Sales management refers to a business practice, strictly focused on the application of sales techniques and the management of a business entity’s sales operations. Sales management is a fundamental business function; net sales through the implementation of sales management—and more specifically the sales of products—results in profit, which of course, drives a commercial business’ operation. As a result of this basic necessity, sales management techniques will typically label the precise performance indicators and goals of a business or entity.
Sales management is typically instituted by a sales manager—the title of an individual whose role is to practice or implement sales management. This role typically involves managing human resources, sales planning, the control of resources and talent development leadership.
What is Lead Management?
Lead management is a term related to sales management; is a broad business practice used to describe the systems, methodologies and practices implemented to generate new business clients/customers, specifically attracted by the entity’s marketing strategy.
A lead management application will facilitate a company’s connection between its outgoing advertising and the client’s or customer’s response to that advertising. This process is designed for business-to-business marketing and direct-to-consumer advertising strategies. Lead management, in many ways, is the precursor to sales management; the connection rendered by lead management facilitates the company’s profitability through the attainment of new customers, the establishment of a market brand and selling to the existing customer base.
Lead Management Process:
A business entity will typically employ the following lead management process:
1. The business entity will engage in a variety of advertising techniques to generate leads/potential clients
2. The recipients of the advertising efforts respond, effectively creating a lead or customer inquiry
3. The individuals who respond to the advertisers offer their information—this stage of lead management is referred to as “inquiry capture”
4. The captured information is then screened and filtered to determine validity
5. The filtered information is then graded and prioritized for further inspecting/advertising
6. These leads are then delivered to the marketing and sales team—this stage of lead management is referred to as lead distribution
7. The sales team then contacts the leads to prospect them
8. All contacted and un-contacted leads are entered into a database; the leads are then either automatically or personally contacted to deliver a sales pitch.
9. The end result is—hopefully—a business sale.
What is Sales Planning?
Sales planning is the basic strategy that drives an entity’s sales management process. Sales planning will establish a profit-based sales target, forecast expected sales, and establish quotas for the implementing business model. Furthermore, sales planning will evaluate the company’s demand management and execute the plan constructed by the sales management team.
A sales plan is a formal document that affirms the entity’s strategy; the sales plan outlines the entity’s resources, business targets and sales activities. The sales plan will typically follow the lead of strategic planning, market planning and the broader business plan instituted by the entity. The sales plan will focus specifically on how the entity’s goals can be achieved through the tangible sale of the model’s services and/or products.