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Sales Management and Bhagwat Gita

Most of the Sales Managers try to manage their Sales team in a very strange way. Hire them, give them targets and follow up with them for reaching goals. I think we need to revisit this notion of Sales Managment.

Let’s first analyse what does Sales Management mean. Everyone is clear about Sales.What does Management mean? Management means something that can impact; something that is in your control which you can change or cause to change.

Now here comes the real challenge. Can we manage Sales Results (revenue)? I mean Sales Revenue is the fruit of the activities that we do right? We apparently cannot control Sales Figures. It’s absolutely out of our control.

That explains why the job of Sales Manager is always full of stress and pressure. They are trying to manage something that is not manageable. Sales Result is the outcome of your activities. You can manage activities. But does managing activities will result in the desired sales you want? Maybe No.

Activities can be managed; Results cannot be. It’s obvious as far as Sales Management goes.

Sales Management & Bhagwat Geeta

Not surprisingly, this matches to one of the most famous and important teachings from Bhagwad Geeta. However, the problem is how do we manage Sales Activities in such a way that chances of getting desired results (Sales Revenue Targets) increase dramatically.

Activities can be managed; outcome cannot be. It’s obvious, and you don’t need my article to know this. But there is something between the activity and outcome. There is something in between which cannot be precisely managed but it can help you to reach your result in a more structured way.

कर्मणयेवाधिकारस्ते  मा  फलेषु  कदाचन ।
मा  कर्मफलहेतुर्भूर्मा  ते  सङ्गोऽस्त्वकर्मणि ।

That brings us to the obvious question. What is in our control and how it is related to the result and how do we manage it. Let’s divide entire Sales Management into three parts:

  1. Sales Activities: Something which we can manage.
  2. Sales Results (or Sales Revenue): Desired or planned outcome which you want.
  3. Let me keep this suspense until some time now.

Let me explain this in little more detail.

Sales Activities:

All the calls, Meetings, Visits, steps taken and tasks done in the sales process. It can include training of the sales team also. Sales activity parameters are things that are used to track and quantify the daily doings of the Sales team. So the parameters that you use to measure Sales activities can be:

  1. The number of Calls/Visits made per Sales Person.
  2. Percentage of Sales Person using Tools (e.g., CRM, etc.) provided to them correctly.
  3. The number of accounts handled per Sales Person.
  4. How many Proposals sent, Followups done in time, etc.

Sales Results.

In fact, the sales results can be influenced by many other things which are way beyond the organisation or company. Eg: the economy, customer decision-making process or some offer by a competitor, etc. There are many other parameters which affect the result. External factors which effect Sales Results are much more than internal factors. There are many parameters which Sales Managers track to measure Sales Results; some of them are:

  1. Total Sales achieved.
  2. Revenue Growth.
  3. Gross Profit.
  4. Customer Satisfaction Index.
Compare Sales Activities as “Karma” कर्म  and Sales Revenue (result) as “FALA” फल

Sales Goals

As you might have observed from above; Sales Results are not at all manageable, but Sales Activities are. If we follow the teachings of Geeta, we have to do our “Karma” which is Sales Activities and leave “fala” which is Sales Results. But that sounds very helpless. There have to be some guiding principles which can help us achieve our “Fala”. Not very surprisingly there are some guidelines. We may call them Sales objectives: Something to which you can target or drive your activities to that direction.  These can be Goals or Targets for your Sales Team. These are not directly manageable parameters, but you can direct your Sales Activities towards reaching to Sales Goals or Sales Objectives.
Here are some examples of Sales Goals:
  1. The number of new Customers acquired.
  2. The number of Target Customers contacted (or leads created).
  3. Percentage of Customers retained (especially important in subscription Model)
  4. Number of Customers identified for Cross Selling and Upselling.
Let me give you some example how this Sales Goals can be used. What I have to do to increase (Manage) Number of Customers Acquired, Just increase (Manage) Number of calls/Visits. You might have noted that “Increasing Number of Customers Acquired” is a Sales Goal where as Number of Calls/Visits is Sales Activity.
Sales Goals (or Objectives) is something where you redirect your Sales Activities to achieve your Sales Targets (Revenue)
This is where the role of CRM and intelligent Reporting, Dashboarding and Monitoring comes into place. We see many Sales Managers only track day to day sales and how far they have reached their goal. That is the reason they always feel stress. They are managing the wrong thing.
CRM can give you lots of information. But how you capture insigthful intelligence and convert it to results is the key
This Article is inspired by Limesh Parekh, CEO Enjay IT Solutions Ltd and the book called “Cracking the Sales Management Code.”
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12 thoughts on “Sales Management and Bhagwat Gita

  1. Very well written article.
    Let me add few drops.
    Sales figures can be managed. Many times we expect unrealistic sales figures and we force our sales team to achieve something impossible.

    Unless you have solid business plan and marketing strategy, you won’t be able to draft your sales strategy.

    As I always say in my lectures and workshops that “Sales is result of marketing”
    Marketing doesn’t mean advertising and promotions. Marketing is more than that.

    We can conclude this with: Have a solid business plan, make solid marketing plan and you can achieve your sales goals.

    1. 1000% Agreed. Bhavesh Sir. Marketing and Sales always go hand in hand. But my focus while writing this Article was Sales Management in the silo. I agree with your point.

  2. At first, congratulations to Ms. Shimona from Enjay CRM on this article.

    Well, I see that she has been successful to bring and highlight the imporatance of managing data that company gather during sales efforts and then how a tool like ENJAY-CRM can be used to articulate the same and draw better conclusions from statistics and tabulation that one gets out of this tool from vast scattered info.

    Of course message from Gita in linking hard work to success, is well said.

    However, I was expecting more elaborate process thinking ….as some point of time the article just ended…and as I reader I got lost. Well, may be you can put up series of articles or small examples for day to day tips for sales and marketing through ENJAY-CRM tool management.

    Thank you for again for this opportunity to express my view.

  3. Very well written article, Shimona ! However, just as I was getting engrossed with reading the thoughts … the article ended ! I was expecting more in-depth correlation between the ideas put forth by Lord Krishna in The Gita about Karma and Results vis-a-vis Sales as a function and the results achieved. Maybe some examples could be cited to bring home the concept you are driving. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this subject ! God Bless ?

    1. Thank you so much Mr. Manish for such a deep motivated comments and suggestion. Will keep in mind for my upcoming articles. Please help to spread the word by sharing it.

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