What is the role of a sales manager?

May 13, 2020 by   in kojo blog

Sometimes, the simplest questions are the best! What actually is the role of a sales manager? Especially now!

Of course, it varies greatly in each firm. For some, the role is precisely and narrowly defined, with a detailed job description. For others, the role is much more loosely defined and entrepreneurial.

Currently, the role definition is really up for grabs as the business climate evolves in unpredictable ways.

On our kojopro skills platform, we set out the case for a sales manager being responsible for “sustainable and predictable” growth.

Sustainable = Build a system that delivers sales even when the manager is not actively driving it.

Predictable = The pipeline forecasts are reliable enough to help others co-ordinate activities.

Well, that’s a lot to ask right now, isn’t it? So, what is in the role of a sales manager today?

Here are 5 pragmatic ideas to work on right now

  1. Keep your team active and motivated. The devil makes work for idle hands. See Selling Interactions “Stay at home sales for ideas.
  2. Encourage multiple acts of kindness towards your customers – ensure your brand and customer centricity stay strong even if revenues don’t.
  3. Segment your customer base using a Red, Amber Green system. Build appropriate responses for each category. Shift your selling effort to where there is the best chance of success.
    1. RED = client is under serious financial threat from the pandemic
    2. AMBER = should survive, but dormant for now
    3. GREEN = still potentially an active client if we really find the right offer
  4. Make sure you are masters of the universe in social selling. With so many customers ‘locked down’ reading more social media sites, is your team in all the right places? What image are they projecting?
  5. Be proactive and lead the debate about how your sales organisation structure should evolve over the next 12 months to give customers what they need. Less external sales? More internal sales? Self-serve web model? Different channels? Change is coming. Try to be ahead of the curve.

The kojopro sales training platform can help you think through these key areas. Find out more here

Essential reading for sales managers

We love “Sales Excellence – Systematic Sales Management” written by D Christian Homburg, Heiko Schäfer & Janna Schneider. It is a very comprehensive guide for all the aspects of sales organisation that a manager can play with. It makes an excellent companion read for Kojopro.

Similarly, “Cracking the sales management code” by Jason Jordan & Michelle Vazzana sets out the processes and KPIs that sales managers should get to grips with.

Not a kojopro subscriber yet?

For the most comprehensive set of sales improvement methodologies, you can subscribe to Kojopro.  The virtual sales training platform for sales leaders and their team.

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