There are many different types of sales management jobs, and aspiring sales managers will find that the variances between them can make a difference when it comes to overall job satisfaction. In the current sales environment some organizations are choosing to merge sales departments and designate sales roles within the merged department while others are doing away with the separate definitions entirely and relying on all sales reps to pursue sales through all categories. This makes it important to understand the different types of sales management jobs.
Sales Management Jobs: Inside Sales
Inside sales is sales performed remotely. In some respects this makes sales management jobs in inside sales easier for the sales manager, since the sales manager can more easily track sales rep activities. However, inside sales has a higher ratio of cold calls than most other types of sales, so a sales manager must have a specific set of skills to succeed in inside sales. These include:
- The ability to maintain high morale throughout the team in tough selling environments
- A dedication to tracking and manipulating metrics in order to determine how sales numbers can best be improved
- A keen understanding of overcoming rejection in order to coach sales personnel on improving closing rates
Sales Management Jobs: Outside Sales
Outside or face to face sales is highly competitive and constantly fluid, as the individuals on outside sales teams may be meeting with prospects anywhere from the office to clients' offices to distant locations. This means that sales management jobs for outside sales require individuals who can be flexible, as well as individuals who:
- Understand the sales cycle and pipeline and can impart this information to others
- Are able to coach sales hunters effectively in team and one-on-one settings
- Can motivate outside sales people to go after outsized targets with confidence
Sales Management Jobs: Hybrid Sales
Hybrid sales is becoming more common as sales departments merge inside and outside sales from separate departments into a single entity. Sales management jobs in hybrid sales require sales managers to:
- Encourage sales through all available channels, and understand as well as measure how different sales are contributing to targets
- Be able to interact with a variety of different types of sales people successfully
- Incentivize sales in all categories so that sales people are performing the right activities at the right time for the business
Sales Management Jobs: Consultative Sales
The consultative role is most often seen in industries like pharmaceuticals; the sales reps working consultative selling roles do not sell directly, usually because of legal guidelines. Consultative selling can be difficult because it is often unclear how a sales person's activities are directly resulting in sales. This challenge must be owned by the sales manager who is interested in consultative sales management jobs. Sales managers in this sales category should also:
- Possess an intimate understanding of relationship based selling and be able to impart that information through coaching effectively
- Have a thorough knowledge of the industry in which they are operating in order to understand the pressures and restrictions to which consultative selling is often subjected
- Be able to think outside the box to help sales people find new sales opportunities
Sales Management Jobs: Sales Support
Sales support departments are seen in organizations where the sales team has direct responsibility for selling and there is a clear process to allow sales people to let go of sold accounts and continue selling in the new business arena. Once sales people let go of sold accounts, these accounts typically go to a sales support department, which can sell add-ons and add value while providing customer service and other support functionalities. Sales managers in this role should have the same characteristics as inside sales managers, in addition to an intense focus on the customer service that drives sales support success.
5 Traits of a Great Sales Manager
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Matthew has over 20 years of sales and sales management experience. In addition to being the founder of SalesHub, he is the founder of SalesForce Search, which was #4 on Profit Magazine's Hot 50 list as one of the fastest growing companies in Canada. When he’s not helping companies improve their revenue he trains and competes in half ironman distance triathlons to “relax”.
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