The transition from selling to managing
The transition from selling to managing
Ministry of Science and Education of the Russian Federation
transition from selling to managing
SOURSE: “The transition from
selling to managing” by
Student: Mustaeva P.S.
Teacher: Alferova L.A.
From selling to
differences between selling and managing
The cycle of
Developing a plan
4. Implementing the plan
5. The appraisal process
6. The control function
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 manager’s job is very difficult. It demands good economical
education, ability to work in team, attention to salespeople and others
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
The main parts of this
From selling to
This information may be
helpful for future specialists and for salespeople who want to become good
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 manager’s 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
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 manager’s 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.
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.
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
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
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
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
The cycle of management
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:
is the capacity to get people of ordinary ability to perform in an
A good manager is
one who can get more work and better performance out of subordinates and get
A manager is one
who gets things done through other or with others.
The components of the cycle of
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.
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.
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. Manager’s 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.
Planning: the first step
The first step in sound
management is planning. Field sales manager has planned well when:
He and his
supervisors have reached agreed-upon objectives to be attained by a specific
date, and have charted a course of action for achieving these objectives.
Each of his
salespeople has agreed-upon objectives to be attained by a specific date and
has determined upon a course of action for achieving these objectives.
a plan of action
There are undoubtedly
many methods a field sales manager can use to develop a plan of action. One
method may work better for one person than for another. The following method
has been found effective when properly employed and is presented as an example
of one way of getting this important job done. The procedure is to plan for at
least a full day with each sales rep and to work out agreed-upon objectives for
that rep’s growth and development during the period ahead. The field sales
manager must do some preparatory work for such a meeting, and the following
steps are suggested as necessary:
should have before he the company objectives he has been given by his
manager’s own office or the head office must furnish various kinds of
statistical material that he and his salespeople will need during the planning
must tell his salespeople in advance what is going to take place so they can
prepare for it.
arrange a place for the planning session.
should think through carefully how he can develop objectives that will enable
him to manage by specifics.
You should think
through carefully how you can develop objectives that will enable you to manage
Let’s now move on to the
next major step – implementing the plan. Field sales manager performs this part
of the job when:
He has the right
salespeople to do the job.
these reps to make sure they are reaching their agreed-upon objectives.
In short, what we have is
a plan of action for each sales rep working under the field sales manager.
These individual plans also include specific steps for achieving the company’s
overall objectives. The field sales manager’s own plan of action is to help
each sales rep achieve objectives.
Basically, your job as
manager is to improve the thinking of your people because they usually perform
alone. It is therefore essential to get them to perform well in your absence.
To do so, salespeople must be thinking along the same lines. Implied in the
achievement of this goal is recognition that a manager will never get anywhere
until he makes reps want to change their habits and improve their thinking.
Another important concept is that
field contacts between sales manager and his sales force must have continuity.
In planning sessions with
each of reps manager has mutually agreed on what each is to do to achieve the
objectives that have been set. Showing them how to do the job is also the field
sales manager’s responsibility.
The field contact has
additional goals, which must also be kept in mind. One of these is the
reduction of staff turnover. Sales reps who might otherwise become discouraged
and leave for another job are stimulated by field contacts to become valuable
members of the team. The manager’s field work with salespeople will improve
their performance. As they become more productive sales reps, they feel more
secure in the job, take greater satisfaction in their work, and often strive
for promotion. Thus the field contact, when properly planned and performed, can
do wonders. No report can give so accurate a picture of the performance of
sales reps as may be obtained by seeing them in action with a customer. Their
strengths and weaknesses become apparent, and the latter can be more easily
corrected when they are encouraged with commendation for any progress they have
The field sales manager’s
responsibility for key accounts varies with the particular company. In general
this responsibility is of two kinds:
responsibility. The manger is personally charged with selling and developing
important accounts within the district or region. No other salesperson is
One of the sales reps is directly responsible for the account.
The appraisal process
Efficient appraisal by
the field sales manager consists of the following:
evaluation of the progress made by each of your sales reps toward agreed-upon
evaluation of your own progress toward such objectives.
what must be done, an understanding of how to do it, and the allocation of time
for that purpose.
significant criteria for the appraisal of a sales rep are:
description of sales rep’s job. The rep agreed to this description in accepting
specifically, is expected of the sales rep? In other words, What are the
standards of performance? This list includes figures such as the expected
dollar volume or the number of units sold in a given period, the number of new
accounts opened, the maximum amount of money allowed for expenses, and any
other specific and/or measurable requirements of the job.
3. The objectives for the
rep’s development and growth.
The informal appraisal
Manager is constantly
appraising each of your sales reps. He must decide whether to discharge the
marginal sales rep and how much time he can properly spend with a new
salesperson as against an older one. In making appraisals, manager continually
uses sales figures and other statistical data.
some of these other measures for appraisal.
reps must be willing to learn. They must be anxious to improve themselves and
receptive to instruction.
reps should be happy in their job. They should be enthusiastic, excited, and
interested in each day’s operations, well motivated, and able to keep their
long-range objectives clearly in view.
reps should possess and use the ability to plan. They should employ their time
effectively; schedule the work for each day, week, and month; plan each
reps should be able to conduct an effective sales interview. They should know
to carry through effectively any part of sales interview, including the
interview with a receptionist.
Among the more
important matters to be appraised in determining whether a sales rep is really
moving ahead are the following:
of strong motivation and a sound attitude toward the job and the future
record of steadily increasing sales volume and steadily increasing earnings
improvement in those areas in which the manager has felt coaching was required
progress in the development of an increasing number of accounts with good
continual development of new accounts
to assume responsibility, to handle tough situations in the territory without
supervision, and to try new methods and ideas suggested by the boss
to manage his or her personal life successfully
Managers appraise and
coach sales reps each time they are in the field with them. Only thirty minutes
may be involved, but the meeting does bring the sales rep and the manager
closer together. When skillfully conducted, it presents the manager to the
sales rep as a helper. Statistical material is reviewed, and the intangible
qualities that make for success are discussed. The manager and the sales rep
reach mutual agreement as to what must be done to achieve maximum results. The
conclusions reached in such a discussion are sometimes reduced to writing by
the manager, and a copy is sent both to the sales rep and to the manager’s
For the accurate
appraisal of a sales rep, there is no substitute for direct field observation.
The key word is action. It is this insistence upon action following a field
contact or review or informal appraisal that gives continuity to the entire
supervisory and development process going on between the field sales manager
and the sales rep.
The formal appraisal
In contrast to
informal appraisal, the formal appraisal covers a longer period – six months to
a year – and requires the use of specially prepared forms. The latter can be
quite formidable – to the point where they often confuse the field sales
manager, who is more accustomed to selling and field work than to the
intricacies of complex paperwork. Unfortunately, headquarters sometimes becomes
so intent upon forms and their use that the real purpose of the appraisal is
all but forgotten. The field sales manager must realize that the only value of
a form lies in the information entered on it.
for the formal appraisal is a continuing task. Sales manager has a folder for
each sales rep and throughout the year he files in it all specific evidence
that will substantiate his appraisal of a sales rep’s performance.
also involves recognition of the fact that manager cannot and must not appraise
a salesperson he does not know reasonably well. People who are new in the
organization or whom manager has rarely seen cannot be accurately appraised.
Sales manager should therefore plan and carry through enough field contacts
with his sales reps that he will know them well enough to appraise them
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 rep’s
personal qualifications should be appraised only when they affect performance.
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.
manager is in control of his job when:
result of sound appraisal (formal and informal) and progress toward agreed-upon
objectives, he knows how to improve performance.
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:
objectives he and his boss have drawn up, which are more specific than the job
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.
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
In short, a good
control system won’t let the manager forget anything.
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.
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.
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 manager’s
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 manager’s
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
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 firm’s 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
That’s why it is
necessary for information of businessman, manager and salesperson, and for me
as a future financier and possibly as a manager.