What Are the Steps in Sales Management? 

What Is Sales Management? 

Let’s understand the sales management meaning briefly. In sales management, sales staff are hired, trained, and motivated, operations are coordinated across the sales team, and a cohesive sales strategy is implemented to increase revenue for a business. A business’s most important function is managing its sales process, as sales are the organization’s lifeblood. 

Unlike in years past, online sales or telephone sales have dominated the sales process in recent years. The result has been an increase in technological sophistication in sales management systems. 

Example: Assume that ABC is an air conditioning company. The air conditioning sales need to be handled by a proper sales team. 

The company must hire people with AC industry experience. However, a proper training program is still needed so that the team can understand and address customers’ needs. 

The next step is for everyone to understand what is to be sold and what options are available. Afterward, sales targets should be established for each product category. 

An appropriate report must be prepared based on regular reviews and evaluations of sales performance. 

Importance of Sales Management 

Let’s understand the importance and objectives of sales management. 

Approximately 90% of the companies that have formalized sales processes in place are the most successful in their respective markets, according to the Sales Management Association. 

It is critical that every aspect of the sales process is aligned with the company’s high levels of objectives, ensuring that strategy, training, and operations are all aligned. This, in turn, leads to the following benefits: 

  • Conversion rates are maximized 
  • Deal size is increased 
  • The sales cycle is sped up 
  • Enhances forecast accuracy 
  • No matter what you sell, you need a sales force management process if your company relies on a team of reps to drive revenue. 

Processes Of Sales Management 

The process and functions of sales management are as follows: 

Planning and Operations 

A sales organization’s sales operations refer to the actions and processes that support and enable sales teams to succeed and stay aligned with the organization’s biggest goals and strategies. Creating a foundation to support salespeople in their work is a part of the sales management process. Setting targets and incentivizing sellers to focus on continuous improvement is part of hiring the right people and setting targets. In addition, defining KPIs, assigning territories, and managing an asset library full of sales collateral are all part of the job. Your goal is to put everything in place for your sales strategy to succeed. 

  • Get A Team Onboard 

Starting with your customers is the best way to build a sales team from scratch. How do they purchase? Who makes the purchasing decision? Are there any obstacles that decision-makers might encounter on their journey? In order to align buyer and organizational goals, you’ll need to evaluate your business strategy. You should create a job description that clearly defines the responsibilities associated with the territory and how they align with your big-picture goals once you’ve identified your ideal customer and your sales process is aligned with your big-picture goals. When putting together a sales team that will last, you need to find the right people who can stick with you for a long time. 

  • Structure compensation 

Make sure your compensation plan and management are clearly defined before posting a job. In addition to base pay and commissions, a compensation plan should include incentives based on the performance of the employee. Incorporate positive behaviors into your compensation plan to drive results for your business. When creating your compensation structure, consider the following factors: 

How much are you willing to spend?
What does your competition pay its reps?
What are the goals of your organization?

  • Setting targets 

Their sales managers hold reps accountable for hitting sales targets within a certain timeframe. Basically, what is the expected income of your sales reps every month, quarter, and year? As a starting point, look at your current average close rate to determine realistic targets. Once you determine the average sales, you’ll need to raise the bar a bit. To keep sellers motivated, challenge them and provide them with the tools they need to succeed, but do not set targets too high.

  • Decide what your KPIs and goals are 

Key performance indicators measure your business management’s performance in relation to your goals. Your brand and bottom line will be negatively affected if you choose the wrong KPIs for your industry and strategic goals.

  • Develop a sales stack 

The right tools will help your sales team succeed. Different tools are required depending on your organization and factors such as whether your reps do inside or outside sales and how many territories you sell to. However, technology should generally support each stage of a pipeline on a basic level.

  • Territory assignment 

For maximum revenue, place top performers in lucrative regions. Similarly, you should ensure that every rep has a sufficient number of leads and prospects to work with and that their territories don’t overlap. 

Strategy and Process 

It’s impossible to control everything. One of them is results, which is unfortunate. To maximize wins and ensure a predictable revenue stream, you need to gain control of the “intangibles” as much as possible once your team and targets are in place. Your sales process management is based on how your sales funnel is set up, and how your reps will handle deals from beginning to end. As a basis for setting quotas, sales managers use sales forecasts based on historical data. Creating the best strategies for meeting sales goals requires a great deal of time, which often involves selecting the tactics that will yield the best results. 

  • Model Selection 

For your sales management process, you’ll need to choose a model. Models can be broken down into three categories. 

  • Island Model 
  • Assembly line Model 
  • Pod Model 
  • Pipeline stages must be defined 

An effective sales pipeline helps you to understand where prospects are in the sales process. In the process of becoming a customer, prospects progress through different stages. Sales pipelines should reflect each organization’s unique sales approach. Despite these differences, there are a few core similarities. There are generally four stages in most sales pipelines, though some choose to add more. 

  • Prospect 
  • Proposal 
  • Qualification 
  • Closing 
  • A clear definition of your pipeline stages is the most important thing to remember. The sales process management becomes difficult when one stage flows into the next.
  • Pipeline stages should be aligned with sales activities 

Sales activities control your sales process. Reps do these things every day to advance deals through the pipeline, and they may include any of the following:  

  • Prospecting 
  • Contacts 
  • Quotes delivered/ presentations/ 
  • Follow up/ upsells/ referral requests 

You’ll need to develop playbooks for each activity after you’ve defined the activities you’ll use. By using historical performance data, playbooks should be able to offer clear guidelines for best practices when performing these activities.

  • Territories should be defined 

It’s already been mentioned that territory assignments are important, but you should take a second look at them as you develop your strategy. Utilize your resources wisely this time around. Keep pipelines full by identifying viable accounts within each rep’s territory, optimizing meeting schedules and routes, and redesigning territories. 

  • Performance forecasting 

Based on historical sales data, sales forecasting estimates future sales. A forecast is, more specifically, the ability to predict what will be sold weekly, quarterly, or yearly by a sales team, individual, or company. In addition to predicting revenue, sales forecasts help managers identify potential issues ahead of time. A contingency plan can be developed that will mitigate potential financial damage. 

Measurement and Reporting 

In order to measure your progress, you’ll need to devise a strategy. In addition to yielding insight into how you can improve your results, reporting allows you to see if you need to streamline your sales process, hire new reps, or provide hands-on coaching to struggling sellers. A minimum set of metrics should be tracked by every organization — pipeline metrics and activity metrics. 

  • Activity Metrics 

Typical sales activity metrics include the following, which reveal what salespeople are doing on a daily basis:

  • Lead generation 
  • Emails sent – Number 
  • Inbound and outbound calls 
  • Meetings scheduled 

The problem with activity metrics is that they are often misunderstood and misused. In order to achieve the desired results, you should clearly define what, how many, and how often these metrics should be measured.

  • Pipeline Metrics 

A pipeline metric analyzes each sale funnel stage, identifying its strengths and weaknesses. These metrics can measure your team’s performance if you keep a close eye on them. Pipeline metrics measure what sellers do throughout the day, while activity metrics measure what they do. 


Training and development management is the last part of the sales management process. Training and development opportunities are provided so that the appropriate people can be recruited and hired and then continue to be developed over the long term. 

  • Learn sales skills that are essential 

Sales managers are increasingly responsible for coaching and developing their teams. Leaders and reps must model effective sales techniques must be assisted in overcoming weaknesses. In addition to sharpening existing knowledge, ongoing training should focus on prospecting and demos.

  • Providing better service to customers 

In today’s increasingly customer-centric sales environment, sellers must present customized solutions to each prospect. Your training program should help buyers identify their specific needs and achieve their goals at each stage of the pipeline.

  • Make sales processes more efficient by using data 

Using the reporting tool, isolate issues in the sales process—individually or as a team—and create a plan for correcting them. It is possible to drive improvements from anywhere using tools such as video and 1:1 chats for managers who work with remote or distributed teams. 

Improving Sales Management Process With Technology 

Initially, many people use excel spreadsheets and sticky notes to document their sales processes. While this is a good start, you’ll need the right tools for managing your sales process from every angle. Plan, performance, and process can be seamlessly integrated through a sales engagement platform. In evaluating sales engagement technologies, there are many factors to consider; here’s a quick rundown of some of the most important ones. 

  • Tracking of activities 
  • Management of documents 
  • Reports on pipelines 
  • Engagement across multiple channels 
  • Management of Territories 


Sales management is not an easy process to create, implement, and maintain. Having access to real-time pipeline information helps sales leaders keep their teams engaged, aligned, and on task. 

So now you have a clear view of the process of sales management. If not, you must check out IIM Indore & UNext’s Executive Program in Strategic Sales Management course. 

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