The Complete Guide to The Role and Responsibilities of Sales & Marketing Managers
THE IDEAL SALES & MARKETING MANAGER
This is part of a series of articles on the qualifications and expectations of one of the top management positions, the Sales & Marketing Manager.
Although this particular function can be separated into two as it usually is for many larger companies, it is often combined in the case of a small company. However, it is necessary to distinguish between the two. The Marketing Manager is more involved in strategic planning for the short and long term, with a focus on profitable revenue growth.
It is then up to the Sales Manager to execute the plan, set quotas and goals for the sales personnel, motivate and coach them, evaluate their performance, and achieve the revenue and profit goals set in the business plan. These two positions work in close cooperation with each other at all times.
From a sport analogy the Marketing Manager can be seen as the team GM and the Sales Manager as the coach.
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The overall function of the Marketing & Sales Manager is that of a strategic planner and coordinator to provide the necessary planning, direction, control and organization to meet the sales goals and profit objectives of the company. This entails the following key responsibilities:
Development and coordination of marketing strategy and definition of the marketing mix (product, price, promotion, place); market penetration and market growth strategies for all product/service lines and website services;
the market plan - the identification of market opportunities and threats, and the implementation of marketing strategies; market segmentation based upon geography, profitability and consumer demographics;
organizing, staffing, motivating, measuring the sales personnel to meet or exceed the sales goals for every profit center; personally developing new accounts in the targeted market segments for both products and website services; the protection of the company’s intellectual property (trademarks, patents) in a manner that minimizes legal costs, and maximizes the possibility of licensing revenues.
In finding a suitable candidate education and experience play a significant role. Of the two, experience is more important, particularly in the position of Sales Manager. Here, people handling skills, communication abilities, likable personality traits, and successful record of consistent sales growth in different circumstances can be more important than an advanced degree.
However marketing requires very structured planning where a formal education and an MBA can be of great assistance. Seven to ten years of proven successful sales experience is the usual minimum for this position. It is even better if three to five years have been in the same industry with similar sales volumes and culture.
The track record should show success in managing the systematic penetration of markets using effective targeting techniques, market profiling and creating marketing plans, strategies, and tactics. Intuitive skills to anticipate competitive threats are essential in this era of rapid creative destruction.
Strategic Planning - Develops and maintains a short (6 month) and a long range (3 years) revenue plan that will meet the goals and objectives of the company. This plan is continuously updated to include any new sales opportunities, new segment introduction, and/or competitive action. It must contain sales goals per product and service, and per individual sales person.
Competition - Researches, analyzes and provides comprehensive evaluation of the competition with regard to operations, pricing, discounting, services offered, dealer incentives, digital marketing, quality and policies. Uses this information to develop positioning strategies and protocols harnessing these strategies.
Maintains a library on the competition - Knows their methods of operation, service policy and pricing. Notes any weaknesses and strengths. Performs a SWOT analysis of the major competitors. Where possible, exploits their weaknesses. Prepares reports justifying current market strategies against updated competition assessments. Projects competitive direction and the evolution of niches in your primary markets.
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Targeting / Market Penetration - Provides the analysis, justification and final strategy for targeting markets. Develops and manages a protocol for targeting, e-mailing, calling and sales visits that maximizes the conversion to orders. Develops and manages a system for measuring and archiving the results of marketing campaigns generated in this way. Prepares and presents summary findings of marketing focus and actions to the top executives periodically. Conducts a seminal assessment of other markets that the company currently does not target, as to their compatibility with the current business model and ease of entry.
Promotional Materials - Ensures that all necessary catalogs, advertising, promotional pamphlets, brochures, displays and other promotional materials are available, and distributed to customers and prospects. Ensures that all requests for sales literature by customers are filled promptly and properly, as well as followed up.
Continuously reviews and measures marketing promotional elements for relevance and applicability to customer needs. Determines the need and assesses the cost/benefit of contracting outside marketing agencies to assist in the preparation of promotional and advertising material. Reviews and approves contracts with those agents for final approval by the President.
Financial Targets - Modifies market targeting strategy to result in the highest degree of sales gross margin per sales expense. Coordinates the necessary sales related financial reports and compilations with the Financial Manager.
Forms pricing strategies and justifies them on the basis of a minimum acceptable gross margin while maintaining a consistent revenue stream.
Digital Marketing - Ensures the development and improvement of the website to provide superior interactivity between the Company and the site visitors. Performs a periodic analysis of the number of visits in terms of noticeable increases in website conversions.
Prepares proposals for other website service opportunities. Develops and implements strategies and tactics to obtain free publicity for the website by preparing a media kit and regularly contacting editors of various media.
Licensing development – Explores and follows through on generating licensing or royalty fees from any registered trademarks, search engine ranking, by inviting discussions and negotiations with companies desirous of exploiting this for products or services that do not directly compete with those of the company.
Sales Activity Monitoring – Develops and maintains a sales tracking system to track opportunities and to keep records of sales activity. Sets standards for this activity as follows: Daily contact planning and activity management systems ; sales prospects contact activity limit – or the degree to which a prospect is deemed not cost effective or attractive to pursue; weekly sales activity scheduling that demonstrates a discipline for e-mail, Internet and phone contacts; follows up with sales personnel on existing customers and new prospects.
Fine-tunes strategies for increasing sales levels from new and existing customers in segments that have proven profitable
It is not enough for the ideal Sales & Marketing Manager to meet the above parameters for this position. They also consistently achieve high marks on measurable performance criteria on formal evaluations by upper management. These can be summarized as follows:
Strategic marketing direction for the company generates improved and sustained revenue growth and profitability; research and analysis of the competition results in valid market positioning strategies that set up equally effective market targeting strategies - evidence is improved revenue levels from new market penetration; targeting strategy and follow through ultimately results in a bias toward trouble free and profitable sales activity, whether by expanded market penetration or replacement of existing lower margin business; promotional strategies result in increased revenues and net profits; any new promotions and advertising expenditures are justified by increased sales; the sales and marketing department meets the departmental expense budget;market needs are anticipated, measured and addressed - increased market penetration of profitable business results.
All sales and marketing personnel are evaluated regularly on meeting their sales goals and objectives. Sales goals are achieved on an individual and sales team basis. The sales team spirit is high based on a survey of sales personnel attitudes. Turn over of sales personnel is below 10%.
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