What is a Sales Manager? 8 Functions of a Sales Representative

Joanna Okedara
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    One thing remains constant for every eCommerce and brick-and-mortar business owners - b2b vs b2c sales are the lifeblood of your company. That's where a skilled sales manager comes in, equipped with the tools and expertise to drive revenue, exceed targets, and keep your business thriving in a competitive landscape.

    In the restaurant business, a sales manager isn't just about taking online orders and managing wait staff; they're the dynamic force behind your success. Picture this - you're planning to introduce a new menu design with innovative seafood dishes that will tantalize your customers' taste buds. 

    Key Takeaway: A sales manager can analyze market trends, identify customer preferences, and create a targeted sales strategy to promote these new offerings. With their guidance, your restaurant can stand out from the competition, maximize revenue, and keep those tables filled with satisfied customers.

    Now, let's shift gears to the wholesale distribution business. Imagine you've secured a new product line that has the potential to skyrocket your eCommerce sales

    This is where the expertise of a sales manager shines. In the wholesale distribution world, relationships matter, and a skilled sales manager will tap into existing customer connections to showcase the value of the new product line. Through their vendor negotiation skills and strategic vision, they'll secure profitable deals and drive sales growth for your business.

    So, let's dive in and discover the multifaceted functions of sales managers that contribute to their success and the growth of the organizations they serve.


    Who is the Sales Manager?

    A sales manager is a person responsible for overseeing the sales department and driving revenue growth. Usually, the sales manager role is a leadership position and requires certain skill sets and expertise.

    The sales manager is in charge of managing sales and implementing sales management strategies that will improve the sales metrics and performance of the company. Besides these, sales managers also predict future sales and revenue growth using various sales forecasting strategies.

    They analyze market trends, competitor activities, and customer feedback to identify areas for improvement and adjust sales strategies accordingly. The truth is a sales manager is required to wear many hats at the same time in order to keep the business running smoothly. 

    For example, in a restaurant business, a sales manager may be responsible for overseeing the front-of-house operations, ensuring efficient table turnover, and managing reservations to maximize seating capacity.

    At the same time, they may be required to analyze sales data, track inventory levels, and adjust pricing strategies to optimize profitability. Now that’s a lot of hats!

    On the other hand, the sales manager of an eCommerce store will be required to juggle multiple responsibilities. Some of these tasks include optimizing the eCommerce website performance, managing online eCommerce marketing campaigns, and analyzing customer behavior to improve eCommerce conversion rates

    What Does a Sales Manager Do? 8 Functions of a Sales Manager

    Now that we know who a sales manager is, what do they do? Let’s see.

    1. Setting Sales Goals and Strategies: A sales representative establishes and meet sales targets in line with the overall business objectives. They work closely with senior management to develop sales strategies, identify target niche markets, and explore growth opportunities.
    2. Managing the Sales Team: Sales managers recruit, train, and motivate the sales team. They provide guidance, support, and performance evaluations to ensure individual and team success. You can expect them to also allocate territories, set sales quotas, and monitor progress toward goals.
    3. Developing Sales Plans and Tactics: Another key function of sales managers is creating comprehensive sales plans, outlining key activities, timelines, and resources required to achieve targets. Sales managers develop sales tactics, such as prospecting techniques, strategies to reduce customer churn, lead generation strategies, and sales presentations, to maximize conversion rates.
    4. Monitoring Sales Performance: A sales manager tracks and analyzes sales data, such as average deal size, sales win rate, average sales cycle, customer churn rate, market share, and customer acquisition rates. From sales pipeline management to identifying potential bottlenecks, sales managers implement corrective actions to improve efficient business systems and performance.
    5. Building and Maintaining Customer Relationships: Customer relationship management is another place where sales managers shine. You can rely on them to foster strong relationships with key customers, partners, and stakeholders. Additionally, sales managers engage in client negotiations, handle objections, and address customer concerns.
    6. Sales Training and Development: Sales managers organize training programs to enhance the skills and knowledge of the sales team. They conduct workshops, provide coaching, and share best practices to improve sales techniques, product knowledge, and customer engagement.
    7. Budgeting and Resource Allocation: Another responsibility of sales managers is developing sales budgets and allocating resources effectively. Sales managers optimize the allocation of sales resources, such as personnel, sales automation technology, and marketing collateral, to maximize return on investment (high ROI).
    8. Continuous Improvement and Innovation: Sales managers encourage a culture of continuous improvement and innovation within the sales team. You can expect them to explore new sales methodologies, sales management software technologies, sales rep software tools, and strategies to adapt to changing market dynamics and gain a competitive edge.

    How to Become a Sales Manager?

    Becoming a sales manager requires a combination of skills, experience, and personal qualities.

    Here's a step-by-step guide on how to embark on the path to becoming a successful sales manager:

    1. Gain Sales Experience: Start by building a solid foundation in sales. You can work in entry-level sales roles to learn about sales processes, customer interactions, and product knowledge. Develop strong communication, negotiation, and relationship-building skills.
    2. Learn from Successful Sales Managers: Observe and learn from experienced sales managers within the food and beverage industry. You can also seek mentors who can guide you and provide insights into the role of a sales manager. It is important that you understand their strategies, leadership style, and the challenges they face.
    3. Expand Your Knowledge and Skills: Invest in your professional development. This is critical to becoming a sales manager. Take relevant courses, attend seminars, and earn certifications in sales management or related fields. Continuously enhance your knowledge of sales techniques, market trends, and leadership skills.
    4. Showcase Leadership Abilities: Demonstrate your leadership qualities within your sales team or current role. It is a great idea to take on additional responsibilities, lead projects, and provide support to colleagues. Show initiative, inspire others, and be a role model for effective sales practices.
    5. Develop Strategic Thinking: Sales managers need to think strategically to drive results. Sharpen your analytical skills and learn to identify opportunities, evaluate market trends, and develop sales strategies that align with business goals. Understand the bigger picture and the impact of sales on the overall organization.
    6. Hone Your Communication and Interpersonal Skills: Another thing you’ll need to become a sales manager is excellent communication skills. You’ll need this to interact with team members, clients, and stakeholders. Practice effective listening, clear articulation, and the ability to motivate and inspire others. 
    7. Seek Opportunities for Leadership: Look for opportunities to demonstrate your leadership abilities. Volunteer for leadership roles in professional organizations, lead sales initiatives, or take on managerial responsibilities within your current organization. Showcase your ability to handle challenges and achieve results.
    8. Take a Course: Consider pursuing a bachelor's or master's degree in business administration, marketing, or a related field. Higher education can provide you with a deeper understanding of business principles, strategic management, and leadership practices.
    9. Network and Build Relationships: Connect with professionals in the sales and business community. Attend industry events, join professional associations, and engage in networking activities. Building a strong professional network can open doors to new opportunities and provide valuable insights and mentorship.
    10. Continuously Learn and Adapt: Stay updated on industry trends, emerging technologies, and evolving sales strategies. Embrace a growth mindset and be open to learning from experiences, both successes, and failures. Adapt to changing market dynamics and refine your approach as needed.

    Frequently Asked Questions About Functions of a Sales Manager

    Sales managers work to ensure that sales goals and targets are met. They work hand-in-hand with other team members and departments within an organization to ensure that deals are closed and products or services are sold. Sales reps use several sales management software and best sales efficiency software, like BlueCart sales rep tool, to simplify and automate the sales pipeline management process.

    Let's answer a few questions about the functions of a sales manager:

    What Makes a Good Sales Manager?

    A good sales manager possesses a unique set of qualities, years of experience, and skills that enable them to excel in their role. Here are some key attributes that make a good sales manager:

    • Leadership skills
    • Strong communication
    • Sales expertise
    • Strategic thinking
    • Emotional intelligence
    • Analytical skills
    • Goal-oriented mindset
    • Coaching and mentoring
    • Business resilience skills

    What are the 7 Types of Sales Managers?

    The seven types of sales managers are:

    • Territory sales managers
    • Key account managers
    • Inside sales managers
    • Channel sales managers
    • Retail sales managers
    • Sales enablement managers
    • National sales managers

    How Much Does a Sales Manager Make?

    The average annual salary for a sales manager in the United States ranges from around $80,000 to $150,000. However, it's important to note that salaries can exceed this range, especially for sales managers in high-demand industries or those working for large corporations.

    How to Hire a Sales Manager?

    Here’s how to hire a sales manager:

    • Define the role
    • Create a job description
    • Source candidates from online job boards
    • Screen resumes and conduct interviews
    • Assess sales skills and experience
    • Check the leadership and team management skills
    • Evaluate cultural fit and values alignment
    • Verify candidate’s references and run background checks
    • Finalize the offer
    • Onboard and train
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