomings of the product. Such openness often becomes a factor in a successful transaction: every self-respecting client loves the transparency of the partner's terms. It is also important for a manager to have texture, deep knowledge about his product, and not learned, albeit beautiful, terms.

Maintain the necessary documents (primary, reporting, etc.)

For many managers, this type of work is the most unattractive because it takes time and does not bring any direct benefit. But without it, you cannot build an effective sales system. All transactions must be documented. The figures for them are important for the analysis of sales. The tax office is also sometimes right there, and all those documents that are painstakingly collected by the manager will certainly help the company successfully pass the audit.

Perform representative functions

In most cases, the manager does not limit himself to telephone conversations, but goes to meetings with clients: in order to discuss important issues or, for example, present the product. The participation of a specialist in banquets, buffets is possible - an unofficial component can also be an element of a sales strategy. All these activities form the noted specialist duty.