The transition from selling to managing

Five critical differences between selling and managing The first responsibility of sales reps is to develop accounts. They must be able

The transition from selling to managing


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The Ministry of Science and Education of the Russian Federation

Togliatti Social-Economic college









TOPIC: The transition from selling to managing

SOURSE: “The transition from selling to managing” by



Student: Mustaeva P.S.

Group: F-32

Teacher: Alferova L.A.









Togliatti 2005


  1. Introduction
  2. From selling to managing
  3. Five critical differences between selling and managing
  4. The cycle of managing
  5. Planning: the first step
  6. Developing a plan of action

4. Implementing the plan

  • Key accounts

5. The appraisal process

  • The informal appraisal
  • The formal appraisal

6. The control function

  1. Effective communications
  2. Downward communications
  3. Upward communications
  4. Conclusion




The topic of my report is “The transition from selling to managing”. This topic is rather urgent now days, because problem of transition occurs frequently in sales organization.

Most field sales managers have been sales people far longer than they have been managers; consequently, the transition from salespeople to manager can be extremely difficult. In fact, many who try never really make the grade.

Sales managers have many responsibilities. Some of them are: development and growth of sales representatives, planning, control of performing plans of actions, setting contacts between reps, effective downward and upward communications and others. The sales managers job is very difficult. It demands good economical education, ability to work in team, attention to salespeople and others abilities.

The report also tells the reader about necessary relationship between sales manager and sales reps. It is very important for effective management and reaching agreed-upon objectives.

The main parts of this report are:

  1. From selling to managing
  2. Planning: the first step
  3. Implementing the plan
  4. The appraisal process
  5. The control function
  6. Effective communications

This information may be helpful for future specialists and for salespeople who want to become good sales managers.

From selling to managing


Problem of transition occurs so frequently in sales organizations, perhaps it would be well to begin by considering some of the problems involved in making a successful adjustment to the responsibilities of a manager.

Sales managers duties will vary widely from one company to another. Some field sales managers are actually only supersales reps who handle the more important accounts; some supervise only one or two reps and devote the remainder of their time to direct sales efforts; still others may devote their entire time to supervision and do no direct selling themselves. But all have certain features in common.

The sales rep and the sales manager both deal with people. For a sales rep, these people are your prospects and customers. He must be able to influence them, wins their confidence and approval. Manager must be able to get along with his sales force, wins their confidence and respect so that they perform well. The sales rep and the sales manager must each be capable of planning the particular activities demanded by their position. Both are, of course, concerned with sales, orders, profits, and their own promotion and advancement. However, it is the critical differences between these two jobs that must be understood if we are to have a sound understanding of the management function.

Five critical differences between selling and managing

  1. The first responsibility of sales reps is to develop accounts. They must be able to sell accounts in their territory, strengthen the bonds that tie the accounts to the company and to themselves, thus steadily increasing sales volume. Field sales manager has one overriding concern to develop people salespeople. This is by far his chief responsibility. Sales managers success no longer depends on his own sales ability but on his capacity to help others to develop and grow in their jobs, to become more skilled and effective, and to perform better as sales reps.
  2. The second difference is that sales reps perform their jobs by themselves, whereas managers perform their job with others. Some of the best salespeople are described as lone wolves because they are interested only in themselves and their own success. They do produce an excellent volume of profitable business. But not one of them will ever be a manager because they totally fail to understand the meaning of teamwork.
  3. The third difference is functional. The manager must develop his player into a team. He must see to it that his team members like their fellow workers, respect and look up to their supervisors, and are comfortable with them us people. The sales rep is just an individual with a specific job to do, and can do that job without being part of a team. It is the responsibility of the manager to build a team and to get his salespeople to react as members of a team rather than as individuals working alone.
  4. A fourth and vital distinction between the sales rep and the field sales manager is the fact that unlike the salesperson, the manager is a part of management. The manager now represents management, and so can no longer make fun of or run down company policies and objectives. Instead, the manager must be able to explain, sell, and implement these policies.
  5. The contrast between the sales rep and the field sales manager is accentuated by the fact that the field sales manager has a great many more and diverse responsibilities (developing people, recruiting new sales reps, running a branch office, seeing key accounts, handling records, conducting correspondence, and perhaps working with other departments such as advertising, engineering, and credit). The field sales manager must know how to organize the work load and use time effectively to a greater extent than is required of the sales rep.

These then are critical differences between the sales rep and the field sales manager. They demand of the person who moves from the sales force to the first echelon of sales management an entirely new approach to the job and its responsibilities.

The cycle of management


To understand the unique problem of sales management as distinct from those of selling, it helps to consider some of the attempts that have been made to define and describe «good management». Among these are the following:

  • Good management is the capacity to get people of ordinary ability to perform in an extraordinary manner.
  • A good manager is one who can get more work and better performance out of subordinates and get this willingly.
  • A manager is one who gets things done through other or with others.

The components of the cycle of management are:

  1. Planning involves three steps. The first step is to set objectives. The second step is to determine how to reach those objectives. The third step is to decide when the job should be completed. It is actually a relief to have completed such a plan. Planning is a normal function of an orderly mind.
  2. Act in accordance with the plan at the appropriate time. While there are, of course, situations where a plan must be discarded, ordinarily the interview will be far more effective if it has been carefully planned and executed as planned. The same is true of plans for the development of individual sales reps, for the improvement of sales of a certain product line, or for the sale of products to a particular class of trade.
  3. Sit back and take a good look at what manager has done. In other words, manager makes a thorough evaluation of his performance.

4. This leads directly to the fourth step in the cycle. Manager has now appraised his performance. Managers experience, increased knowledge, and careful appraisal of past performance will enable you to make better plans for the next operation. Thus the cycle results in ever-improving performance.

Note that it is impossible to break the cycle and still manage. Management is the complete and continuous repetition of the cycle. The cycle is equally applicable to the planning for and development of key accounts.


The cycle of management



Planning: the first step


The first step in sound management is planning. Field sales manager has

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