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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them accurately.

Preparation for appraisal, finally, involves a true conception of the purpose of the appraisal. There are two major elements subject to appraisal performance and personal qualifications. Performance should be appraised first. The sales reps personal qualifications should be appraised only when they affect performance.

Finally, sales manager should keep in mind that this is an evaluation of performance, not of personality except to the extent that it affects performance and that the main purpose of the appraisal is to help the sales rep improve on performance.

The control function


Field sales manager is in control of his job when:

  1. As a result of sound appraisal (formal and informal) and progress toward agreed-upon objectives, he knows how to improve performance.

2. Manager applies this knowledge to improved planning.

Controls are effective only when they transmit important quickly. A control must instantly shut off a machine or turn in an alarm in a time of danger. Controls fail when they are overly complex, voluminous, and detailed. The following list informs to what manager must control and what he must do to attain such control:

  1. Sales managers job description.
  2. The agreed-upon objectives he and his boss have drawn up, which are more specific than the job description.
  3. The agreed-upon objectives that each of his sales reps has drawn up with manager. Controls must tell what he has to do to help each of his salespeople toward their objectives.
  4. Statistical material from headquarters.

Manager is in control of his job when he is doing something effective about each responsibility assigned to him whether it is being performed by him personally or by some other person to whom he has delegated it. One of the greatest benefits to be derived from the effective use of control is that manager has more time to devote to important things.

In short, a good control system wont let the manager forget anything.


Effective communications


One vital function of the field manager as a developer of salespeople is communications. Managers wield influence through their communications upward all the way to the board of directors. Field sales managers are the people who can best communicate this vital information to the top officers. Communicating downward though their sales reps, they supply to them and their customers the vital information that is the very foundation of the entire this vital communications center, the field sales manager.


Downward communications


The most effective communication is accomplished on a face-to-face basis. Instruction, criticism, and coaching are most effective when performed by the manager in the field with the salesperson. The telephone is a valuable medium for exchanging data, but it is primarily informational and not recommended for instruction, much less criticism. Mail communications may be used to advantage in the number of ways. A letter can be used effectively to commend a sales rep, to confirm a personal conversation or phone call, to reduce to writing some specific directions, to prepare for some action to be taken, or to record an agreement. Printed matter sent to the sales rep usually consist of either important information to be preserved technical data, price information, and important sales ideas or informational data that need not be preserved contest standings and a variety of other matters of passing interest. When printed matter is sent to salespeople, it is often helpful to attach a memo explaining the purpose of the material and how it can be employed most effectively.

In too many instances valuable bulletins and technical data sent to sales reps are never digested or, in some cases, even read. Long, wordy bulletins, stuffy manuals, and voluminous letters are often neglected simply because sales reps tend to be active people. When they get back to their office or home, they have little time or inclination to wade through such material. One helpful technique is to reduce material to the more easily readable form of charts or graphic outlines. Companies spend large amounts to make sure that their messages get through to customers and prospects. Perhaps it would pay them to spend some time finding out how to get through to the salespeople who represent them before these customers and prospects. Then when field sales managers communicate down to their sales reps, they will know that someone is listening.


Upward communications


The people in top management must know how their products are being received, how well their policies are accepted, what their competition is doing, what is working well, where mistakes have been made, and what is being done to correct them. They must be advised of changing customer needs that will require new products or modifications of present products. If sales manager alert to this very important responsibility, he will allot specific time in the field for this very purpose. He may spend time with one the best sales reps in his district just to observe and report on the sales techniques used. Or he may spend several days in the field to determine why sales to a certain class of trade or of particular product lines are moving too slowly or why they are greater than normal. This is the sort of information manager will want to pass along up the chain of command.

One of sales managers important functions is to report on his progress toward his assigned objectives, or lack of it, to his superiors. Field sales manager should expect the same kind of help from his immediate supervisors as he gives to his salespeople. To receive it, sales manager must keep his supervisor informed of (1) the objectives toward which each of his salespeople has agreed to work; and (2) the progress of each of his reps toward those objectives.

Good communications of this kind enable his supervisor to assist him with suggestions, new directions, or even help in the field. Regular reports keep supervisor informed of managers progress in attaining agreed-upon objectives and enable this key person to be helpful in his development. Sales manager should report to supervisor with ends in mind, thereby developing a sound two-way flow of communications.

Under the guidance of a motivating sales manager, sales reps can put their heads together and run their area of operations to great effect. Teamwork inspires innovation. Alert field sales manager should build such a relationship with his sales reps that ideas can flow freely from one to the other. Communications of this kind stimulate and maintain high morale and are of incalculable value to the entire organization.



As you can see the problem of transition from selling to managing is very urgent for any commercial firm nowadays. Firms need qualified, well-educated specialists for effective management. Sales managers must be able work in team with salespeople, plan their job, build systems of downward and upward communications. There is must be warm relationship and understanding between sales manager and salespeople. The manager now represents management and he must be able to explain, sell, and implement firms policies.

There are some contrasts between seller and manager. It is two different jobs. If salesperson wants to be sales manager he must clear understand this distinction.

The material of report is the minimum not to be a poor specialist and to reach some objectives in management.

Thats why it is necessary for information of businessman, manager and salesperson, and for me as a future financier and possibly as a manager.


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