Sales management discusses the process of creating an effective sales team, coordinating the sales operations, and implementing sales methods that allow businesses to consistently hit, and surpass their sales goals. When the business brings in revenue, there is a need for a sales management strategy. When it comes to improving sales performances for any operation size, regardless of the industry, success is an accurate process in sales management. Alongside assisting an organization in achieving its sales goals, the process of sales management is vital in staying tuned with the industry through its growth. It is the difference between flourishing and surviving in the increasingly competitive market. Sales management assists the business and their employees to have a better understanding of results, predict future performances, and have control through sales operations, strategy, and analysis (Brashear et al., 2003). Building trust is very important when it comes to the management of sales. When an organization builds trust with its clients, they are highly likely to do business with the same company in the future. Trust works two-way; the seller must trust the client to foster a good relationship. According to Malshe (2017), trust is an important element for effective interactions among groups. Building trust is very challenging. Some new customers might not trust a company or individual they have never met with before. Salespeople play crucial roles in forming long-term relationships between buyers and sellers. As the primary connection between the selling and buying firms, salespeople have a considerable impact on the buyers' perceptions and the reliability of the products of the sellers.
The Implication of Trust
Trust promotes conflict management, teamwork, leadership, empowerment, and creativity when an organization faces change and uncertainties. A culture of trust is an important asset for any company nurturing and developing it. As a key enhancer of a high performing company environment, the presence or absence of trust is either a barrier or accelerator of organizational performance and strategy. Whenever the trust levels within a company decline, the rate of change reduces while the costs accrued from these changes increase. Trust has three main qualities in the form of process, choice, and is uniquely human. The process defines trust as a learned skill, involving relationship building, action, and communication (Brashear et al., 2003). Choice defines the incremental nature of trust over time and is founded on reasonable judgment without conditions and limits. Those choosing trust understand the possibility of a potential breach and weighing the benefits and risks before continuing. The uniquely human aspect is about keeping words, honoring commitments, and involves response, action, and decision. When it comes to the performance of workers within companies, creating trust is one of the essential factors for consideration. Trust is the basis of all interactions and relationships. An organization capable of creating a strong sense of trust within the work environment is better placed to handle all issues from rival organizations.
At the same time, these organizations develop a clear picture of what the organization stands for. Successful businesses are established on relationships between external and internal stakeholders, staff, and clients. An organization capable of fostering a strong sense of trust within the company sees various benefits, such as increased productivity and improved workplace morale. Other benefits include the ability to working more effectively as a team and reducing the time for making and discussing key issues (Malek, Sarin, & Jaworski, 2018). Trust in the workplace is established by the empowerment of staff in owning their daily tasks and allowing teams to make decisions and placing their proposals. Trust also fosters being transparent and open to important decisions. Trust also ensures refraining from treating any person more favorably compared to others. The relationships formed between managers and salespeople are crucial for businesses in the present competitive market. A good relationship has positive effects on job satisfaction and performance rates. At the same time, poor relationships have direct adverse effects. To this end, the training of sales managers emphasizes fostering strong relationships with junior employees. Whenever it comes to the development of positive relationships, there are different components involved, such as the presence of common objectives and mutual respect. Still, one of the vital elements is trust.
Importance of Trust to Sales Managers
Having the subordinates' trust is very important to individuals in positions of sales manager because it has various related benefits. For instance, organizations whose workers reported high trust levels have also experienced lower turnover rates of staff. This has an effect of reducing sales and recruitment costs while promising more consistency in performances. Trust between the salespeople and managers assists in increasing employee dedication to the company, which in turn affects performances. The existence of trust enhances the quality of staff learning and promotes creativity. At the same time, trust also encourages collaboration, building confidence, and influencing decision making in positive ways (Agnihotri et al., 2016). Without trust, people assume defensive and protective postures that prevent performance and learning. By fostering trust, sales managers elevate themselves to the roles of models for the company and consumers at large. This has an effect of positively influencing the behaviour of workers. A sales team that trusts its members is highly likely to inspire trust in clients, which is crucial in the improvement of consumer satisfaction and loyalty.
Trusting the sales team is an important aspect of relationship marketing that focuses on customer relationship management (CRM). The CRM approach is about the loyalty of consumers and their engagement in the long-term instead of shorter terms, such as individual sales and acquisition. The objective of relationship marketing is creating emotional and strong connections to a brand that influences word-of-mouth (WOM) marketing. A sales team that is built on trust embraces relationship marketing that promises benefits to the business in question (Guha, Harrigan, & Soutar, 2018). Through relationship marketing, the business retains clients in the long term, and this enhances their loyalty. Relationship marketing is also important due to its ability to stay in direct contact with clients. Through developing an understanding of the ways consumers use the services and products of a brand, companies create new offerings and features to meet these needs. This has an effect of further strengthening the already-established relationship.
The implementation of the relationship marketing approach in the sales team is based on the CRM that emphasizes better interactions with clients to improve loyalty to a given brand. Among the key benefits of trust within the sales team, there is improved customer lifetime value (CLV). Trust among the sales team makes the workforce ply their trade with confidence, and, through this, they deliver the best quality to the customers. The effect is a loyal customer base that results in repeat purchases and higher CLV. Moreover, loyal clients have higher chances of becoming advocates or ambassadors of the brand, recommending the services and products to family, business associates, and friends. For the sales team, trust enhances reduced expenditure on advertisement and marketing. Expenses for advertisement and marketing for the acquisition of new clients are expensive.
To this end, relationship marketing makes clients do marketing for the brand, otherwise known as buzz marketing. Clients inform others of the services and products of a brand, and this has an effect of improving sales considerably. Brands having excellent relationship marketing initiatives spend little funds on advertisement or marketing. When the sales team is trusted with their operations, and every member owns their responsibilities, it becomes easier to drive sales (Rahimi & Kozak, 2017). A trusted sales team ensures stronger alignment between the company and its clients. Companies emphasizing on relationship marketing have a stronger alignment of the organization around excellent customer experiences. These teams work in coordination to create a happy and satisfied customer base in the long-run. These benefits establish the basis for organizations to build trust among the sales team. Sales management is an important source of revenue for any organization. The next section focuses on ways of building trust within an organization.
Building Trust With Sales Team
As a leader, building trust is achieved by connecting with peers. To ensure connectivity with peers, the first step is pitching for sales together. With modern-day technology and tools of communication, there is ease of landing customers because of the impersonalized and pre-designed responses. For a salesperson, the first step is showing up for more deals, and being present with the clients. Team leaders should pitch with the members of the sales team for fostering trust. A sales pitch is a planned strategy or presentation aimed at initiating and closing sales of products or services. When the sales teams are given leads, they are expected to follow a structured formal sales pitch for making sales. It is very challenging communicating with strangers. For every poor introduction, there are high chances of bad rapport that places people on the defensive. Building trust with peers involves doing sales pitches together or working with each other generally (Guinaliu, & Jordan, 2016). Examples of fostering trust with peers include doing the work in time, having better organization, showing high levels of determination, and showing the team members that you can become very reliable.
Making sales is a people-oriented business that needs a customer-focused approach. Sales are made a face to the person. The conversations could be face to face or through the phone, but the importance of a successful result depends on the ability of the seller to foster trust in client relationships. This translates to the need for salespeople being at their best and bringing value to the table and their clients. Salespeople push products by sacrificing their trust and goodwill. The success of sales is highly short-lived, and not the basis of mutually and long-term productive relationship (Friedrich, Griffith & Mumford, 2016). To build trust, a leader must start at the top. Unlike difficult measures, including filling reports and the number of sales calls, trust is not something that is demanded by the sales representatives. It is important to begin hiring well-equipped and talented people to do the right job, training them and succeeding, and then trusting that they will. Providing team members with some autonomy will prove that they are trusted, and they will make sense of accountability and sense of ownership for their work.
Building trust involves ensuring consistency, responsibility, and competence in winning over the trust of the team. The sales manager gains trust with their sales representatives by staying updated about the industry, and the best practices in sales. It also involves understanding the methodology and sales process of an organization. Setting up regular schedules with the salespeople for reviews and coaching, and holding people accountable to commitments is also an issue of consideration when focusing on winning over sales team trust (Watkins, 2016). Spending time with the team is also another means of winning over...
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