Basic objectives of sales management | Sunday Observer

Basic objectives of sales management

1 August, 2021

The sales management function was defined by institutions around the world in different perspectives throughout recent history. However, with a career span of over forty years as a sales representative, sales executive, sales manager, marketing manager, and above, I firmly believe that selling is the only function in an organisation that generates revenue for a commercial organisation and keeps it afloat as a business. A battle-hardened sales manager always is one of the most valuable assets to a company.  The renowned author, sales coach, and international sales expert Patrick Ellis, in his book ‘Who Dares, Sells’, describes the importance of sales function through a poem as “selling is the only one game in town that pays bills and keeps the doors open”. The success of the sales manager is one of the most important factors in the sustainability and growth of an organisation.  In his view, sales management is one of the most difficult tasks due to a series of reasons. Being a professional sales manager is a privilege although the obligations and responsibilities are extremely pressing. 

It is common knowledge that the financial result in an organisation depends on the performance of the sales department. Hence, it is vitally essential for the organisation to maintain an extremely effective sales force with consistent and above-average performance. The single most important function of the sales manager is to assure the revenue results through the sales team. The responsibility of a sales manager, therefore, is to manage his team effectively and efficiently on one hand and perform the managerial functions related to the total sales effort on the other.   


Ask any successful entrepreneur what they expect from their sales manager. Almost all the time the answer would be that first and foremost, the sales manager’s obligation is to increase the revenue of the organisation. Management of any company expects the sales manager to predominantly improve sales revenue. All other factors such as qualifications or even experience are secondary. 

To increase revenue, the sales manager has to devise strategies to improve sales volumes. It is not merely supervising a sales team on selling activities (as existed long years back) but organising the entire sales effort within the organisation and outside. Successful sales managers most often build an informal organisational structure within the parameters of rules and regulations of the company for their team with their own strategies.   Improving the profit component of the company is another basic objective of a sales manager.  The sales team has to be motivated to sell with optimum profits.

This means offering only the minimum possible discounts from the stipulated price to the customers that increases the profit margins of the company.

This act seems unreasonable or unethical to a layman, yet it is an obligation of the salesman. The ground reality is that salesmen invariably prefer to offer the maximum discounts to complete a sale and the manager’s responsibility is to train and guide them to manage discounts profitably. 

In today’s fiercely competitive market environment, gaining the edge is a tremendously challenging task. Regardless of the best marketing support, the results can only be achieved by tapping the maximum power of the sales team. Therefore, the sales manager must assist his team to be at their best in performance. This feat can only be achieved if the sales team is well trained, committed, and effective. 


A solid sales team is the lifeblood of an organisation and ensuring that they are properly trained in selling skills is of paramount importance. Training them on product knowledge is the easier part. However, giving them practicalities of the selling techniques when they are out in the deep end is entirely another matter. 

Therefore, experienced and successful sales managers always constantly offer them guidance for the battle at the ground level. They persistently discuss day-to-day occurrences of the team and provide them valuable advice based on experience. It is a cinch that any well-trained salesman creates a difference in a selling situation, against the competition.   

In several of my previous articles, I have repeatedly said that professional salesmen are of a special breed. Usually, they are smart, committed, ferociously competitive, and often aggressive. Also, selling, particularly field sales, is usually an exceedingly stressful task with challenging sales targets, field conditions, rejections, and travel fatigue. 

Hence, motivating people with such characteristics is always a challenge to a sales manager. Simply offering them financial incentives or rewards is not sufficient in most cases. Apart from good leadership, sales managers have to devise other psychological models to get to them emotionally. In my experience, whilst maintaining control, getting involved positively in their matters by being passionate is an extremely effective routine to build mutual trust. 

Control of the activities of the sales force is another important criterion of a sales manager. The control involves measuring performances, tracking follow-up efforts, monitoring journey plans, tracing lost opportunities, and so forth. 

Difficult task

Supervision of the sales force is always a difficult task for a sales manager because of the nature of the characteristics of typical salespeople. Even with modern digital controlling methods, the task is not always trouble-free as any wrong type of controlling method can de-motivate the team.

Nevertheless, the effectiveness of the sales team management largely depends on the controlling mechanism practiced by the company.  Controls set up correctly keeps the salespeople alert, active, and systematic in their day-to-day activities. However, typically, salesmen tend to rebuff any type of control in their regular activities. No matter what, strict control with an effective reporting system is a must to supervise a sales team. 

Hence, the controlling mechanisms must be introduced to the team as administrative tools rather than oppressing regulations. A smart sales manager can even encourage his staff by convincing them that they are participating in an important administrative task with their routine reporting.    

Coordinating the sales effort with other departments is the responsibility of a sales manager. Specifically, marketing activities, distribution channels, financial activities relevant to sales, and special events, if there are any, are some of such functions. Also communicating required information from the other departments and keeping sales people engaged in regular activities of the company is essential.      The sales process and the sales team is a crucially important aspect of the growth of any business. Therefore, engaging sales managers in all development initiatives is imperative in a commercial organisation.

The sales manager can contribute tremendously to the development efforts by pooling typical customer behavioural patterns that are vital to upgrade any type of development activity such as the introduction of new products or services, business diversifications, market expansions, and identifying new territories. 

As per the popular book ‘Building a Winning sales force’ by Zoltners, Sinha, and Lorimar, the sales process is the most dynamic corporate undertaking which makes the sales manager’s role one of the most critical factors in organisational success.

Market conditions and consumer needs rapidly change with modern technologies. Therefore, the sales force must be equally energetic to stay competitive and its leadership must be exceptionally effective.   

Keeping a sales team at the top in performance is a constant challenge. The entire organisation pin hopes on the sales manager most often to keep a business afloat.

Therefore, strategies, actions, and executions of a sales manager are relentlessly monitored by all other stakeholders of the company. Hence, by nature of the job, sales management is an extremely demanding and nerve-racking task. Nevertheless, sales managers are a special group of people who can stand against any pressure and become successful in their assigned duties and life as well.