The functions/ duties of a sales manager are many and varied. They may be classified under the following three heads:
1. Managerial /executive duties or functions
2. Administrative duties or functions
3. Miscellaneous duties or functions
1) MANAGERIAL / EXECUTIVE DUTIES OR FUNCTIONS
The main function of the sales manager is the management of sales operations including sales programmes and sales personnel. The management of sales programmes includes establishment and developing short-term and long-term sales policies and sales objectives, in consultation with other heads of related departments. He develops detailed sales programmes for his department designed to improve competitive positions, to minimize re-distribution costs and to achieve pre-determined sales goals in terms of amount and quantity. For this purpose he should review and approve and if necessary, improve sales strategies, sales policies, sales objectives and pricing policies of the respective products.
The management of sales personnel function includes recruitment, selection, training, direction, supervision motivation and control of sales personnel in the best interest of the organization. In smaller organizations, the top executive of the sales department sales manager himself, performs this function. However, in large organizations, services of staff specialists are made useful. He fixes sales territory and sales quota for every salesman, watches his performance and takes necessary timely action to correct hi performance.
2) ADMINSTRATIVE FUNCTION
The administrative head of sales department is Sales Manager who is having full control over the staff of the department and administering the sales office. He establishes an effective plan of sales organization and also controls the activities of the entire sales staff working under his control. He is the leader of the sales personnel at all levels and guides, directs and provides them proper incentive so as to perform their duties effectively.
Administration of sales office is one of the important functions of the sales manager. It involves considerable amount of paper work and record-keeping, depending on the nature of activities assigned to sales department.
3) MISCELLANEOUS FUNCTIONS
1) Maintenance of cordial and effective relationship with the heads of other departments within the company.
2) To ensure that long-term customer relationship is maintained so as to achieve the goals of the enterprise.
3) To conduct selling personally so as to increase the sales volume. For this purpose he plans, develops and implements the field sales strategy, supervisor the sales personnel and coordinates and controls the sales efforts of sales personnel.
4) To study the market conditions, problems of competition and the substitutes coming into the market. He is required to inform the top management of these facts along with his suggestions.
5) To maintain discipline in the sales organization.
6) To organize activities relating to sales promotion, such as, contests, seminars, conferences and provide incentives to the sales staff and the customers.
7) To plan and organize distribution channel in consultation with top management
8) To analyze the market thoroughly from time to time.
9) To undertake advertising campaign keeping in view the cost and sales requirements.
10) To plan sales targets in consultation with other departments, such as production department.
11) To prepare sales budget of a given period.
Thus the sales manager performs a number of functions depending on the nature of products and the size of the enterprise.
RESPONSIBILITIES OF SALES MANAGER
The responsibilities of a manager can be grouped under five heads :
1) Responsibility to himself.
2) Responsibility towards organization
3) Responsibility towards customers
4) Responsibility towards his staff and
They may be elaborated as under:
1) Responsibility to self
The foremost responsibility of the sales manager is to make him competent for the work assigned to him by the enterprise. In this connection he must evaluate himself from time to time and take make necessary improvements accordingly. The following are the responsibilities towards himself:
1) To increase managerial abilities
2) To increase and develop selling abilities
3) To keep himself in contact with regional changes and developments
4) To have knowledge of latest marketing techniques
5) To have detailed knowledge of the products
6) To make continuous and sincere efforts for removing his weaknesses.
7) To develop the spirit of cooperation posses progressive outlook and have good temperament.
2) Responsibility towards Organization
Since Sales Manager is a vita; part of the entire organization, he has a number of responsibilities towards the organization. They may be summarized as under:
1. To maintain and also increase the goodwill of the enterprise among his customers
2. To prepare the records and reports etc of his department regularly and present the same before the top management accordingly.
3. To take steps of reducing sales cost.
4. To keep a constant watch on the activities of the competitors and keep the top management aware of them along with his suggestions.
5. To make sincere efforts at achieving sales targets.
6. To coordinate and cooperate with the other departments
7. To feel proud of the organization
8. To keep the organization in touch with the changes that are taking place in his region, department etc
9. To seek and also provide assistance and cooperation to the enterprise as and when required. To maintain true and complete accounts of his department.
3) Responsibility towards Customers
1. To remain in constant touch with the customers through sales promotion and advertisement
2. To explain to the customers the advantages that they can have by keeping themselves in touch with the company.
3. To provide information to the customers about the miscellaneous uses of the products.
4. To keep himself in touch particularly with those salesmen who command influence on customers.
5. To take interest and listen to the complaints of the customers and make sincere efforts for solving the same satisfactorily.
4) Responsibility Towards Salesmen
1. To explain the techniques of presenting the products in such a way before the customers which is less time consuming, cheeper and more effective.
2. To recruit, select, train, supervise, control, renumerate, motivate and promote the sales force so that it may perform the duties more efficiently and effectively.
3. To explain the methods of dealing with the customer’s complaints effectively.
4. To provide the detailed knowledge about the products.
5. To arrange and plan salesmen’s tours, allocate sales territories, fix sales quotas of each salesman and check the compliance from time to time.
6. To listen and remove the grievances complaints and problems of the sales force and take necessary timely steps for solving the same. He must see that no clash of interest takes place.
1) Responsibility as to maintenance of public relations
2. Responsibility as to office management
3. Responsibility as to sales planning, sales targets sales policies sales forecasting sales research etc
4. Responsibility as to reducing sales costs in view of sales volume.
5. Responsibility s to collect and analyze statistics in connection with marketing research, product research and consumer research etc.