Types of Sales Manager
1. Administrative Sales Manager
Administrative sales managers are found normally in highly integrated sales organisations selling multiple lines of products in national and international markets. He is known by alternative titles such as ‘vice president’, ‘in-charge of sales’, ‘director of marketing’, ‘general sales manager’ and ‘marketing manager’.
He is primarily concerned with coordination and integration of all the company activities relevant to marketing. He is not an authority on design, engineering, manufacturing and finance; contrary to these, he is an authority on sales and profits. It does not mean, however, that he can be aloof from other departments and their functions.
In addition to the crucial task of coordinating marketing with other company activities, he is to coordinate the activities of his own sales organisation within and with outside advertising and sales counsel. He is responsible for sales planning that involves integration of sales personnel, merchandising, advertising and promotion, financing, distribution network.
Planning also includes the determination of the functions of sales organisation, delegation of responsibilities, personnel selection, and performance evaluation. He frames the policies and strategies on the prices, distribution, relations with dealers, service, advertising and sales-promotion.
2. Field Sales Manager
The field sales manager or operating sales manager is a line sales executive reporting directly to the administrative sales manager. Operative sales manager works under the direction, guidance and supervision of the general sales manager.
He is mainly responsible for the effective implementation of sales plans and policies developed by the administrative sales manager.
He is known for personal direction and control of sales personnel and hence, spends major portion of his time in the field supervision of the work of sales-force. Manpower maintenance of the sales organisation is the basic task of this executive. He is to recruit, select, train, supervise, stimulate, evaluate, equip, control and route the sales-force.
Field sales manager moves with salesmen on visits of importance. He assigns sales territories and controls activities of salesmen through setting the standards of sales achievements, analysing the sales reports, holding the sales meeting, supervising the advertising and sales-promotion cooperation with dealers, directing sales contests, supervising warehousing inventories, dealer relations and coordinating territorial and home office activities.
Thus, a field sales manager provides the administrative sales manager with the latest information relating to the view points of dealers and consumers on company, company products, policies, and practices with facts on market trends, competitors, distributors and individual salesman.
3. Administrative-cum-field Sales Manager
In case of smaller organisations, we come across such sales manager who combines the functions of administrative and executive sales officer. Generally speaking, administration and field operations cannot go together. However, size and economy points force many units to combine the distinct roles of administration and field operation.
As an administrator, he plans, organizes, directs and coordinates. As a field operator, he guides and supervises and controls the activities within the sales organisation. Thus, thinking and doing are done by the same person that goes against the very idea of specialisation for an administrator is a ‘thinker’ and a line officer as ‘doer’.
4. Assistant Sales Manager
Generally, the administrative sales manager is assisted by Assistant sales manager in the administrative functions of planning, analysis, direction and coordination. He coordinates the work of sales staff that is specialized in advertising, sales-promotion, research, merchandising and dealer relations.
He may also handle sales office personnel, records and routine. He acts as the link between the head-quarters and the field-sales-manager at distance. It is not a surprise if he discharges the functions of field sales manager. Thus, he acts as both line and staff officer in the sales organisation.
5. Product-line Sales Manager
A company that markets variety of products has such product-line sales manager responsible for one or group of products in the product- line. He is also known as product or brand manager.
He is responsible not only for sales but also for production, research, product- development, planning, advertising and profit for the product or the group of products in question. He is to report to the Marketing manager who coordinates the work of several product sales managers.
6. Marketing Staff Manager
As the title suggests, the Marketing staff manager is not a line-officer. He is one of the staff specialists who are delegated some of the responsibilities of administrative sales manager. These are the specialists in the areas of marketing research, sales-promotion, merchandising, advertising, sales planning, sales personnel, distributor/dealer relations, sales costs, budget sales finances, traffic, sales office administration and service and the like. These staff managers being non-line officers have no field tasks.
These managers are accountable for analysing the needs of the marketing organisation in respect of their specific areas of specialisation, developing plans and recommending solutions to the problems encountered or thrown open.
7. Divisional/regional Sales Managers
In all the national organisations, one comes across these Divisional or Regional sales managers. These are also known as District sales managers who are responsible for the delegated sales operational duties on a territorial basis.
They report to Assistant sales managers or the field sales managers who act as the liaison officers with headquarters. The functions of Divisional or Regional sales manager are similar to those of field sales manager who is in charge of several divisions or regions and hence divisional or regional managers.
They are mainly responsible for maintaining the man-power in the concerned areas by recruiting, selecting, and training, supervising, motivating and controlling the sales-force.
They are also responsible for directing branch or local office sales managers. The divisional sales managers assist branch managers in solving their sales personnel problems, dealer relations, warehousing and inventory, advertising and sales promotion, sales campaigns and sales meetings.
8. Branch Sales Mangers
In case of sales organisations that operate branches or local sales offices in major cities of the country, one is to come across such Branch sales managers. Branch sales manager is a line executive responsible for the direction of a small group of salesmen calling on consumers or dealers in the branch area.
He recruits, selects and trains, sales people with the guidance of Divisional or Regional sales manager to whom he reports. He works along with salesmen in the field, supervises their sales activities, holds periodic sales meetings, evaluates sales performance and helps in key accounts. If warehouse is attached to branch, he supervises warehousing activities too.
9. Sales Supervisor
A sales supervisor is a line sales manager who supervises normally eight to fourteen salesmen. He is seen in branch sales office of a national sales organisation having branches all over the nation.
He is responsible to the local branch sales manager. In case there is no branch sales manager, then he is responsible to the sales manager of the company directly. His work is to train and motivate the salesmen under his charge.
His supervision, guidance and coaching helps in building up more confident sales personnel. He is the key communicator in the transmission of information on sales policies of new products, promotions and marketing programmes between the higher-ups and individual salesmen.