Our guide to sales management
Hotcourses Editor

Our guide to sales management

First published date January 08 2014 Amended date August 07 2015

We all know the difference between a good manager and a great manager – but in the world of sales, where generating business is everything, great sales managers are vital to the success of any company. A sales management course teaches managers how to hone their sales skills so they can supervise sales teams effectively and produce amazing results! And in today’s world – where the choice of products and services is so vast – strong sales managers are highly sought after to help businesses stand out from the crowded marketplace. In fact, there’s never been a greater need for brilliant sales manager, because a properly trained sales manager won’t hit targets – they’ll smash targets!


Selling today


Customers today are far savvier than they used to be. Customer review sites and price comparison sites like Which? and Comparethemarket.com provide product reviews and impartial advice so people can make much better-informed decisions. And just as the consumer is better informed about the marketplace, so too must be the sales manager. They must know, not only the product or service that they’re selling inside out, but their competitors’ products and services too. A sales management course will equip you with the research tools you need to examine a market place, and then tailor and position a product to potential customers. Because these days, one size definitely does not fit all!


What to expect from a course


There’s an excellent array of sales management courses out there. You can even study an international sales management course and learn global sales strategies – fantastic if you’re looking to work abroad or within an worldwide marketplace. But no matter which course you go for, you should expect to cover some of, if not all of, the following:


·         How to effectively profile and categorise customers

·         How to develop and oversee procedures and processes for recording sales data

·         How to implement sales strategies

·         The management of a sales team – how to set targets, monitor progress, maintain motivation

·         Sales analysis – how to identify which sales techniques are working and why


Types of courses


From online courses you can complete in the comfort of your own home, to full time undergraduate degrees, you should find a course that’s right for you. Before you begin your research, ask yourself:


·         What do I want from a course? Think about what it is you want to achieve after you’ve completed your course. Are you looking to formalise your skills and go for a promotion? If so, professional qualifications from the Chartered Institute of Marketing might be most appropriate. Or are you looking to hone your existing skills and boost your confidence? If so, a shorter course might be better.


·         How much time can I spend on a course? It’s all very well signing up to a 10-week course of evening classes, or a three year degree, but if you can’t keep up with the required time commitment you’ll be unhappy and risk dropping out. Be realistic in your expectations; draw up a timetable of your daily activities and highlight the areas where your classes could fit in. Don’t forget to leave space for relaxing!


·         How much money do I want to spend? Course prices vary greatly. If you’re considering a long or intensive course that involves reducing your work hours, think carefully about you’ll fund that course over a period of time.



Let’s get going!


Lots of sales managers use inspirational quotations from thinkers, sports people and politicians to help keep their teams motivated. Here are a few to get you started…  


  1. ‘The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will.’ Vince Lombardi, American football player
  2. ‘The most unprofitable item ever manufactured is an excuse.’ John Mason, author and speaker
  3. ‘If we all did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.’ Thomas Edison, inventor

4.      ‘The difference between try and triumph is just a little umph!’ Marvin Phillips, American football player

5.      ‘Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.’ Winston Churchill, former British prime minister

6.      ‘You can do anything if you have enthusiasm. Enthusiasm is the yeast that makes your hopes rise to the stars. With it, there is accomplishment. Without it there are only alibis.’ Henry Ford, businessman

7.      ‘For every sale you miss because you're too enthusiastic, you will miss a hundred because you're not enthusiastic enough.’ Zig Ziglar, motivational speaker


  1. ‘Without hard work, nothing grows but weeds.’ Gordon B. Hinckley, religious leader and author

9.      ‘You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else.’ Albert Einstein, physicist

10.  ‘Set your goals high, and don't stop till you get there.’ Bo Jackson, American baseball and football player


By Rebecca Hobson

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