Responsibilities of a Sales Manager
The management is responsible and answerable to many groups. Sometimes, the interests of these groups conflict with each other. Hence, management must conduct its affairs in a manner so as to be fair and equitable to all parties who have a vested interest and claim on management. These interested parties ore:
1. The stockholders and other investors
4. Inter-related businesses
5. The government
Major Roles of a Sales Manager
1. Responsibility Towards Stockholders:
The stockholders are the owners of the company who have invested capital in the organization. Their primary purpose in investing funds is to make a reasonable profit.
Accordingly, the management must direct its resources at its command in such a manner so as to yield a satisfactory rate of return for its investors in the long run.
The stockholders are not so much interested in quick profits as they are in the stability, growth, and the image of the company. The company must create an image of quality and service.
In addition, it is the management’s duty to inform the shareholders about the company’s financial position from time to time and all other relevant matters regarding objectives, policies, and procedures, so that the stockholders can give some necessary input from time to time.
The stable growth of a company will help the stockholders in two ways. First, they will share a part of the total profits in the form of dividends, and secondly, the value of their share will appreciate. Accordingly, the management must base its decisions on long-range planning and objective forecasting.
2. Responsibility Towards Employees:
The responsibilities of management towards employees, who put in their time and effort ore much fold. Some of these responsibilities relate to the following areas:
(a) Responsibility in relation to employment:
This must be clearly understood that the employment is meant to be mutually beneficial for the employee as well as for the employer. Accordingly, the emphasis should not only be on what the employee can do for the company but also on what the company can do for the employee.
The employee contribution must be fully recognized. The employees must be assigned the right jobs as per their knowledge, experience, attitudes, and interests. Additionally, employees must be made aware of company policies, procedures, and objectives.
(b) Responsibility in relation to working conditions:
The employees spend their major part of the day in the work environment. Accordingly, working conditions must be conducive to work. These working conditions refer to physical facilities which must be adequate and acceptable.
These must meet the accepted standards of cleanliness, light, heat, air conditioning, ventilation, safety, and sanitation facilities. They should also be given the proper tools and machines to work with.
(c) Responsibility in relation to economic security:
The economic security implies the continuity of the job in good times as well as bod times. This sense of the job, security greatly improves the sense of dedication to the company. Lifetime employment brings about a shared responsibility which helps to build loyalty to the company.
The system of tenure in academic institutions after five or six years of service is designed to give the professor a sense of economic security which should bring out dedication, sincerity, and a sense of belonging to the institution.
In addition to job security, the remuneration and fringe benefits must be adequate and encouraging.
Some of the fringe benefits in addition to the salary are:
- Life insurance
- Medical insurance
- Sick leave
- Maternity leave
- Provision for other emergencies
- Profit-sharing plans
- Stock options. This is a provision to buy the stock shares of the company at a price lower than the price paid by the company at a price lower than the price paid by the public.
- Pension plans and retirement benefits
- Paid vacation
- Free education, for workers, if necessary, and for their children.
(d) Responsibility in relation to job satisfaction:
Job satisfaction refers to the employee’s self-fulfillment and happiness at the job. The conceptual environment should be such as to enhance employee confidence and faith in the company.
The workers should be encouraged to participate in company affairs as much as possible, especially in the formulation of procedures and policies affecting them.
This would encourage a sense of belonging. In addition, employee contributions should be properly recognized and rewarded. Other management policies include provisions for challenging opportunities, increased responsibility, promotion, and participation in the decision-making process.
3. Responsibility Towards Consumers:
The customers expect a quality product at a reasonable price with guaranteed satisfaction. It is the responsibility of the management to see that the interests of the consumers are promoted.
The quality of the product can be guaranteed by offering facilities for returning the defective product either for a refund of the purchase price or for a new unit.
Also, by providing free service to the product for a specified period of time, the customer’s confidence in the quality of the product con be strengthened.
The product should be simple to operate and be made easily available through proper distribution channels and customer satisfaction should be the first rule of sales. The customer is always right, has proved to be a good policy for initiating sales and keeping the customer.
4. Responsibility Towards Inter-business Relations:
All industries buy raw materials or semi-finished products from other industries. All businesses buy some supplies from vendors. All companies sell their products to other companies like distributors and wholesalers.
It is the responsibility of the management to maintain the inter-business relationship at a level of high ethical standards.
They should have fair trade practices, regarding their prices, the quality and the quantity of the product, methods of payment, time and mode of delivery, and the quality of service.
For example, General Motors buys steel from steel mills, tires from Firestone or General Tire, and some other parts of the cars from other companies and sells the cars to dealers. These inter-business relationships demand a fair code of conduct from all parties concerned.
5. Responsibility Towards Government:
The management must operate within the legal system, adhering to all laws which may be local, state, or federal laws. These laws include, but are not limited to:
(a) paying proper taxes and paying them on time.
(b) Respecting laws pertaining to the social environment. These may be relating to air pollution, water pollution, noise pollution, dumping of chemical wastes, respect for zoning laws, etc.
(c) Affirmative action. This means that the management makes special provisions for hiring, training, and promoting employees belonging to such minority groups who have been discriminated against previously. These discriminations may have been on the basis of ethnic origin, race, provincialism, or sex.
(d) Equal opportunities for all. This means that there is no longer any discrimination in hiring practices and that people are hired only on the basis of merit.
(e) Respect for anti-trust laws. This means that a few major companies that may dominate the market for a particular product should not conspire to fix prices or create artificial shortages by hoarding and holding back the supply of a product.
(f) Truth in advertising. This means that the public should not be misled by false claims about the benefits of the product.
6. Responsibility Towards Community Interests:
Some of these interests may be protected by law such as areas of air pollution and water pollution. Other interests may be the outcome of social environments.
Some of the community interests are:
- Providing jobs within the community. Hiring the handicaps
- Assisting in church and school activities
- Organizing sports tournaments and other cultural functions for the community
- Raising funds for public activities such as the opening of hospitals or other charitable activities
- Taking an active interest in all community affairs