The process of sales management, or the process of good management of the sales force of a company, includes three steps to follow in a sales program:
- Formulation. The sales program must take into account the environmental factors that the company faces. Sales executives organize and plan the general activities of personal sales and add them to the other elements of the company’s marketing strategy. The formulation process is addressed in the first part of the book.
- Application. This phase, also called implementation, includes the selection of the appropriate sales personnel, as well as designing and implementing the policies and procedures that will direct the efforts towards the desired objectives. In the second part of the book the process of the application is discussed.
- Evaluation and control. The evaluation phase involves developing methods to observe and evaluate the performance of the sales force. When the performance is not satisfactory, the evaluation and control allow adjustments to the sales program or its application. The evaluation and control process is discussed in the third part of the book.
The sales management model presented in figure 1.1 summarizes the specific activities that these three processes imply, as well as the variables that influence them. The model serves as a map of the general process of sales management: formulation, application and evaluation.
These three main aspects of sales management will be addressed at the beginning of each of the three parts of this book.
Now study the model carefully and familiarize yourself with its dynamics. You will notice that the external and internal environment (also known as organizational) interact with the other aspects of the model. Before seeing the formulation, application, and evaluation and control of a sales program, it is necessary to understand well the external and internal environmental factors that can affect the manager’s ability to manage the remaining aspects of the model. In the external field, the demands of potential customers and the actions of competitors are two obvious environmental factors.
Other environmental factors External factors, such as energy prices, technological advances, government regulations and social concerns, affect the sales initiatives of a company. For example, when the price of gas rises, it would be good to believe that sales managers ask their salespeople not to make unnecessary trips in company cars.
In the organizational field, factors such as human and financial resources, production capacity, and experience in research and development of the company help or hinder the ability of the sales force to get customers or expand their market share.
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